Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Feeling shallow!

Taking a break from the excitement of adding songs to the Little Fishes Songbook (yes, F, it really is going to happen...I'm working on it, see?!) I'm trying to resolve the question of how to take essential music to India. With a long flight (and I don't fly happily) there and back, even if I only listen then, I need something. My CD walkman isn't alot of use without copious CDs, so it looks like the time has finally come to invest in an mp3 player of some sort. The question is, which?
Of course, I love the look of iPods. So stylish....and I could have a pink one, which would surely cheer me instantly...but Hugger Steward, my guru for all things techie, feels that would be selling out to effective advertising. I would, I think, only need a nano anyway, as I'm sure that 4GB will be ample...I do rather like the physical reality of CDs and as most of my music is classical anyway, I'm not going to be wanting to hear only bits of works most of the time. When at home, therefore, I imagine I'd revert to CD player as a first resort.
iPod Nanos are reputedly available at the new Apple shop in town for £99 - otherwise, it seems to be £120 - alot of money to find, but if you can convince HS that it's worth it, I'm certainly open to persuasion.
On the other hand, I could have a Sony (with admittedly less capacity - only 1GB) for £72.99 - and yes, it's still pink!
Most promising of all, perhaps is an Archos Gmini with 3GB in the mid £70s which is rather attractive - pink or blue.
Does anyone have any views??

EDIT: having done a bit more research, I'm now in mourning because all the systems I really like the look of are not supplied with a mains recharger/adapter...and the chances of my having access to a computer alot of the time to recharge are distinctly slim. So, farewell archos, farewell Creative Zen, even farewell iPod. I may well have to plump for shorter playing time, with an obscure Chinese alternative (but thanks, Paul, for putting me on to Advanced mp3 players...really helpful site, even if they told me things I was disappointed to hear)

Also, I know I'm going to miss all of you hugely while I'm out of touch, and would love to have a song or piece of music that you had suggested to take with me.
Please, populate my anything- but-desert island by choosing one track for a displaced curate, bearing in mind my tastes are from classical through what the offspring say I can call soft rock (that means U2 and REM in my book) to stuff like Martyn Joseph and Pierce Pettis. Open to surprises of any kind, but really don't do well with commercial pop!
Over to you, friends....I wish I could take you all with me, so humour me by providing a musical substitute!


Tom Allen said...

I have recently researched this with a price limit of £120 - at it is all rather bewildering.
I discounted anything ipod - too expensive, restricted format locks you into Apple supply and most seriously they seem to unreliable in the longterm ( not sure how they would cope with India)
Musos friends who are travelling all the time seem to favour Creative Zens of one form and Sprog 1 has been very happy with her £75 model bought through Morgan computers which is excellent sound quality.
So have a look at what John Lewis offer Creative Zen V 1 meg at £70.00. They are much more robust than Ipods. Sorry Blogger will not let me post a direct link.
If you Google search "John Lewis + MP3 Players" and then select the product search which is second down, then the Creative one is about four down. John Lewis are excellent for support and back-up.

Hope this helps


Paul said...

The new iPod Nanos look very nice, and aren't actually overpriced, go for the most memory, the 8Gb, is, I think relatively best value.
I have a 20Gb hard drive player, ancient technology now, and only about 3/5 full. As Tom suggests Creative Zen is a good way to go, but I'd look for more memory than 1 Gb. You can "rip" your own CDs using Windows Media Player. It takes a while, but it's worth it in the end. I now rip a new CD as soon as I buy one. I have never bought downloaded music btw. You have teenagers? Well, they'll know what's cool won't they? Isn't that part of their job description? I have bought from Advanced MP3 Players (again Google will be your friend), they're very helpful and you can 'phone them and get real advice.
Best wishes on your forthcoming trip to India.

Hope that's a helpful addition!



Stella said...

....er, possibly,
Vaughan Williams, 'Dona Nobis Pacem', section 6 (the last bit, which starts 'O man, greatly beloved...').

Prayers with you for safe and inspiring travels x

Tom Allen said...

Me again. Sprog1 says Creative Zens charge from the mains and have a universal adaptor so you can take 12dc power on the plane and mains in India - details on the Creative Zen site. 1 GB will give you 500 songs - but if you want more then Amazon have the 2 GB model for £79. Software for ripping is included and is much faster than Windows Media Player which is very very slow. If you already have the MP3s on any computer then you can drag and drop on Zens which is even quicker. When I refer to Ipods restricting formats I wasn't refering to downloads, but they do not handle as many music formats as Zens - WMA is particularly bad on apple stuff.

1 i z said...

I have to say, I love my iPods (yes I do mean plural). A lot. Like in a sort of breaking the 2nd commandment type manner.

And a proper plug charger doesn't cost the earth...especially on eBay ;-)

Also don't underestimate the joy of having all your music on a little thing you can pop in your pocket, use in the car and any room in the house. So, persoinally a decent size memory is important for the way I use it. I never have to chose which CDs or songs to take or not take...the whole lot goes everywhere with me.

Also I'm not sure what Tom means when he says re iPods that the "restricted format locks you into Apple supply"...they play MP3s like everything else. You just have a choice of using AAC if you want better quality/compression.

Which leads onto software. Whatever you get I'd recommend iTunes (free download from Apple). It's a hundred times better than anything else I've used. However if you use iTunes music store (and it doesn't sound like you plan to buy music that way), it is in AAC format, so only advisable if you're either happy to break the protections and convert or are always going to use the music on something like an iPod.

See I'm quite evangelical on some things ;-)

Go on, go on, go on, go on...

steve said...

and the results from the south london jury ... iPod !
but then i would say that ... they are beautiful and they do what it says on the tin ... you will never regret it ... do not listen to the youth element it is not all advertising they are simply beautiful ... apple products are design and function in perfect harmony ... as someone once said 'i love my iPod and you know what i think my iPod loves me' :) ... once you decide let me know and i will send you some music choices but there is no way i can restrict it to one track ... i will compile a perfect playlist to remind you of home and lift your spirits

Mary said...

A lot of technology when you asked for music! Stela played me the Vaghan williams while we chose the songs and hymns for November, and it's lovely (definitely lovelier than some of what we'll be singing!). I'd send you off with the John Rutter setting of Lancelot Andrewes'"Open thou mine eyes and I shall see; incline my heart and I shall desire; order my steps and I shall walk in the ways of thy commandments..." Have a great time - it will be wonderful!