Zune 80, Zen Vision M, Classic iPod, or ?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Hooksta, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Hooksta

    Hooksta Hook

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    From the tech savvy, which is the best "value" MP3 player out there these days? My wife and I are long time iPod users (1st gen Nano's and 2nd gen shuffles). I played around with the idea of buying a $500 iPod Touch 32gb but figure I am probably overlooking some other good options. For example, having a FM radio could come in handy I suppose.

    I also wonder if they will come up with a XM radio/MP3 player at some point.

    So what's new out there? :ear
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  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    Doesn't the Zumo 550 have both XM and mp3? Oh, and it does navigation too. :D

    Jamie
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  3. Hooksta

    Hooksta Hook

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    Actually that is an interesting suggestion. Doesn't cost much more than an iTouch? Tell me more. Which thread here shows the best installation, wiring, reviews, etc? Is it waterproof like my Garmin 60CSx? I have a Starcom Digital showing up this week and am sensing some farkle possibilities.
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  4. enduro0125

    enduro0125 Sticks and Stones™..

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  5. Hooksta

    Hooksta Hook

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    Yeah I did several searches on the Zumo and never really found the "official thread" that would show multiple rider's installation pics and experiences. I did see a few photos but not many. Plus that Garmin XM unit is pretty big.

    Anyhow, I'd best get back on subject. Anyone have experiences with Zune vs. Zen Vision vs iPod? :ear
    #5
  6. soloyosh

    soloyosh Dad and husband

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    I have a Zune 30 that I got a real good deal on ($70). I am pretty happy with it. The software can be kind of clunky and their "marketplace" is weird, but then I just listen to stuff I rip off of CDs I already own, and it works fine for that. Not sure why it doesn't work with Windows media player though.

    Cheers
    Brett
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  7. BikerGeek99

    BikerGeek99 Horizon Chaser

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    I had been contemplating getting an iPod. Instead, I bought a Sirius Stiletto 2. It's pretty slick - it's a self-contained Sirius receiver which can record anything received over the satellite.

    It can also use wi-fi to receive the Sirius content, although not all channels are available over wi-fi and you can't record anything using wi-fi. It has about 2GB of on-board RAM, plus a MicroSD slot to add more memory.

    You can also load up MP3s on it and setup playlists and all that good stuff.

    It's small enough to fit in a jacket pocket while riding - it's about the same size as my LG enV cell phone. I have a cradle at my desk at work, one at home (and I have it hooked into my home stereo), and one in my truck.

    I periodically set it up to record various channels. Then, when I'm in the gym or when reception at my desk is crappy, I just start playing one of the recordings. Ditto for when I'm riding - I haven't gotten around to figuring out how to mount it on the bike yet.

    Pros: Portable; recording and playback ability; home and vehicle docks come with remote controls; 130 channels of Sirius programming.

    Cons: It's not cheap - subscription cost and the cost of the unit itself, although I bought my unit on Ebay substantially under retail.

    Cheers!
    BikerGeek99
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  8. Bugman98

    Bugman98 Been here awhile

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    I actually own all 3! I've got a Zune, a Zen Vision, and an iPod. I do podcasting development for my university so I have all 3 players to make sure everything works across platforms. They're all about the same size and when i bought them, they were all priced similarly. The ipod was the most expensive of the 3 but only by about $30 or so. The screens are bigger on the Zune and Zen and when you turn the Zune sideways the video becomes "widescreen." But as far as usefulness goes, I'd go with the ipod. The device is easier to use than the others, especially if you're wearing motorcycle gloves and riding down the road at the same time. You wont be able to push the many smaller buttons on the Zune or Zen.
    The menus on the ipod and iTunes are easier to navigate, and iTunes does a much better job at keeping track of all your mp3 and videos than the music library software that comes with the Zen or the Zune. I had to call Creative Labs customer support twice before I could get the Zen and its software to work properly. After using all 3, the Zune and the Zen gave me the feeling like someone at those companies said to their design teams "Okay guys, copy the ipod as closely as you can without infringing on any of their patents and hurry!"
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  9. Hooksta

    Hooksta Hook

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    Excellent review, I sometimes get bored with playing my playlists on my Nano. The XM radio is nice because you can usually find something to listen to. By chance is there a XM version of this Sirius Stiletto 2? I have XM in my Acura currently - could get a discount for adding to my current service.
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  10. Hooksta

    Hooksta Hook

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    I just had a thought (might be a bad thought), but I wonder if a person purchased a iTouch if when in a WiFi area could log on to their already existing XM radio account and listen to XM radio via the on-line connection on the iTouch????:D
    #10
  11. BikerGeek99

    BikerGeek99 Horizon Chaser

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    I did a quick check of Circuit City's website and it looks like XM does have something similar:
    http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/XM-inno-Portable-Satellite-Radio-MP3-Player-Black-GEXINNO2BK/sem/rpsm/oid/166403/catOid/-14646/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do

    It doesn't appear to have all of the features of the Stiletto 2, but it should work for you since you already have XM.

    I'm not sure about your iTough / streaming XM question.
    #11
  12. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

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    I have a 30 gig Zune and a Zumo:huh

    The Zumo MP3 can be operated effortlessly on the MC with gloves. Plus it mutes when Nav or cell comes in. I do not use the Zune on the MC ........why. I rip to MP3 format and use the same files for the Zune and the Zumo.

    [​IMG]

    You can also use the Zumo to play mp3s in the car. I input the sound into my stereo and it mutes music here obviously too. Big buttons/touch screen to operate which is nice.

    One thing if you are a music nut ...........the Zumo will only play music when it is in a powered mount.

    I use the Zune for all other music functions.
    #12
  13. SpitfireTriple

    SpitfireTriple Seek Truth

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    Excellent summary of an excellent review.

    I already have an iPod which is just so easy to use. I'm finding fewer and fewer reasons to put off buying an iPhone which has everything the iPod has and more.
    #13
  14. kowrider

    kowrider Been here awhile

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    i just bought a 120 ipod. i love it and its very easy to use. However, if i would have done my homework i might have ended up with a zune. I travel constantly and wanted a way to watch movies without lugging around my case of dvd's. The Zune holds ALOT more video than the ipod. But then again you can get every accessory known to man with the ipod and like every windows microsoft product its more difficult to use than it has to be.
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  15. SpitfireTriple

    SpitfireTriple Seek Truth

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    I suppose this highlights the fact that different people want different things from their mobile.

    I had been thinking of using mobiles on bike tours, where you need/want:
    Music in your tent at night,
    Email,
    Web-browsing eg for info on the places you're visiting,
    Sat-Nav (maybe, my jury's still out, I prefer old-fashioned maps),
    Phone capability to arrange RVs or break-down assistance or simply to reassure the missus each evening that I'm still alive.

    But I can understand that for someone on a plane, bus, sitting in in an airport lounge, good video/movie capability might be important.
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  16. Guzz

    Guzz Gutless wonder

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    Ooohhhh, I just found a great web site: Anything But iPod. Literally every portable outside the iPod. I using it to help me determine what to get after my iPod dies (fww: I hate my iPod).
    #16
  17. bone

    bone Been here awhile

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    One factor to think about - I've been told the touch screen iPod and iPhone will not work for you if you are wearing gloves. This obviously complicates things for anyone planning on using their device while riding, or anyone who might live in the more wintry parts of the world for a significant amount of time.
    #17
  18. James Adams

    James Adams Long timer

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    Though I haven't used on the bike recently, I have a 1st-gen Zune (30GB) that works great and is easy to use. I just use it to play MP3s that I've ripped from CDs that I have, so I can't comment on the Zune marketplace at all.

    I put it in my jacket's inside pocket and wear earbuds. As a bonus, I can hit the buttons on the Zune through the front of the jacket (assuming you have the Zune facing the right way) to control volume and pause/play functions.

    Works for me. I'd get an iPhone if I could justify it, though, for the maps, 'net, tunes, and phone all in one device. Fortunately, my employer supplies me with a Blackberry so I have internet, phone, and maps with me even if it's not as slick of a package as the iPhone.

    -Ian
    #18