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September 10, 2014



I've been using an old version of Winamp (2.x) on my computer for over 10 years and I have yet to upgrade it.

My portable mp3 player is a Sansa Fuze and I love it. Just hook it up to your computer and it is detected as an external drive, no software required. Copy and paste your mp3 files to it just like you would any hard drive and you're good to go. It also has a decent FM section on it - one of the most selective FM tuners I've ever found on a portable headphones device.


...and if you get an all-in-one PC, I can't stress the importance of a solid state hard drive and how much faster your computer will run with one in it. The one you linked only has a 5400 RPM hard drive - it boggles my mind that solid state drives aren't yet the industry standard. All those fast components and that hard drive is a total bottleneck.

For all-in-ones, I prefer going the route of a VESA-mounted mini-pc. This gives you a little more in customization and it is much easier to replace a PC component if it fails. These are really nice:


It will mount directly to the back of any VESA-compatible monitor, such as this one:


That is an IPS monitor - IPS is the way to go.

Of course with a setup like that you still have to add a hard drive, CPU, and RAM (all easy to do) and install an OS. Total cost would be approx. $700


That's helpful info, Brandon. And sounds good to me. Thanks. Jeff


I'm not sure what an "all-in-one" computer is, but I also haven't owned a desktop computer in 15 years.

Anyhow, I'm not a big fan of Windows 8 and would recommend waiting for 9 to come out, if at all possible (not sure when that is).

I've owned a Sansa for 8 years and it still works rather nicely - my wife uses it in her massage therapy room. Windows Media Player can be glitchy but has worked fine for me.

Apple products are excellent, but I find myself annoyed with the iCult, which is actually a bit hard to get out of and propagates the false meme that it is the only way to go. At some point I'd like to get a Macbook, but am happy with my Asus laptop - which is sturdy and cost half as much. At this point I'm used to PCs and might never get a Apple, but who knows.

Even more so, for-pay software is a bit overrated. My Windows crashed earlier this year so I had to overhaul my hard drive. My friend installed Ubuntu (Linux) on it and I've been using the free Libre Office suite. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that Microsoft Word does, but it works just fine for me - and again, is free. The same with VLC media player and other free software.

There's something refreshing about getting out of the Apple-Microsoft hegemony - like voting for someone other than a Democrat or Republican.


An all-in-one computer looks just like a monitor, with the motherboard and drives contained within. The Apple iMac is an example of an all-in-one computer.

A. Black

I think iTunes likely runs ok on Macs but I find it sluggish on Windows which is what I use. I transfer audio files to my iPod using CopyTrans Manager which is a lot faster and is free (although since I got an internet radio I don't use the iPod much).

This whole iTunes mess can be avoided if you get an MP3 player that supports MSC (also called UMC). MSC refers to mass storage mode. With MSC you plug it into your computer and it appears as a disk drive. The alternative is MPT and with that you need a program on your computer to control it. Some music players support both. I believe that most non-Apple MP3 players support MSC and in particular most San Disk and Sony models do but check before you buy to be sure. You might want to read the relevant portion of this page: http://anythingbutipod.com/2010/01/how-to-create-playlists-on-an-mp3-player/


Just sign up with Spotify, skip dealing with files altogether.


I'm a devoted Apple user, but I rarely use iTunes anymore because I like Spotify. (And I even just use the free version!) I've never tried it, but I think you can upload/sync your existing MP3 files to Spotify so that you can have them on your smartphone pretty easily.

Ken K. in NJ

I think there's still a niche market for a high capacity (i.e. 64 to 128 gb) mp3 player with a flash drive. I know I would buy one. Sony makes one for the overseas market which is available via Amazon, but the manuals, menus, icons, etc are all in Japanese, plus it's outrageously expensive.

For now I make do with my Samsung Player equipped with a 64gb micro drive. It's very slow to load (literally at least 5 minutes) but once it does, it's fine.

About 6 or 7 years ago when I uploaded all my CDs to my computer, I made the mistake of making the files wma files instead of mp3, which pretty much excluded me from going with I pods, which do not play wma files. No big loss, I much prefer mp3 players that you can simply drag and drop music onto (Sony, Sansa etc). I know there are programs out there which convert wma to mp3, but that's not worth my time to do it.


There's really no need to deal with iTunes at all as every (forgive me Apple fans) decent PMP/PM3 player works by simple drag and drop.
I highly recommend anything by Cowon. Once you hear one you'll probably be shocked at how lackluster the sound quality of an iPod is. The Sansa Clip models are a close 2nd, and very inexpensive.
The Sony models are ok, but far too wimpy when it comes to output power.

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