questionswhat mp3 player should i get?

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I'm interested to see what answers you get. I love my iPod touch. Mostly because it has direct integration with my car stereo - I can press a button on my radio and the radio can take control of the iPod. Makes it easier to control while driving - skipping a track or pausing from the radio, and seeing the track name on the radio screen.

And of course that doesn't satisfy your MicroSD requirement, and they charge a ridiculous amount for extra storage.

I just like the way it handles the library and all the album artwork. And of course that it supports AAC, which is higher quality audio in less bandwidth than MP3 - I just re-ripped my CD collection to 192kbps AAC now that it's not so much an Apple-only format anymore.

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I'd like to see what others say, too.
As much as I hate Apple, the iPod classic is about the best thing out there in terms of sound quality, capacity, and battery life. The Zune should have competed with it, but it never caught on well enough.

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Battery life shouldn't be too much of an issue if you are going to be using a player mainly in your car. Just get a usb cigarette lighter charging device since most mp3 players can charge off of usb.

I think the new sansa's should be fine, if you actually read the reviews they complain about silly things a lot of the time.

If you are interested in an android based device, you might also want to consider a cheap android phone. There are a number of android phones that can be had for around 100 bucks without contract that can be then just used in airplane mode. Even a used phone might be a good option.

Also are you going to be hooking the mp3 player up to your cars stereo system?

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@portezbie: Yes, I'm hooking it directly through an aux port.

I hadn't thought about using a car charger for it honestly. My current player has a proprietary charger that wouldn't work and I've just been going forward under the same assumption. Still, I understand most Sansas also have proprietary chargers, is that correct?

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I was going to recommend an iPod touch or an Android based mp3 player, for the sake of having the option for apps, but you mention not having the interest. I keep my iPod touch in my car (getting a smart phone eliminated the need for apps on it) and it works fine. My car happens to have an iPod dock, which is nice. I leave it plugged into the car and it runs through the aux and charges it.

If your car lacks such a port but has an aux, consider getting a cigarette lighter/ USB thing if you have an open one. Then you can have the mp3 player plugged in through the aux and charging through the adapter.

In terms of a specific player, what capacity are you looking for? An iPod classic could be the way to go, or you could get a cheaper non-Apple/Android one with the same set up, and just use a SDHC card.

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@stark: go with a sansa clip. they can usually be found for less than $50, have a microsd slot and get great battery life. i got a sansa clip in a bag of crap a long time ago and absolutely love it. sure, the screen is very basic, but for just playing music, you really get the best bang for the buck.

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I have a 4" Samsung Galaxy and really like it but MP3s is just one small part of what it does. If you don't care about internet or aps the Sansa is probably a better fit for what it sounds like you want.
Note the 3.6" Galaxy doesn't have as nice of a screen as the 4" and I'm not sure if the battery is easily replaceable(I have a spare one for my 4" bought on Amazon for <$4), although at almost 1/2 what I paid for the 4" it sounds like it's more in your price range. Note the Galaxy uses a standard USB type charger(like used for cell phones). I tried a iPod but didn't like all the crap I had to go to just to get it working, so back it went(which was very hard to do in it's own right). I didn't start out as a Apple hater(never really had a opinion one way or the other) but after my iPod experience I'll probably never own another Apple product :(

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@carl669: I second this, as I bought the same mp3 player for use in the car and at the gym and couldn't be happier. I've been totally impressed by its sound, battery life and ease of use (love drag 'n' drop vs iTunes) and price. I think it's a safer option for connecting to a car stereo, since navigation is simple and having physical buttons that click when you press them keeps your eyes on the road more than a touchscreen player with a fancy display would. I prefer it for the gym because I don't want to get sweat and germy hands all over a larger screen. It also has the FM tuner that allows me to listen to the radio or tune in to the TV displays in the cardio area.

I'd upgraded to the Fuze for a short while, thinking the larger, color display and the ability to play other media would appeal to me, but didn't care for the interface as much. It took significantly longer to advance songs and the "iPod" control wheel was too sensitive.

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@stark: The Sansa family of mp3 players may have proprietary connections to some of the devices themselves, but I believe the other end is standard USB for all models. If you get a universal USB 12V/cigarette adapter, charging from your car shouldn't be an issue. I use the adapter from my old Palm Pre to charge both my HTC phone and Sansa mp3 player and it works great.

On a related, practical, note, the Sansa clip is small and can easily be hidden out of view from would-be thieves. Even if they do see it lying on the seat, they'd probably be less tempted to steal that than they would a touchscreen device. Buy one, already! ;)

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In-Car MP3 Player & Wireless FM Radio Transmitter for USB Flash Drive & SD Card with 12V Lighter Plug.

This is another alternative. Plug it into you lighter socket and keep your music on a microSD or USB stick and play the music through the radio. These can be found for under $20.

http://www.amazon.com/MMC-Wireless-Transmitter-Remote-Black/dp/B0016BVDIK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342639014&sr=8-1&keywords=lighter+socket+FM+transmitter

This one is only $3.96 on Amazon, but is an example only. There are better made ones that do not ship from Hong Kong.

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I'm a big fan of Creative mp3 players. I bought a hulking monster of one in college and used it for 5 years, and I really like their newer models. I currently have a Creative Zen X-Fi, and it has a speaker that really gets loud. I've dropped it, scratched it, done all sorts of damage and it still works 4 years later. The battery life is really good (I can listen for several 8-hr work shifts before charging). They may not necessarily have a lot of internal memory, but most models have slots for an SD or micro SD card.

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I 2nd the sansa clip...simple, effective, cheap, small....awesome.

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Another vote for the Sansa Clip from me; affordable and non-proprietary as far as downloads go.

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I use my Sansa Clips in my car all the time, and charge them with the cigarette lighter/usb all the time. The charger is not proprietary. Standard USB to mini USB. (The clip zip is micro usb.)