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Discussion Starter #1
I use a personal CD player plugged into my buskers amp for solo gigs. So far I've lost one disc (and had to buy the music book again to get the disc ) and found a snapped disc of another title recently. Should burn backup copies really.

I was thinking of transferring all my backings to an MP3 player, for convenience. Since a lot of my work is for charities, I don't want to have to spend a lot of money on a player. I need a player which is easy to use, able to call up the track I want without much fuss but will give me as good a sound through my amp as my personal CD player does.

Any suggestions, please (I'm hoping for about the £40 - £50 mark maximum - I've seen players for £15 but they're gonna be lousy!)?
 

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I have owned quite a few MP3 players.
Creative Zens, and a Zune.
I would recomend the Zune, it will probably be about 100 pounds, but you can set a play list at the gig. So while you are waiting, if you have the songs, and know what you want to play.
Creative Zen was also pretty good, and a bit cheaper. Had FM radio. 8 GIG sounds like it is in your price range.
 

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You can get a Creative Zen 2GB at around £50 now. Mine cost £100 nine months ago. That should be adequate. The sofware is easy to use. I'm not a techie at all so if i can use it.. Mind you, i hardly ever do use it, because i didn't like the "cut off from the world" feeling.. But for your purposes and budget i would think it's a decent choice.
 

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I recently purchased a Creative Zen, and I would definitely recommend it. Its very easy to use, especially when you want to put music on or take it off.
 

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I had a Creative Zen nano which I recently gave to my 11 year old daughter. Two of my other girls have iRiver IFP T395 which I picked up off ebay. the iRiver's have line input, radio but the software to get files on is proprietary, and once on there are more options than with the Creative but I find it an awkwad interface (maybe because I rarely use it) they are older models.

I picked up a Creative Muvo 2 Gig, I wanted to do away with the USB cable, its the same software as the Zen, which is simple and intuitive. I have yet to figure out how to set up playlists, when I put mp3's on the thing they are in alphabetical order. You can also use it as a regular jump drive so it's saved my butt here at work a couple times. ;)

I got it at buy.com for a great price, and a $20 rebate (though that was just returned for 2 cents insuffiecient postage. ( It was a first class stamp, but they keep changing the rates so much its hard to keep up!)

SP67, my plan is similar to what you are doing (as we have discussed) and once I figure out the play list thing, I will be set as far as that goes. You can also create and organize different folders etc, so there are a lot of different ways to use it.
 

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How in the world does pandora.com help someone looking for an mp3 player for busking? Pretty please enlighten me!

To help the original poster...check www.woot.com they have been recently selling Microsoft Zune's for 79.00 + 5.00 shipping...pretty good deal.
 

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Try the Sandisk Sansa Clip. It's small, has really good sound quality, and is inexpensive. $38.99 from Amazon. Sounds like what you're looking for. :)
 

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Apple iPod...

One of the cool things about Apple iPods is that they support "Apple Lossless" compression which provides playback which is indistinguishable from the original recordings. I use Apple Lossless compression for my DJ work and it allows me to store extra songs while providing full CD audio quality.

When I've performed with backing tracks, I used iTunes on my laptop. If you were to use an iPod to play your backing tracks, it would be easiest to make a play list ahead of time on your computer and then sync it to the iPod. It is also possible to use Apple's iPod "On-The-Go Playlist" feature to create a play list on the iPod. The On-The-Go Playlist feature is very basic and may not offer the level of editing desired for this application.
 

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Skip the middleman and just use a laptop.:cool:
 

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try Logik ipod nano shape mp3s, i got mine reduced from £70 to £30 at curry's, don't know if that deal is still happenin tho'
 

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Discussion Starter #13
RootyTootoot said:
You can get a Creative Zen 2GB at around £50 now. Mine cost £100 nine months ago. That should be adequate. The sofware is easy to use. I'm not a techie at all so if i can use it.. Mind you, i hardly ever do use it, because i didn't like the "cut off from the world" feeling.. But for your purposes and budget i would think it's a decent choice.
Well, I recently broke my most recent personal CD player, so borrowed my fiance's (quite old) to play my backing discs on yesterday for an open air gig. But the poor thing used up the batteries in four hours and started skipping towards the end, as the cold got to it (I had trouble getting it playing to begin with).

To top that, I think one of my backing CDs is on the way out (I should make backup copies!) and when trying to burn a copy when I got home, I was having trouble with my burning software or maybe the disc itself.

So I thought the hell with it and went to Argos and got a Creative Zen V Plus 2gb player, up for £79.96 but I had a tenner on a Nectar card, some gift vouchers and cash from my fortieth birthday back in August - long since gone on bills actually :( - so I only had to stump up £49.96. That's a lot of dosh to me though but hopefully it gets me out of a hole.

Just charging the kiddy through USB now, will let those interested know how well it works through my buskers amp.
 

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Forum Contributor 2009 & Mouthpiece Patch Mogul
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I use one of these:



Yep, a satnav with mp3 player. The beauty of this particular one is that it runs on Windows so I`ve installed another media player (to play video) as well as other handy Windows apps (alarm clock, notepad, calculator etc). It can easily manage playlists, has 2gb card storage as well as some internal storage, has its own battery that lasts for around 4 hours whilst watching video, touch screen with your finger or supplied stylus, ir remote control, the list goes on.

Sound quality is plenty good enough for busking and probably better than a portable cd player. A little higher than your budget at £99.99 (plus £7 refund with voucher) but so much more versatile.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, the Creative Zen Plus 2gb stood up well in my field test on Saturday. I'd ripped my backings from CD as MP3s @ 320Kbps. The fifteen hour battery was down to 1/4 charge at the end of my four hours - so not lasting as long as it should but this was the first charge, so maybe it'll improve or it may have to do with the high bit rate of the tracks.

I bought off Ebay a silicone cover for it (though the screen is still exposed). It was a little fiddly but I'm getting the hang of it, it'll save me risking damaging any more CDs by changing over in the open, what with dust and butterfingers!
 

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I have owned several Creative players, and loved them. I currently use a creative Zen Vision that I bought from Frank B here on SOTW.
However, battery power has always sort of been an issue on these, they don't seem to last the time they are supposed to. I use this device for these type of solo performances, weddings etc.. but at any Live gig situation I would never rely on Battery power. Plug it in and run it on AC just to be safe. I used to use a Laptop, but it was more equipment to lug around, and I was always worried about it crashing or blowing a hard drive at the wrong moment, so I always carried an mp3 player backup anyway. Now I just carry two mp3 players.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I suppose the specs on battery power is like the specs for fuel consumption on cars. The makers and dealers tell you it'll run for many more mpg than is the case. I just have the USB lead it came with to transfer data and recharge from the PC. There is a mains adaptor available for the USB port but I thought it was just for charging, not runing the player.

In any case, nearly all of my gigs are outdoors with no mains power available, so my amp as mentioned before has an 8 hour internal battery and my CD player I had running on AA batteries. I can't afford two MP3 players at this time but 4 hours is enough anyhow. I do have one event coming up, where I play in 20 min slots throughout the day so hopefully it'll last - at least I'll be switching it on and off, not keeping it on all the time.
 

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I have a Creative Muvo and a Zen Nano, both run on one AAA battery. I shy away from rechargables. With my video background I am all too familiar with how they decide how long a camcorder battery lasts, and how it is nothing like the real world (same with cars, they just run them on a meter, no acceleration etc) Camcorders are set up in a room, turned on a timed. the zoom, auto focus, iris etc are never touched, so the numbers are unreliable.

My oldest daughter wants a Zen vision for Christmas, I've tried to talk her out of it, unsuccessfully (though I did talk her out of an iPod. More bang for the buck with the Creative product IMHO).

Been looking at a busker amp for myself as well (someday when I have some extra $$) and found one an Artec Cubix that runs on AA batteries. Now to find someplace brick and mortar where I could actually hear it would be nice, but that probably won't be possible. sorry for the off topic side trip.

;)
 
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