Having owned all kinds of portable music players (MiniDisc, memory-card MP3, and everything else) I can't say enough about my iPod. They may seem expensive, but you can get an older/refurb one for not substantially more than a card-based system. Apple has refurbs from $170, which is hard to beat. I've got a 20gb, and it is simply outstanding. Fast, long-lasting, so damn easy to use, and large enough to hold all of my music in something the size of a deck of cards. It cannot be beat.
Apple just added bigger drives to the iPod, IMO, because Rio's new Karma is shortly to be released in 20GB and 40GB sizes. Also, amongst many other features that make it more appealing to me than an iPod, it plays Ogg Vorbis; my new favorite encoding format.
Like this forum, you pretty much have to pick your brand/player before you can narow it down enough to find a good forum. Your first decision however is if you want a cheaper/lighter/smaller solid state flashed based player, or a slightly bigger less rugged hard drive model. There's also the new Rio Nitrus which defies classification right in the middle of the two.
I'd check out the full Rio line before making any decisions. The Karma is set to really give the iPod a run for it's money, and which is a better player hasn't been settled yet.
Thanks, jleavens, but I'm a New Poster to this forum, not a new reader. And I registered with the empeg bbs a while ago, when I got my empeg. I have been reading all that I could find on the Karma, there, and any other tidbits I could find on the web, including on this forum. Based on everything I've read about the iPod and the Karma (including your review), Karma would definitely be the portable for me.
However, since as I do most of my listening either in the car or at home, a portable is not at the top of my list right now. Eventually the empeg team will get around to releasing v3.0, and then I'll have my Ogg Vorbis.
But hearing about the Karma, designed by the same team that years ago, created the first and easily the best car-based mp3 player, has made me want one anyway. I'm so biased I only did a quick feature check on the iPod, and I'm not even considering it. So once a few other toys have been crossed off of my wanted list, I'll probably get a Karma 40.
matthew_k, we may have exchanged a few words in another thread on this forum, unless you think you know me from somewhere else. I have been using this handle for at least 5 years.
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