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mp3 player hatin
I've never owned an mp3 player; I figure, I'm paying a premium to live in a city, may as well enjoy the sights and sounds around me, right? I've never felt the urge to drown out my surroundings when outside, whether on the El, walking around downtown, riding my bike, whatever.

Then last week, I got a noise complaint from my new upstairs neighbors. The unit above me had been empty for a while, and I'd gotten pretty used to cranking up the music, especially when I work out, which I tend to do at odd hours. I can't stand bad neighbors, wouldn't want to be one myself, so I apologized profusely, said it wouldn't happen again, and bought a Sansa Fuze 8GB mp3 player today. It's this little guy right here:

I purchased it mainly because I recalled it being favorably reviewed in this recent boing boing thread about DRM-free alternatives to Apple's iPod. Just charged it up, and its doing what it's supposed to, and bonus!, it has an FM receiver and the ability to record FM broadcasts. Since Chicago still has good non-commercial radio, this will be sweet.

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I'm thinking about grabbing a Clip+ from the same folks. $40 right now for a 4Gb model, with a MicroSD expansion slot, so it won't immediately be obsolete. And it even handles Ogg and FLAC. My phone does too, and I've just been using it for music, but media drains the battery fast. If I'm going to carry another object, at least the Clip+ is small.

I was tempted to get the Clip, but was swayed by the Fuze's larger screen, which on further reflection, I'll probably never use for video purposes. Would probably get the Clip if I could do it over, but both are definitely small enough.

You'll definitely want to check out rockbox, which is OGG-friendly:

I don't own a computer - just the work laptop - so I bought a 120 gb Zune, which I basically use as an external hard drive that - conveniently - I can plug into my car stereo.

Other than Bill Gates' kids, you're the only other person I know of who's copped to having a Zune! But for your purposes, it sounds like a decent choice.

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