The Creative Zen thing Helen bought me lasted about 12 hours. I dropped it on the wooden floor of our hallway and it broke. The inherent fragility of a spinning hard disk in a small portable player puts me off them.
The Nano, cracked
And my Nano broke, too – the interior screen cracked and spread the LCD black goo over the inside like an ink cloud, making the display unreadable. Helen’s never had a problem with her iPod – apart from having to replace the battery – but I’m a little more careless with them, I guess.
So now I have a SanDisk 6Gb player for about the price of a Nano – but the battery life’s better and is replaceable, it plays formats other than MP3 and has a built-in sound recorder. And its memory is Flash-based. And its casing is considerably more robust than the Nano, the thin consumptive weakling beside the Sansa’s sturdy frame. I’ve already dropped it several times and sat on it. It’s working fine – and, unlike the Nano, it doesn’t scratch easily.
Now I have another problem. I’ve switched to Ubuntu and AmaroK is recommended as an iTunes replacement but AmaroK doesn’t recognise my MP3 player. It recognises iPods, apparently, but not my SanDisk. And in order to mount the device I have to switch he SanDisk player into a mode which doesn’t allow me to transfer playlists. Then again, reading the Wikipedia page about it, I see that
Integrated iPod, iRiver iFP, njb, MTP, Rio Karma and USB devices with VFAT (default MP3 players) support is claimed…
Perhps I don’t know what I’m doing. There’s a strong possibility of that. If anyone’s solved the problem or has another solution, do let me know.