Ipod Nano 16GB or something else?


War Hero
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Some advice would be appreciated...

I am looking at buying a MP3 player for around £150.

All my music has been converted into wma format already (around 6GB worth).

I want a small flash player that I can use on my commute, when running and at home through speakers.

I had narrowed my choices down to Nano 16Gb or the Creative Zen 32GB.

The Zen was doing well except for being slightly larger but at least it allowed me to watch iplayer downloads. It did however fail one of my wife's key user requirements (I know - I did say it was for me..) that it should have a docking speaker system to be used at home. I can't believe Creative, who make ipod docks, don't make docks for their own players...

The nano on the other hand seemed to tick most boxes apart from being made by Apple. The only problem was that I would have to either reburn all 300 CDs or convert using iTunes (audiogeek thus leaving me with the issue of a double lossy conversion: CD to wma and wma to ipod - that being said i already listen to wma so can't be that much of an audio snob /audiogeek). Having converted my 6GB of wma files I find I now have 18GB in my iTunes folder - this leaves me with two choices; cut out several albums (probably my daughter's nursery rhyme CDs to be honest - but always useful on car journeys [with her there]) or find an ipod with a bigger capacity (and thus neutralising many of the benefits I have already mentioned).

Any advice?

Knowledge of a docking station for the Creative Zen (and not any of the Zen variations such as the X-Fi) would make the choice easy.

Equally advice on how to tweak iTunes to fit all my stuff on would also be good.

Finally any recommendations from right or left of arc would also be gratefully received - the Walkman Series and the Samsung P2 both look possible contenders.

Cheers - I've wasted enough of my life considering this conundrum!

You wont find a docking station for a non Ipod MP3 player for one major reason:

The Ipod has a proprietary docking port whereas most other players just have a 3.5mm jack and possibly a Mini/Micro USB2 as well. Docks use the Ipod port to control the unit and converse with it, hence the popularity.

The good news however is that there are several Stereo systems that will use the USB port to both play music and charge the unit. The downside is that you will have to manually select the music from the MP3 player.

Have a look at some of the older Sony systems; for example I bought a discontinued Sony NAS-50HDE on Fleabay for £150, which has DAB, a decent CD player, Aux Input and 2 USB ports, as well as an 80Gb hard drive, which will rip CDs directly. I can run my TV/DVD player through it and listen to almost any format that I want to.

There are plenty of non Apple options out there with a bit of lateral thinking!


i could be well placed to comment here, as i have both the nano and creative zen 32gb.

i use both with my Bose Sounddock Portable. fantastic bit of kit - amazing sound quality of the bose sounddock, but a) has internal battery which lasts a looooooong time (8-9hrs in our test). and b) takes ipods on the front dock, or any MP3 player through a 3.5mm jackplug connection on the back. sound quality is the same, but you can't use the remote for non-ipods. i don't find that a problem anyway; i usually just set it to random on a playlist.

as for relative merits of the two: the zen is the best bit of kit i own. i also bought the wife one. it can hold tons of DVDs as well as all your music and photos. it's got a voice recorder and radio. i've taken it on exercise & ops and its great. battery life is 4-5hrs when watching video, and sometimes 15+hrs with just music.

as i said, i've got both. i can take or leave the ipod; the zen is fucking awesome. buy that one. and then get a bose sounddock portable to go with it ;)

oh, and i've increased my zen capacity to 48GB with a 16GB SD card.