Product Review: Sandisc Sansa MP3 Player

I was sort of resisting the portable MP3 player revolution. I do still have a soft spot for hard media. I was sad when the LP succumbed to cassettes and finally CDs. But I grew to like CDs and I certainly have collected enough of them over the years. I always liked holding the sleeve in my hands and looking at it while I listened. Now, the best you get is a postage stamp size image in the window of your digital media player, and it just ain't the same. However, that's my only gripe, and since I got a little Sandisk Sansa portable MP3 player, it hasn't left my side for a moment. When Santa asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I said "iPod", but Santa gets a little confused when it comes to technology, so I got a healthy sized Best Buy gift card instead. This worked out even better, since I'd since decided that I really didn't want an iPod, that is the actual Apple product, I wanted a different brand. I'm not the world's biggest fan of Apple products and to use and iPod you need iTunes installed and I've tried iTunes - it kept crashing my computer and wreaking havoc so I ditched it. After browsing the selection of doo-dads at Best buy for awhile, I decided on the 2 GB Sansa E250R - it's sleek, black and sexy and bulit for durability. I take it in the car and it hooks up through the cassette adapter. I take it to work and listen on a pair of little accessory speakers. I listen on the big comfy headphones whilst drifting off at night. It's always in my pocket, ready to fire up in case a dull moment should occur. I've been changing the songs on it daily. It's a fun new obsession. The interface is Windows-like and easy to use. It holds videos, photos, and even gets FM radio. Most interestingly, it came with 2 months of free Rhapsody service. I think I'm going to have to somehow squeeze it into the budget. For $14.95 a month you get unlimited access to millions of songs and complete albums by every artist you can think of in any genre. It's like having a complete catalog of the history of popular music at your disposal. You just click and drag the titles you want either onto your computer hard drive or directly onto your MP3 player. Best of all, you can download Rhapsody Channels in dozens of different genres - they update automatically every time you plug your Sansa into the computer and each channel contains about 6-8 hours of music by different artists in that genre. My favorite is "Computer World" which consists of robotic synthpop from classic to modern - Kraftwerk, OMD, Devo, Goldfrapp, The Knife - some of the selections are downright obscure and even I have been turned on to some new music. It's like a long, excellent mix tape from someone who knows your musical tastes to a tee. There are also endless playlists you can download that were put together by various musicians and celebrities - Robert Smith picked Muse, Cocteau Twins, and Iggy Pop among others. Even just browsing Rhapsody is hours of endless fun. I've only had the little bugger for a few weeks now, but I honestly can't imagine life without it. I don't think I will give up on buying CDs quite yet - if it's an album I really love, I simply must own a hard copy. I'll be thrilled if the music industry or someone finds a way to tie in sleeve art and liner notes into the digital music experience. In the meantime, I'll be content not to have to carry piles of CDs around in the car and to and from work - I have all my music right here in my pocket.


Santa had the same delima at our house so he told friends and family to give Best Buy cards to my husband and then we went to Best Buy to go pick out an IPOD and the sales lady told us not to buy one because it was the number one thing returned to their store. She suggested a Zune and that's what my husband decided to get. So far he has no complaints.
You must tell me how you got rid of itunes. I do not know how it got onto my computer, but i know that it refuses to go away and i hate it all the more for its tenacity.

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