November 30, 2007
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday! As the holiday season surrounds us, I've noticed a lot more questions are being submitted to me about consumer electronics buying advice. While I tend to stick with tech help (troubleshooting, etc...), I figure during this time of year I would target the Q&A toward product buying advice and recommendations since folks are out shopping for their loved ones or themselves and may need a little help. As a reminder, if you ever do have any technical questions about your computer, software, or electronic gadgets, the CNET forums are open 24-7; it is a great place to get help from many of your fellow community members, and our forum moderators, who are always willing to lend a helping hand. Now let's get talking about Nancy's question on her first MP3 player.
Well, congrats, Nancy! It's always great to hear of someone taking the plunge into something completely new. And this is a great place to get you started in your quest for your first MP3 player. This past week we received a ton of recommendations from our members, and while there is a lot of great information, it will be a lot to take in. So get comfortable and read on.
As you read on, many people will swear by their iPods; while I own a couple of iPods myself and love them, I also have a couple of MP3 players as well that are equally as good. So don't let marketing be an influence. There are many things to consider when it comes to buying an MP3 player, and it all boils down to finding one that suits your needs, your budget, and allows you to grow with it. For instance, you may only start out with your Elvis and Beatles collections, but I'm sure once you start loading music on it, your playlists will grow, too, so consider capacity. Also, do you listen to FM radio? If you do then you might want to get a MP3 player with an FM tuner built in. Currently, you may only want to load photos of your kids, but maybe you'll want videos later, so make sure that's an option, too. And if you do a lot of physical activity while using your player, of course size should be considered. But more importantly, you might be better with a flash-based player, as hard-drive based players have moving innards and may be susceptible to damage or failure.
These are just a few of many things to consider. So to get you started, here are a few members' answers to get you going. But please don't stop at that, as there are plenty more to go around. Congrats and welcome to the world of MP3 players! Thanks everyone!
By the way, speaking of MP3 players, this coming Tuesday, December 4, at 11 a.m. Pacific time, MP3 player guru CNET Senior Editor Donald Bell will be hosting the Ask the Editors Live chat event, so if you have questions about MP3 players or are in need of some holiday buying advice on them, join us during the event to get answers.
Member Question of the Week
I never thought in my wildest dreams, I would be considering
a MP3 player for myself, but here I am asking for advice on
one. Every where I go, I can't help but see ads for the iPods
and I'm very curious if this is the right MP3 player for me.
I don't want to buy an iPod just because it is the trend as I
want to buy something that will last me in the long run. Is
the iPod really that popular that it is a must buy? Forgive me,
as I'm completely new to this type of gadget and I want
something simple to use and has low learning curve. Can you
suggest a MP3 player that will be small enough for me to
carry when I go for my daily walks? I also would like
something with a screen that will allow me to store pictures
of my kids, and one that has enough storage space for my
entire Beatles and Elvis CD collections. What are some things
that are a must to look for in a MP3 player and of course
what are things I should avoid or be aware of when I buy a
MP3 player? Any advice and recommendation will be helpful.
Vote for the most helpful answer
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Here are the selected submissions grouped in one post.
Vote for answer by cees4u
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Vote for answer by forkboy
Vote for answer by jpalmer2007
For the member whose answer was voted the
most helpful by our community, we will send
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Previous week's Q&AThe votes are in! Below is the answer voted most helpful by our community to last week's question.
I've been hearing that all TV signals will be converting to
digital in 2009. What does that mean for my TV? I have a HD
flat screen that I bought last year and will be looking to
converting my bedroom small TV to a flat screen. Can you give
me tips on what to look for so that I don't purchase a TV
that will not be able to receive a signal in 2009? Also, what
about all the rest of the people who have analog tube TVs?
Will their TV go blank in 2009? Thanks.
Your newsletter about 1080p got me to thinking about the
FCC's (Federal Communications Commission in the United
States) mandate for digital broadcasting. My question is:
With the FCC's mandate that everything be broadcast in
digital some time in 2009), what options are there OTHER than
having to obtain a "box" from the local cable company? In my
case that would be Comcast, and the less I have to pay them,
the better. Also, is there a downside to using a box that's
not from the cable company... I do not subscribe to any
premium channels so I have no "set top" equipment presently.
I'm already seeing channels disappear.
There has been almost as much misinformation about the Digital Television (DTV) transition as there has been valid material. I can understand why so many consumers are confused. Fortunately there are reliable sources for accurate information and for both Queenie and Jim the news is good. First, the HD flat screen...
Congratulations to the winner!
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
Have fun and enjoy!
More from the forums
Check out next week's question:
I went out shopping the day after Thanksgiving and saw that many stores had advertised portable GPS devices on sale for cheap (I really had no idea they were so inexpensive). Since they were so cheap, I thought about buying one for myself and my sister, who has no sense of direction. The couple that I saw advertised were by Magellan and TomTom (strange name if you ask me) and they cost a little over $100. Well, when I went to check them out they were all sold out, of course, so I looked at other models, and to my surprise most of the other models cost over $250 dollars and some up to $400. So what is the difference between the less expensive one and more expensive ones? Don't GPS essentially do the same? I would really like to buy a couple of these as a present to myself and my sister for Christmas, but I really want to get the whole picture before buying one. Would I be in a world of regret if I went with a cheaper model? Do name brands make a difference? I've heard of Magellan and Garmin, but TomTom sounds more like a toy. Some pointers would help me greatly! Happy holidays to you!
Mary Jane H.
We feature a new question every Friday, and if you have the answer for our member, you can submit it above. If your submission is picked by our members as the most helpful answer, you'll receive some cool CNET branded gear.
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