I will be going to live in China shortly, however I intend to backpack around South East Asia for a few months before settling in Beijing. I do not really wish to lug my two hundred and fifty or so CDs around Asia. I am not a masochist. Also, I would hate to lose them. Yet I would also hate to be without my music – so I plan to buy a portable MP3 player and copy all of my CDs on to that. However, I do not know which model to buy, so perhaps a knowledgeable reader could help me out.
Firstly, I should mention that I do not want an iPod. I do not like having to use iTunes to plonk songs and data on the device, and I have heard a lot of stories about reliability problems – units dying just after the warranty has run out, unprovoked formatting of memory and that kind of thing.
I want a player that is compatible with Windows and has a relatively simple procedure for the addition of files – as I may be doing a fair bit of that at internet cafes and places where the software available is limited. Ideally, I would like to be able to rip a CD straight to the player without having to store the music files on a computer in the process. I am not awfully concerned about a video playing ability or an especially fancy display for viewing photos, as I will primarily be using the unit to listen to music. I would like the unit to have at least 30 gigabytes of memory, and I do not want to spend much more than 200 pounds or US$400.
A tech-savvy friend told me to check out the Creative Zen Vision M and the Toshiba X-series. Does anyone have any comment on these units, or any other recommendations?