iPod rivals: Hot and happening!

Posted by Hitarth Jani | 7:25 PM | 0 comments »

Looking for a digital player to carry around music from your massive collection, but not really an iPod-freak. Don't want to jump on to the almost ubiquitous digital bandwagon. Don't worry, there's choices galore.

For those wanting to steer clear of the legion of iPods, there are several alternatives, from names such as SanDisk Corp, Creative Technology and Microsoft. Styles and colours abound in these digital media players.

Here's looking into some options beyond the almost all pervasive iPod.

Creative Zen Vision M

Here's Creative's rival to video iPod, a video player with 2.5-inch colour screen.

Available in five colours, the Creative Zen Vision M features a customisable shortcut button, and supports a wide range of online music stores and subscription services.

The player which comes with a rechargeable battery delivers playtimes up to four hours with video and up to 14 hours with music and can store up to 15,000 songs or up to 120 hours of video on its hard disk.

Also packs an FM radio and voice recorder. The player can also be connected to the TV to share images and videos. The 30 GB Zen Vision M supports JPEG, MPEG-1/2/4, WMV, DivX, and XviD formats with an estimated 4.5 hours of showtime.

Microsoft Zune

For the brand conscious, Microsoft Zune can be an ideal choice. Software giant's 30GB, wi-fi-equipped music and video player comes with an FM tuner and supports MP3 and WMA music files, as well as WMV, MPEG-4 and H.264 video files.

With bright 3" LCD screen, the player lets users browse the Zune Marketplace to access millions of songs. Users can also wirelessly share selected full-length sample tracks, playlists and pictures.

Measuring 4.4 X 2.4 X .6-inches, the player can run up to 14 hours on a single charge. The player is equipped with a circular navigational pad that allows users to both 'flick' through options like on a touch screen or flip through choices.

Zune is available in 4, 8, 16, 30, and 80 GB storage capacity.

Philips SA6185

Here's one from the traditional consumer electronics player. Philips SA6185 8GB features a 3.5 inch LCD display with QVGA resolution of 320 x 240 pixels in 65,000 colours, a built-in microphone and an FM radio.

With 8GB memory, the player supports up to 20 hours of music playback or 5 hours of video playback with built-in rechargeable battery.

The 153 gram player supports all popular formats including MP3, wav, WMA for audio and WMV for video and can be charged directly from your PC via USB.

Creative Zen

Small on size, the Creative Zen MP4 Player has a 2.5" TFT display and weighs 67 gm. The ultra-compact media player available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB storage capacity can store up to hundreds of photos, up to 2,000 songs and supports 32 hours of video and 25 hours of continuous music playback.

The player has a built-in microphone, an FM radio with 32 presets and 8 equalizers and an SD card expansion slot. It can also sync with Microsoft Outlook allowing users to transfer their calendar, contacts and task lists.

The model support all popular formats including MPEG, MP3, DivX and Xvid. The player also supports iTunes Plus tracks from the iTunes store, in addition to MP3 and WMA music tracks. It is also compatible with music subscription services such as Napster To Go and Rhapsody.

Samsung P2

Here's a touchy-feely option from the Korean cheabol, Samsung. Samsung P2 comes with a 3" touch-screen and measures 0.4" in width and weighs just 82 grams.

The player comes with a built-in FM tuner, Bluetooth audio streaming, photo viewer, video playback, FM radio and support for subscription of music and datacast services.

With 4 GB and 8 GB memory capacity, the player's rechargeable battery provides up to 30 hours of playback and comes loaded with music management software. Samsung P2 supports several popular audio-video formats including MP3, WMA and WMA DRM music formats and JPEG, MJPEG, AVI, MPEG4 AVC, MPEG4 XviD, DivX and WMV.

Sandisk Sansa View

Sandisk Sansa View 16 GB Here's your option from Apple's closest rival, the US-based Sandisk. The company remodeled its Sansa View, giving it a thin, candy-bar shape.

Sandisk Sansa View with 2.4" LCD screen (320x240 pixels) can hold up to 4,000 songs in its 16 GB of memory, double of that of the biggest iPod Nano. It is available in 8, 16, 32 GB memory capacity.

The 8.8mm thin Sansa View features music, photos, FM radio and audio books. The player supports playback of H.264, WMV and MPEG4 encoded videos. For additional storage capacity, the Sansa View has a microSDHC slot that supports storage up to 24GB.

For the navigation, Sansa View offers users a backlit scroll wheel.

Transcend T.Sonic 320

T.Sonic media player sport 1.5 inch dual-colour OLED screen and is available in 2GB and 4GB of storage memory capacity.

The player packs FM Radio, digital recording features, built-in microphone and external microphone. Available in three colours, Orchid, white and black, the player also has a playlist builder, clock and Karaoke-type lyrics display.

Measuring 85.5 mm x 25.5 mm x 13 mm, the T.sonic 320 supports for 13 languages, USB flash drive, 7 equalizer effects and built-in USB 2.0 connector.

The player support several popular formats including WMA, WMA-DRM10 and WAV.