Friday, December 15, 2006

Evil MP3 players

I have owned 3 MP3 players so far:

1. A Transcend that ate headphones all the time. I'd use headphones for a little while, and then one of them (or half of it) would stop working. After breaking 4 cheap headphones that way I brought the damn thing back to Verkkokauppa. This lovely thing for some reason always started from the first song when you turned it on, and sometimes skipped to the beginning of the playlist all by itself.

2. Verkkokauppa was out of Transcend and gave me an iLyn that was really great at reproducing a broken LP effect and did this all the time. Not being a great friend of broken LPs I brought it back to Verkkokauppa.

3. They gave me another iLyn. This fine device was at least mostly usable. At first its only problem was an occasional refusal to play anything, which was always fixed by traditional methods such as rebooting. In addition it sometimes skips little bits of songs, or entire songs. These are always the same songs, except that with time there becomes more of them. It's too late to bring it back to Verkkokauppa now.

In short, the most satisfying use one could get out of any of those three devices is shoving them up the ass of their manufacturer. I have started to wonder whether their small size and somewhat rounded shape reflects the fact that the idea has at least occurred to the manufacturer as well.

Is there such a thing as a properly working MP3 player, or do those things exist only in fairy tales? If anyone has seen any of those, can you tell me what it was? I want to know what to buy. (I would also like to know what not to buy, so any advice on that is also appreciated.)

What I want from an MP3 player:

- it should at least play MP3s. Ogg Vorbis is also nice but not really necessary.
- it should be able to record speech, too.
- it should have some way of showing the name of the file.
- it should not do stupid things like revert to the beginning of the playlist every time you stop it.
- it should be easily mountable as a USB drive on a Linux machine.
- it should not imitate a broken record, skip songs all by itself, boot itself for no reason, destroy headphones or small countries, or anything similar.

Does anything like that exist?

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