Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

SanDisk Releases New iPod rival 401

codemachine writes "SanDisk has released its new iPod rival: the new Sansa e280 music player. It has twice the capacity of the iPod nano at a similar price. Even better, it can be expanded through its mini-SD slot, and comes with an FM tuner. The device is said to work well with both Windows and Linux, without adding any drivers. Some work on reverse engineering this product line has already begun. Might this be a great alternative MP3 player for Linux users?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

SanDisk Releases New iPod rival

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:05PM (#15963131)
    The wax cylinders I listened to as a kid sound so much better than anything today.

    Then again, it could just be my hearing is shot from all that fighting in the Great War.
  • Linux users? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <> on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:05PM (#15963132) Homepage Journal
    There is so much to comment on here - I have no idea where to start!

    First - FTFA:

    Includes the Sansa Media Converter to support all picture and video formats

    All video formats? (raises eyebrow?) I f#cking doubt it. How about DRMd WMV9? I doubt it can handle HD content too!

    Minimum System Requirements

            * Windows XP
            * Windows Media Player 10+

    Uh-huh. Good linux support there!

    Lastly, FTFS:

    Might this be a great alternative MP3 player for Linux users?

    Linux users have better support for iPods than windows itunes users do - they can copy songs off the iPod to another computer (without stupid third party addons, weird hacks, or scary warnings). They can also use iPods that with HFS filesystems. All seamlessly.

    I guess it could be argued that most linux users would prefer a music player from a company that doesn't push DRM heavily (but sandisk pushes DRM as much as Apple does.

    Still, twice the space & lighter than the equivilant ipod. Sounds if not good, then less crap. Let's hope their rockbox strategy works - that would really make a difference.
    • by enzoten ( 997301 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:26PM (#15963316) Homepage
      The Sansa e200 is MSC compliant it will work with any OS. There are plenty of users using it on Ubuntu and OSX! Here is an example of a Ubuntu user posted in the ABi Sansa Forums []. So maybe you need to educate yourlesf before posting.
    • I have owned a Sansa e200 series player. It is a good music player (sans ogg), and works well with linux as a drag and drop player. It does have its limitations. Unless you know alot more about mencoder than i do, you wont be using movies on it. You have to convert them to .avi, rotate them 90 degrees, cut them into 10 minute blocks, resize and respeed them. I loved it, but I honestly don't like having to use nautalis to get music on and off the player. I switched to an iPod due to how many music players
    • by repvik ( 96666 )
      You too can copy songs off the iPod to another computer. Just don't install the stupid iTunes shit on your PC.
    • third party addons (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Udo Schmitz ( 738216 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:41PM (#15963433) Journal
      "Linux users have better support for iPods than windows itunes users do - they can copy songs off the iPod to another computer (without stupid third party addons, weird hacks, or scary warnings)."

      Hmmmm, as there is no official iPod software for Linux users at all, I'd say all Linux software to use iPods would fall under "stupid third party addons" and "weird hacks", no?

    • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:44PM (#15963478)
      I went to the additonal information and downloaded the user guide..

      The player has two modes. One mode is like an external USB drive and supports MP3's. That should work just fine for Linux. Two drives will show. One is the internal memory and the other is the SD card.

      The other mode the player supports if for subscription services and uses Windows DRM. For Linux users this is a useless feature along with the Windows requirement and anything secure WMA files.

      Thought you should know.

      The section in the manual covers some FAQ's including why some DRM WMA files won't play and some stuff of expiration of files by the copyright holders.. Funny these are features of the Microsoft Plays for Sure stuff.

      I think I'll stick to MP3's as they play for sure.

      I'm not so sure about the Microsoft's Plays for Sure content. It sounds like it might not play for sure.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      Linux users have better support for iPods than windows itunes users do
      Bull poppy- coo doo doo!

      Linux users do not in any way have better support for iPods than windows.

      Ipod shuffle Purchased for my wife based on claims like yours last christmas. Under ubuntu it will not synch the music to save my life. I tried several different ipod sync systems that were not command line and thaey all fail to do it reliably.

      From all the research I did to try and get the damn thing to work I was not alone and many
    • by xtracto ( 837672 )
      All video formats? (raises eyebrow?) I f#cking doubt it. How about DRMd WMV9? I doubt it can handle HD content too!

      Seriously people, it is not too difficult just to see at the specifications list:

      Supports Subscription Music Stores

      I suppose that the support for all the media types is by converting from whatever media to a compatible type tough
  • It sounds interesting but I'm still frustrated by the lack of support for Ogg format in consumer electronics. I recently had to re-rip a bunch of my CDs into MP3 format in order to take them on a one month car trip. I couldn't find an car CD players that understood Ogg.
    • by ConsumerOfMany ( 942944 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:11PM (#15963184)
      Yes, it is truly amazing that major electronics manufacturers haven't taken the time to adopt a format that a minuscule percentage of their target audience uses to encode their music. I also cant believe no one make a wheel chair accessible treadmill. Bastards.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by geekoid ( 135745 )
        You make a good point, but because it would be royalty free, you would think manufactures would start including it in an attempt to begin replacing mp3. Since the change wouldn't cost the users anything, it would be in the manufacturers best interest to do this together.
        • by Llywelyn ( 531070 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:30PM (#15963343) Homepage
          It is in the manufacturer's "best interest" to support what their customers want.
          • by geekoid ( 135745 )
            And if they can do so at reduced costs?

            Consumers don't want vorbis or mp3, they want music.

            How the manufacturers deliver that music to them is up to the manufacturers.
            My point was that with an aye on the future, begining to suppport ogg now can save the manufaturers money later.
            • by badasscat ( 563442 ) <basscadet75@yahF ... m minus language> on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @03:25PM (#15964799)
              Consumers don't want vorbis or mp3, they want music.

              I'm pretty sure they want mp3 []. Depending on which server you hit at that link, you'll get anywhere from 785,000,000 to 1,085,000,000 results.

              Vorbis, on the other hand, has only around 12,000,000 results.

              I think in this case, it's wrong to assume that customers don't know or care what format they're using. In order to even *have* mp3's, most people would have had to make a conscious decision to either rip or acquire them that way - because none of the major label-supported download services offer that format (I know, Emusic does), and the two biggest library/ripping apps (iTunes and WMP) rip to other formats by default.

              In fact, the "industry" has been actively trying to kill off mp3 for years now, because of the DRM issue. Windows Media 8 or 9 didn't even include mp3 ripping as an option at all until people complained, and then the initial "fix" only let you rip at up to 64kbps. Apple and MS have both been hyping their own formats as sounding better than mp3 (which is, on average, bullshit []). And the record industry won't put any of their music on the market in the format.

              Device manufacturers, though, have learned the hard way that not supporting mp3 is a death knell. Sony was forced to support it after their non-mp3 DAPs failed to even make a dent in the market. And this was back when it still wasn't clear who was going to win the DAP war; Apple was the early leader but it still seemed like anyone's game. Sony threw their chance away by not supporting mp3 from the start; they've never recovered from that blunder. The lead Apple built while Sony's early players languished on the market is now pretty much insurmountable.

              Meanwhile, MS is about to dump their unsuccessful Windows Media format with the Zune; or at least, they haven't committed to it one way or another. They will be supporting mp3, however, because you don't beat the iPod by refusing to support the biggest format out there.

              All of this shows that consumers sure do know what format they want their music in and that format is mp3. In fact, most people still buy CD's and rip their own music to mp3 themselves.

              Device manufacturers will start to support vorbis I'd imagine when the public decides that's what it wants to use... which means never.

              I know some people have some sort of philosophical/political attachment to ogg vorbis as a non-proprietary codec. But you should take your victories where you can, and you should look at the popularity of mp3 in that light. It may be a proprietary format but for users, it is also an unencumbered, universally-supported format. Users are choosing it over the even more tightly controlled formats favored by Microsoft, Apple and the RIAA. And they're bucking predictions of mp3's demise that have been made by analysts for years and continue to be made today. It's just never going to happen.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            "It is in the manufacturer's "best interest" to support what their customers want."

            So why do they bother including support for DRM'ed Microsoft formats? Seriously who wants that rubbish, but just about every new portable player includes it.
        • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )
          "You make a good point, but because it would be royalty free, you would think manufactures would start including it in an attempt to begin replacing mp3."

          Probably because the engineering design and development costs, plus (potentially) the additional hardware costs to support another format, far exceed the royalties paid. What if adding Ogg bumps your firmware size from 256KB to 512KB? This may not seem like much, but back when I interned for Lucent's Business Communications Systems division (now Avaya) i
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Secrity ( 742221 )
            In the old tube days, manufacturers bought tube bases that had only the exact number of pins that were actually used by the tube in order to save a penny per radio. If a particular octal (8 pin) based tube only used 5 pins, only 5 of the 8 holes in the socket had pins. It adds up, 5 tube sockets per radio x 1 cents per socket x 1,000 radios = $50.00. Then there was the 5 cents saved by using cardboard on the back of the radio instead of masonite, which saved another $50.00 per radio. Pinch pennies, coun
      • I also cant believe no one make a wheel chair accessible treadmill.

        Don't give up hope! []

    • I like my music lossless. Where's the Flac support????
      • Lossless?!

        Anyone who cares that much about music quality would never let their music touch a device like this. There is no way lossless would be of any help with the puny opamp output stage in this type of player.

        Besides, I'm willing to bet you can't tell the difference anyway vs high rate ogg (unless you own some HD650s or something, but even then..)
    • Again, Rockbox (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bleaked ( 609151 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:18PM (#15963252)
      In case you're still not aware, Rockbox [] enables my nano to seamlessly play ogg, flac, mp3, and several other formats. Not only that, but the playback is gapless, has beautiful cross-fading, and quite a few additional features.

      I highly recommend it. :D


      • Re:Again, Rockbox (Score:4, Insightful)

        by debilo ( 612116 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:46PM (#15963506)
        In case you're still not aware, Rockbox enables my nano to seamlessly play ogg, flac, mp3, and several other formats. Not only that, but the playback is gapless, has beautiful cross-fading, and quite a few additional features.

        Yeah, Rockbox is a fantastic project and I would just love to try it out -- if it weren't for a major problem: the code hasn't been optimised for low power consumption. From the web site []: Battery life is significantly less than the Apple firmware.

        I wouldn't mind the other known flaws/bugs, but a high battery life is a must for me. I'll install Rockbox as soon as that has been ironed out.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bleaked ( 609151 )

          Indeed, battery life is huge. For me though, I didn't have much of a choice, since 90% of my music is ogg or flac.

          In my personal experience, I got about 10 or 10.5 hours at best with the apple firmware. With Rockbox, I receive about 8-9 hours reliably (sometimes over 10!), playing ogg (eats more juice -- inherent with ogg), with a skin (default is ugly), backlight (4 seconds, faded), and mostly continuous (I play it all day at work, but shut it off during my lunch break). Which for me, is pretty damn g

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            ogg playback on RockBox gives you better battery life than mp3 playback on RockBox.
            An ideal ogg decoder might need more horsepower than an ideal mp3 decoder, but RockBox's ogg decoder is much faster than its mp3 decoder.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Mr. Jaggers ( 167308 )
          It's not too bad (at least on a 4g). My problems lie more along the lines of stability. It does lock up occasionally and need to be rebooted (then I just load up my playlist again, and on I go). That's annoying. It stayed alive through a five hour flight with a clip-on pair of bigger-than-stupid-white-aspirins headphones at high volume (to drown out airplane noise). I suspect that battery life is somewhere between a half and a third of normal battery life.

          Important thing to remember, too, is that I got my
      • I tried Rockbox on my 60 GB video iPod and soon enough removed it. I'm all for open source iPod software, but rockbox, at least on a video iPod, is no where near ready for prime time. I'm not even going to get into just how amazingly awful the UI and overall design is (so bad it makes you yearn for proprietary software), I'm just going to talk about playing music. Almost every song I played played back with periodic hiccups throughout. Perhaps it's gapless between tracks, but in the middle of them it likes
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cbhacking ( 979169 )
      I just bought an iRiver T30. It's tiny and light; much of its weight is the replacable AAA battery (up to 24 hours per charge). One reason to choose iRiver: Ogg Vorbis support. I don't think it does FLAC, but might (I don't have any files to test it) and it should support WMA Lossless. Don't know about AAC or M4A. Many iRiver players have FM tuners too.

      I also like the audio quality, not that I'm any kind of audiophile. Pretty good equalizer options, including SRS WOW support and user-customizable EQ. I have
      • I've got one as well, but a word of warning to other's considering the T30. Models sold in America and Europe (generally) do not "function like a USB device" - i.e. as a UMS - USB Mass Storage device, though the version sold elsewhere in the world apparently does. Instead, they use MTP (Microsoft's Terrible Protocol ;) making it generally a pig to get working with Linux. (I'm sure google or wikipedia will give you the real definition ;-)
        Models sold elsewhere (Asia, etc.) apparently are shipped as proper UMS devices.
        It's possible to flash it's firmware to "fix" this, and making it a proper UMS device, but in doing so, I believe you lose the ability to play DRMd music. (That's what I've done with mine.) Google will give you a link.
        I've also got a T20 - same issues, though not tried flashing it yet.
    • A peek in the downloadable user manual mentions support for MP3, WMA, and secure WMA audio formats.

      As much as I like Ogg. I still rip to MP3 because everything plays it including my DVD player.

  • by A. Bosch ( 858654 ) < c o m> on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:06PM (#15963142) Homepage
    ...Interestingly, the battery is user-replacable. Apple, please take note!
    • Why should Apple take note? It's trivial to change the battery in an iPod. Took me 5 minutes...
    • If you want them to take note--don't buy products that don't satisfy your requirements. Otherwise, suffer with what you've bought.
    • by klang ( 27062 )
      so, you want an iPod with a silvercolor plastic latch on the back, so you can replace the battery once in a blue moon?

      I will go for style any day and live without that latch. Me, and most other iPod owners, are never really away from a plug for 12 hours of listening time.

      There are lots of battery packs out there, that will solve the energy problem people might have on the road. There are even a few solar panels for people who venture off the beaten path.

  • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:07PM (#15963146) Homepage Journal
    Does it have the bright white "please rob me" earbuds?
    • by normal_guy ( 676813 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:51PM (#15963557)
      I prefer the term bright white "I just bought a $300 music player and I'm listening to my shitty 128kb MP3s with the free shitty $5 earbuds that came with it."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by djeca ( 670911 )
        Right, because the enjoyment you get out of a music player is solely dependent on its ability to reproduce every last frequency component and dynamic detail of the audio file. What about the emotional content? What about the freedom of being able to listen to anything you have in your collection, anywhere you are?

        Honestly, I think you audiophile freaks would be happy listening to a 200Hz test signal, as long as it was reproduced perfectly...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by normal_guy ( 676813 )
          Oh, I agree with all of those things. I'm willing to sit through an episode of the Simpsons with a little static on the TV because it's funny and I enjoy it enough to ignore the lack of fidelity. I'm not saying the earbud users aren't enjoying their entire collection of tunes, or are unsatisfied with the sound quality. I'm just saying that if _I_ were to buy a cutting-edge $3k HDTV it would be silly of me to sit around watching distant broadcast signals with rabbit ears when an HD Tivo adds only ten perc
  • Fatal flaw (Score:5, Funny)

    by pr0nbot ( 313417 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:08PM (#15963155)
    Rather than an iPod rival, they should have released an iPod killer. Doomed to failure.

    I'll leave the "no wifi, meh" quotes to others!
  • So What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:09PM (#15963160)
    I don't use my iPod + iTunes because it is cheaper than anything else. I use it because it "just works". All of the media available on the Music Store don't hurt either.

    I haven't read the article, but what software do you use to add songs to this player? I doubt it uses iTunes, and I doubt it is as simple as moving a directory over to it.
    • Re:So What? (Score:5, Informative)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:18PM (#15963241) Homepage Journal
      I haven't read the article, but what software do you use to add songs to this player? I doubt it uses iTunes, and I doubt it is as simple as moving a directory over to it.

      hmm. let's look at the manual.

      To delete a photo in MSC mode, connect your Sansa to your computer and go to My Computer and delete the photo in Removable Disk/Photo/My Album and in Removable Disk/Photo/Thumbnails/My Album.

      The documentation claims that you need the software, but... I doubt it. They're not Apple :) SanDisk is a (the?) leading manufacturer of consumer-targeted flash products. I think they're unlikely to make that mistake.

      • by joe 155 ( 937621 )
        as far as I understand it from what I reads on the register the other day (although I can't find the article now) it does seem that you'll be able to copy files without the need for software, much as you can with pretty much every mp3 player on the market, which is my prefered choice for doing these things...

        If you really want a manager for something like this though I bet there will be one which works with linux created (if it doesn't come with it). Gnomad 2 might even work with it
      • by demigod ( 20497 )
        SanDisk is a (the?) leading manufacturer of consumer-targeted flash products. I think they're unlikely to make that mistake.

        Flawed logic, look;

        Microsoft is a (the?) leading manufacturer of consumer-targeted software products. I think they're unlikely to make that mistake.

    • I'm pretty sure most of the non-ipod mp3 players are basically usb-sticks with mp3 players attached that can figure out what things are. In that respect, ipod db is actually inferior to a regular mp3 player since you first have to load the song into itunes, then and only then will it be added to the player.

      I too use an ipod for my music playing, but it's because of aesthetics and the fact that I need to nothing more than plug it in and it automatically synchronizes with iTunes. If I was wiser, i'd have fo
    • Well, I did RTFA, and can say that, thanks FSM, it doesn't use iTunes. Yet it's as simple as moving a directory. Your head asplode.
    • From the user manual shortened and condensed;

      The player has two modes. One is like a USB drive. Non DRM MP3 and WMA files can be dragged and dropped.
      The other supports Microsoft DRM Plays for Sure. In that mode Windows Media Player on Windows XP is used to transfer secure WMA files.
  • No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. ;-)
  • alternative MP3 player for Linux

    Wrong placed PR on so many level... But, for once, we have arrived to a time in OS history when it's fashionable to market a product as being anything at all for Linux users :)
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:16PM (#15963232) Homepage Journal

    It's a Zune killer! 8^)

  • It's great that there is competition out there now for iPods but 95% of people who already own iPods just use iTunes to rip to AAC for their libraries and will never buy anything else that isn't compatible with all the hours they've invested in building their music libraries.
    • Exactly. And if that doesn't make the case for abuse of monopoly and the role DRM plays in that kind of abuse, I don't know what will.

      And all Apple would have to do to avoid those kind of accusations is to license FairPlay. But no, too tempting, all that power.
    • sigh.........

      AAC is just a format. Advanced Audio Codec played by apple some Sony players and a bunch of others. Its the audio portion of h.258 mpeg4. Lots of software player can play it.

      AAC+Fairplay is whay apple uses in its itunes music store.. It used to be trivial to remove and leave just an AAC file. Now you have to burn to CD and rip back, which is pretty fast, and you should backup anyway.

    • I would also like to point out that iTunes can rip to MP3 (Under Edit->Preferences->Advanced->Importing you can choose AAC, MP3, AIFF, Apple Lossless, and WAV... you can also choose the bitrate).

      I have mine set to MP3 at 160kbps... this way if I ever do get something other than an iPod (or my wife does) it's easy to switch. For instance, I've been looking at phones recently (my 2 year contract is almost up... and my phone is starting to die) and it's nice that a lot of phones nowadays come with M
  • by KokorHekkus ( 986906 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:19PM (#15963261)
    ...expansion slot. Less capacity and more expensive at the moment.
    • Yeah, considering the size of this device I don't know why they didn't just use regular SD cards. Cheap as hell and super-huge.

      Although the form factor of MicroSD makes it easy to carry a bunch of them. Which you will need to do in order to get more than 2 GB.
    • yep, roughly double
      2gb micro sd []
      2 gb mini sd []

      what's wrong with SD? We used it on PDAs for years (still do) and now it's cheap, fast and common. Seems like they come out with a new format every year.

  • by 192939495969798999 ( 58312 ) <info&devinmoore,com> on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:22PM (#15963280) Homepage Journal
    If you buy this for your girlfriend, she'll just look at you funny. (yes, i know, its /., bear with me) If you buy her an ipod, though, she'll pretty much have to (tm).
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      She'll pretty much have to look at you funny? Huh?
    • by xtracto ( 837672 )
      Yah, make fun of it all you want but my girlfriend has had the idea of getting an Ipod. I have told that, if I gave her an mp3 player it wont be an apple because I refuse to pay the "look I al cool" factor for an overprized gizmo. I would certaintly buy a iRiver product (I still have my slim iMP400 which had EXCHANGABLE BATTERIES9, i am not in USA so the "warranty" is an issue).

      Of course from the sight she gave to me it was clear that, if I buy her something else than an Ipod, it will just be "ok" whereas
  • Specs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by coolgeek ( 140561 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:24PM (#15963298) Homepage
    Notably absent are any specs on the unit at all. I was interested in the dimensions of the actual unit. The closest thing I could come up with were some figures in the user guide that appear to indicate that the device is about twice as thick as an iPod Nano. Hardly an iPod rival. Apple will be bumping up the Nano line any time now.
  • First: Linux? It runs off of WMA 10.
    Second: Great job on doubling the storage and making it expandable, while keeping at the same price point.
    Third: My real question. How big is it? I looked all over the San Disk site, but to no avail for dimensions. I have an iPod Nano because it's small and durable. And is shaped in a way that I feel comfortable with it in my pocket.

    This thing will definately compete with the Nano if it's about the same size, but even at twice the size or thickness, and people may

  • by Redbaran ( 918344 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:27PM (#15963318)
    This player uses microSD, not miniSD. The max capacity for a microSD chip last I checked was 1gb.

    Pros of this player over a nano:
    • Twice the capacity
    • Memory expansion (although limited)
    • No hacks to play video
    • larger screen
    • battery cam be replaced
    • FM Radio and recording
    • microphone (though I could care less)
    • competition for the nano

    • a little thicker
    • not as slick (ie the mechanical scroll wheel)
    • not as many accessories (just try to find an arm strap and case!)
    • I'm told the video compression it uses when stored on the player isn't that good.
    • can only store music on the microSD card, not pictures or movies
    All the user reviews I've read seem positive on the whole and a lot of people like it better then nano's they've owned or bought for the wife/girlfriend, etc.

    Looks worth a look though.
  • As previous posts mentioned, it doesn't seem to be capable of playing "open" formats. It's just another me-too product, nothing to see here...
    IMHO, trying to compete with the iPod purely on technical things (size, capacity, price and the like) is futile (at least for now), the iPod is just too desirable of a product. Won't stop people from trying though...
  • I welcome... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daeg ( 828071 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:31PM (#15963353)
    I welcome any MP3 player for Windows that doesn't (a) hijack my file associations (b) install at least two services that launch on startup (c) freeze my entire system if the device is unexpectedly unplugged (d) try to re-invent my GUI to look like another OS using non-accessible controls (e) allow me to easily access the device itself without crazy hacks and (f) uninstall cleanly.

    Works better on Mac, I know :-)
  • iPod rival doesn't mean iPod killer, and mod me down for this if you want, but this one definitly does not look like one iPod killer.
  • Good:
    - looks good
    - included radio
    - good capacity
    - expansion slot
    - user replaceable and rechargeable Lithium Ion battery
    - supports MP3
    - support of 'Secure WMA'

    - no Mac or Linux support
    - no FM-tuner is available in Europe
    - support of 'Secure WMA'
    - does not support AAC, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALE or OGG
  • I'm a geek. I tried one mp3 player long ago, the Rio PMP100? (it was the original parallel port version). It sucked. (If I have to enumerate the many ways it sucked you can be thankful you didn't own one.)

    After getting that foolishness out of my system I haven't seen anything yet that tempted me. I learned from my misadventure and swore not to buy a half assed solution again. Here is what I currently want out a replacement for my rapidly aging Minidisk player:

    1. Able to run rockbox well. It is the o
  • Having double the storage is not enough to beat the ipod. Hell, its not even the looks. Does it have an AAC codec to beat the ipod? Does it have the clarity of output like the ipod earbuds? The current iPod AAC codec is the best of the breed. iPod emerges as the top AAC codec in test []
    • > Does it have an AAC codec to beat the ipod?

      Then again, people like me couldn't give a rat's ass about AAC support at any quality. I don't have a single file in that format and aren't even sure if I could play one on my desktop, my xmms certainly doesn't have the plugin installed. Almost certain I couldn't encode one. As for the iTunes store, not only would I never buy DRM, I wouldn't buy lossy encodings at the prices they ask even if they were unencumbered.

      So tell me again why I care? For that matt
  • missing an AM tuner (Score:2, Interesting)

    by krell ( 896769 )
    If it had an AM tuner, I might look into it.
  • What? are you telling me the term ipod killer is getting replaced by ipod rival?
  • by cmay ( 687134 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:56PM (#15963613) Homepage
    I have had a 6GB Sansa e260 for a month+ and really really like it.

    I think it blows the ipod away

    Here is a short review I wrote up last month: ew.aspx []
  • by gsn ( 989808 )
    Video review of its immeadiate predecessor []

    DISCLAIMER : I will not claim at any point that this is the best player out there. I do wish to point out some of its features though to people who criticize players that have interfaces that aren't the same as the iPod.

    Nice iPodish menu, yes it has software hich is as simple as drag and drop. You cant complain about the player interface. What about the software? My karma has gone through the wringer before because of Apple fanboys who complain that players don't
  • "The device is said to work well with both Windows and Linux, without adding any drivers. ... Might this be a great alternative MP3 player for Linux users?"

    Don't go thinking it's just you linux guys that want stuff that doesn't require special software. Stuff that requires special software is a pain in the butt for many reasons.

    Generally, the only way for me to find good hardware for my Windows box - hardware that uses reasonably generic formats, connnectors, and software - is to look for the stuff that t
  • by Creosote ( 33182 ) * on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @01:23PM (#15963844) Homepage

    I'm one of those odd folks who uses a portable audio device almost solely for listening to podcasts and audiobooks. And it's clear that SanDisk has basically written us off.

    I've owned two versions of SanDisk's Digital Audio Player, the original 256MB version and the version 2 1GB model. Ironically, audiobook support decreased between the two versions. Version 1 supported Audible [] formats 2 through 4 (4 being the highest quality), Version 2 supports only 2 and 3. Version 1 would save your place in a file when you switched to the radio and back, Version 2 doesn't. Version 1 let you increase playback speed up to 130%, version 2 has no speed options. In other words, all of the spoken-word-friendly features were dropped.

    Now the e280 appears to have no support for Audible format (though it may be undocumented; I did check the full PDF User's Manual), no bookmarking or other features designed for long spoken-word files.

    My next MP3 device purchase is going to be an iPod Nano. Sorry, SanDisk, you've lost me.

  • by podperson ( 592944 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @01:44PM (#15964013) Homepage
    And someone has produced a pretty credible knockoff with a couple of bonus features 99% of users won't use or care about.

    1) It looks quite nice.

    2) It probably won't sell very well anyway.

    3) Apple's replacement for the Nano will quite likely be nicer in ways Sandisk hasn't anticipated.

    Oh well, let's see what they produce 18 months from now.
  • Sansa e200 series (Score:4, Informative)

    by bilbravo ( 763359 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @01:47PM (#15964043) Homepage
    I own a Sansa e250, which is the 2GB version of this player. The only major problem I have with it is that I didn't get the 4gb or 6gb version that were out at the time!

    I can mount it as a drive in Linux, drag and drop music to it, viola!

    The video playback may be a gimmick, but it isn't bad. Also, the FM reception leaves much to be desired... the sound is decent, but the range isn't very good.

    All in all, this is a great line of players. The design was well thought out, menus are very attractive, the wheel is somewhat clunky but I think it is easier to use than the "touch" wheel that everyone goes ga-ga over (including my fiance, she loves her iPod). It's mechanical, and I feel like I have more control over it.

    Hope my own testimonial can help someone decide if they like this player.
  • Satellite Radio (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lodragandraoidh ( 639696 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @02:27PM (#15964329) Journal
    I've always wanted an IPod...but my wife has been talking about satellite radio - so I took a look at what was available.

    Not only do they provide a satellite reciever, but the units also come with USB connectivity and an MP3 player capability - in additiona to docking stations for automobiles. You can upload your music to the machine and listen to it, and you can save satellite programming as MP3 for later download (reverse pod-cast?).

    She is particularly interested in satellite radio because she doesn't care to sit down and find pod-casts, or music online --- she just wants to spin a dial and get a selection of music and talk radio on the fly. She also saw the benefit of being able to save what was currently playing to share with me - so she doesn't have to remember all the details to harange me by word-of-mouth later on - she can just put it on my multimedia server on my upload directory - so my player can automagically slirp it up (oh joy...).

    At least I know what to get her for her birthday this year. I think I'll stick with an MP3 player myself - when I save enough money to get one.
  • by pestie ( 141370 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @02:49PM (#15964514) Homepage
    For what it's worth, I have a SanDisk SDMX1 MP3/WMA player [] (256M version) and it's really pretty nice. The physical design is no marvel of engineering, but it worked flawlessly with Linux with no effort. It appears as a standard USB mass storage device. It's got an FM tuner and voice recorder (only records WAV format, though), too. The best part is that I paid $15 (yes, fifteen dollars) for it on Woot [] a couple weeks ago. Hell of a deal. I bought one for my girlfriend, too (and only paid $5 shipping for the whole order).

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.