Shiny Over Sound

january 19, 2009

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After my iPhone broke, it was time to get a new media playing machine.  Sure, the sound quality of the iPhone was borderline "sucks", but it was with me all the time and the mediocre sound was OK.  I wanted something different though.  I was done buying iPods.  I didn't want another iPod.  I didn't want to use iTunes.  I was sick of the lock-in, the mediocre sound and the horrible performing and limited software. So, when I saw an el cheapo Chinese no brand MP3 player on sale at Fry's, I decided to get it to give it a shot.  That is when my MP3 buying odyssey began.  Today, I did my final exchange and I'm happy with what I got.  So, here is a write up: But, most people don't buy music players for their sound -- as it is apparent from the millions of iPods being sold -- rather, people buy their music players for shine over sound.  (Though, with the iPod touch, it is more extraneous functionality over sound). Oh, and to make this post even longer, I played around with a lot of media management software because of iTunes' weaknesses (the UI is ass, the application is a bloated mess, and it supports nothing except iPods and iPhones).  The five I played around with were: So, while I am on the subject of media management software and iTunes, let me rant a little bit about iTunes.  iTunes is so 2001.  Sure, there has been a gahzillion releases since 2001, but not much has really changed about it.  It is almost the same 2001 iTunes app, but with lots of releases to emphasize the iTunes Store rather than general usability and performance.  The functionality of iTunes is woefully inadequate when compared to the five programs above -- I mean, how hard is it for Apple to add some support for anything outside of MP3 (which it was forced to have) and AAC (which it likes to force people to use)?  How about some love for OGG?  Or FLAC?  Or maybe, since it handles videos, some love for XviD or DivX?  Hrm.  Maybe even do what Media Monkey and Media Jukebox do:  Have some on-the-fly transcoding functionality for media files that the iPod cannot handle? Better yet, why is it that iTunes is a 65MB download and can't do some of the stuff that Media Monkey can do -- Media Monkey being a 6.5MB download.  Is iTunes ten times larger because it can do video?  Meh.  Apple has become complacent with iTunes.  It has let it bloat up and become near unusable -- and Apple's only focus seems to be improving the iTunes Store rather than the app itself.  Shame on you Apple. Anyways, that was my long-winded post about portable media players and media management software -- and maybe a rant about how there is life outside of iPod/iPhone/iTunes. What do you use?  Are you an iPod+iTunes user?  Have you switched recently?