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October 18, 2005



I bought an MP3 player about a month ago to listen to podcasts during downtime at school (my PSP wasn't quite cutting it). The Nano made it to my short list, but ultimately I went with the 1GB iAudio U2:


For me, the Nano was kind of overkill. It was at least $50 more, I didn't need the extra space (which wouldn't be enough to hold all my audio anyway) or the iTunes integration, and the extra features (photos, calendar, etc) on the Nano are of no use to me.

Plus, this was just at the VERY beginning of the Nano scratching brouhaha (love that word), and I didn't want to spend all that extra money for something that would look all beat up a week later. And the U2 comes with a protective case.

So far I'm really happy with the U2.

Speaking of gadgets, any thoughts on the Gamepark devices?


I'm really starting to admire the hardware coming out of Korea.


The iAudio U2 reminds me of my iRiver. iRiver is pretty darn good and has many of these features... but the problem to me was the interface, using Windows Media to sync and the 512 megs ram (to a lesser extent).

I have to say I wish the nano in a way had FM, built in encoding and a mic - not necessarily in that order, but it doesn't. The iRiver like the U2 can do those things.

But the nano really excells in ways to play your music database which I have to say is very nice. But frankly more than the player interface, it' sthe software that comes with them to manage your collection that drives me nuts. And using Windows Media 10 sure is an excercise in frustration.

As for scratching, no contest, I am sure the U2 and certainly my iRiver outlast the iPod nano there.

I gotta say I underestimated what having more of your collection on the go can do... having 4 gigs is sure nice.

I'll read the Korean game thing later....


Damn, that looks pretty nice. I gotta say more than anything, I like the fact they welcome homebrew stuff. I mean really, that would be so nice of Nintendo and Sony if they did the same.

If they are worried about bad quality software just make another label under which games can be published. The PSP could just use memory stick duos to publish... dunno what Nintendo could use but I wish they opened their platforms.


You don't have to use WiMP to load music on to the U2; it just shows up as a USB drive in Explorer. But like I said, I'm only using it for podcasts, which means I download them, drop them on the player, listen to them once, and then delete them. If you need anything more sophisticated, iTunes is by far the champion.

I think that if Sony just enabled the Flash support in the PSP browser, it would solve 99% of peoples' homebrew needs. (And by extension, ameliorate the crack-patch-crack-patch-crack cycle Sony got themselves into.) The browser they're using apparently supports Flash as an option, but it's not included with the PSP release. You can kind of do some stuff with Javascript, but Flash is definitely a better environment. I'm too cynical to believe the reason is anything other than money: if people can get small, quick, _decent_ games for free using the PSP browser, it might cut into the UMD licensing gravy train.

That's one of the reasons I'm liking what I see from Korea; they seem more willing in general to allow people to use their hardware however they want, instead of really trying to lock it down and control it like Sony and some other companies do. I think even Sony's MP3 players still require you to go through their goofy proprietary software to get stuff loaded on them. (But don't quote me on that.)

At least they gave up the ATRAC battle.

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