Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

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Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby Tortoise » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 7:29 pm

1. My old MP3 player is nearly dead, and technology has changed a bit in the last 12 years... I probably should stop procrastinating before they cost more in a couple of weeks.

I don't know half the formats things come in these days, but it's generally for songs I've ripped from my CDs and songs/other audio files I've bought/downloaded from online.

My priorities for the MP3 player are:

1. It must turn off automatically at the end of the album /play list etc. I use it to help get to sleep on multi-day walks. Or keep me resting relax-ed-ly if I can't. That unfortunately takes several hours some nights, so:

2. It must have a long battery run time.

2. Be fairly light weight - though I guess most of them are now.

3. I think I want it to have/be(?) a USB for easy recharging without extra cords, easy transfer of files etc.

I realise I could use my phone (an 'inherited' iPhone 5, which will probably be my last apple), but the battery doesn't last, and I don't want to flatten the battery of a potentially important communication device. Eventually I may have an android phone with GPS/map functions - but would still want my night time audio to be separate. Even though I've bought some songs from iTunes, and can't play them on a non-Apple device :x (at least I don't think I can), I don't think i want an iPod. I don't like cyber clouds, I have a small monthly data download, so i want files I own to be actually on the actual device I'm using to actually listen to them. I could be missing a lot here, I know.
I don't need video, and I don't need high quality audio.

2. I probably also need to get a power bank for longer walks. I'm not even sure what questions to ask about those. :oops:

Any thoughts/ideas gratefully received. I'll do my best to understand what they mean. Thanks. :)
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 7:54 pm

My good one broke a couple of years ago. Didn't want to spend much on a new one so I picked up a generic chinese brand one off ebay for $6.99 and it does the job nicely. USB but not sure about the automatic turnoff....
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby Tortoise » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 8:02 pm

ILUVSWTAS wrote:My good one broke a couple of years ago. Didn't want to spend much on a new one so I picked up a generic chinese brand one off ebay for $6.99 and it does the job nicely. USB but not sure about the automatic turnoff....

Interesting that it's doing so well! Problem is that if it doesn't turn off, it may only do me 3 nights or so. :( The auto turn off isn't a feature that gets mentioned in many specs. I suppose most people use their players while they're awake. :roll:
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 8:04 pm

I have fallen asleep with mine going many times. I use lithium batteries though and they last several times longer. Have never had it run out yet... Comes in very handy for tedious walks like the Arthur plains or the LSC lakeside tracks enroute to greener pastures.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby CasualNerd » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 8:09 pm

I like the older ipod nano's which sounds like the perfect mp3 player for you, if you can find one second hand ?

It ticks all your boxes and is ultralight, mine's been going for 10 years i think. Has USB charge, long battery, light, touchscreen (easy to read and use), will play all common formats. Using itunes also means easy to find podcasts etc. It's all offline use, I keep mine loaded with music for work on a portable speaker. I don't like apple products much but it's hard to beat. Also looks like they don't make them any more.

Battery banks are getting cheaper and better, you pretty much just have to work out how many charges of each device you need out of it and someone will do the maths for you. Brands like Anker or Xiaomi are about $20usd for 5000mAh (about 120gms) up to $35usd for 20,000mAh (about 350gms). For comparison, the iphone 5 battery is about 1500mAh.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby Tortoise » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 8:38 pm

CasualNerd wrote:I like the older ipod nano's which sounds like the perfect mp3 player for you, if you can find one second hand ?

It ticks all your boxes and is ultralight, mine's been going for 10 years i think. Has USB charge, long battery, light, touchscreen (easy to read and use), will play all common formats. Using itunes also means easy to find podcasts etc. It's all offline use, I keep mine loaded with music for work on a portable speaker. I don't like apple products much but it's hard to beat. Also looks like they don't make them any more.

Battery banks are getting cheaper and better, you pretty much just have to work out how many charges of each device you need out of it and someone will do the maths for you. Brands like Anker or Xiaomi are about $20usd for 5000mAh (about 120gms) up to $35usd for 20,000mAh (about 350gms). For comparison, the iphone 5 battery is about 1500mAh.

Thanks, CasualNerd! When you say the older ones, do you know which generations I should look at?
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby CasualNerd » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 8:59 pm

Tortoise wrote:Thanks, CasualNerd! When you say the older ones, do you know which generations I should look at?


I have a 6th Gen which are getting hard to find, but it looks like a 7th gen refurbished directly from apple is $200. Seems a bit steep for something released in 2012 but there's not many options.

If you were thinking of getting an android phone eventually it might be worth spending more on a phone and using that as your music player too, though I don't know if you'll find a way to set an auto turn off.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby Warin » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 9:06 pm

ipod nano' refurbished from Apple $190 ... umm https://www.apple.com/au/shop/product/F ... generation

The ebay ones are very cheap though...and small.
I might get one just to use in place of my phone?
Err some claim an 80hour play time!

This one says "full automatic stop" .. what ever that means. Along with 80 hours play time... 'electronic novels'?
It does view photos too. And maps can be made into photos - lacks that GPS capability to put you in the center but as a back up or just for browsing with a better battery life?
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Ultra-t ... fxmGnLrWnQ

No experience with any of the above. Just what I came across as I was looking having been prompted by your post.

Power banks .. I think they are all USB - both in (to charge themselves) and out (to charge something else). You need to figure out how many Amp hours you want, usually milli Amp hours (mAh). Look at what you want to charge - that should have a battery size in mAh, say 1,900 mAh ... multiply that by the number of times you want to charge it and get a power bank that is somewhat bigger than the resulting number.
Say I want to charge
my phone twice @ 1,900 * 2= 3,800
my camera 3 times @ 2,500 *3 = 7,500

sum = 11,300.
So a 10,000 mAh power bank won't do. I'll need the next size up. Or two 10,000 mAh power banks. Or some combination greater than 11,300 (or let things get flat and do without something to fit inside 10,000 mAh).
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby Hiking Noob » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 9:16 pm

I like players with physical buttons as you can skip tracks or adjust volume without taking it out of your pocket.
My last dedicated music player was Cowon something something and it only lasted a month as fell off my bike and landed on it, it got super hot and I had to wait for the battery to die before I could carry on.
If I bought another I'd go a cheapie like this, 18hrs battery life, proper buttons, pocket clip, FM tuner and you can set the idle time before it shuts down-
https://www.sandisk.com/home/mp3-players/clip-jam

EDIT- I try to buy things that are made in their home country if I can, a few years ago I bought a Tensai power bank that was supposedly made in Germany. It is garbage, it picks and chooses what it will and won't charge, a few weeks ago I bought a $10 Uniden one from Bing Lee and it is magic.
I have also bought one from a popular auction site and I thought it felt suspiciously heavy, it had steel weights inside to give it a feeling of quality.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby ChrisJHC » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 10:27 pm

You should find that using your phone (whichever variety) will use very little battery.
The big battery hogs are the various transmitters/receivers (including GPS) and the screen.
As long as you're in aeroplane mode with the screen off and not using bluetooth headphones/earbuds then there should be very little drain.

Of course, as phones age they can lose their charge very quickly so this may not be an option for you.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby Orion » Thu 14 Jun, 2018 1:47 am

Tortoise wrote:1. My old MP3 player is nearly dead...


Is it the battery that is dying?


CasualNerd wrote:I have a 6th Gen which are getting hard to find...


That's the Nano I have as well. The specs say it will play 24 hours of music on a charge. It is so tiny (4x4cm, 21g) that I keep the earbuds plugged into it to help prevent losing it. You can find them on ebay. Here's a used one for $71 AUD: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Apple-iPod- ... 3053705711

Apple stopped making devices like these since everybody just uses a phone now. But a small music player has its place. I also like the fact that it has an FM radio. When the battery in mine wears out I'll happily pay Apple to put in a fresh one.

Even though I can get around twice as much music time out of my phone I find myself less willing to use it when I can't easily recharge.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby CasualNerd » Thu 14 Jun, 2018 3:37 am

This got me looking, there's a 7th gen nano on gumtree near me with a broken screen for $30 and a screen replacement from china is $10. Not sure how fiddly the repair is though.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 14 Jun, 2018 9:26 am

Auto off function is built into my iPhone’s iOS system, not surprised if it’s also available on a current generation iPod. When music is playing, one has an option in the Clock app under Timer tab that instructs the iPhone to stop any running music. Otherwise as mentioned, with the iPhone in Airplane mode, its battery consumption is tiny. Just recharge with an external USB battery when needed. Technology has changed greatly and it’s time to adapt.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby Orion » Thu 14 Jun, 2018 10:12 am

Auto off just means that it doesn't loop. It isn't going to actually power itself down. I'll bet every iPod and iPhone ever made gives you the option to listen just once.

The current generation iPod Touch has about 40hrs of play time with a 1030mAh battery. Depending on the model of iPhone the battery capacity is 40-80% more. But it's not clear if that translates into an equally longer play time. For comparison, my iPod Nano has a battery with a capacity that is purported to be 105mAh yet it plays for 24 hours. So it has 60% of the play time of the Touch but a battery just 1/10 the capacity. It must be more efficient. The same is likely true for a phone.

Even if you assume the same efficiency it means that listening for a few hours on your phone will drop the charge level by ~5%. That's a small amount, but it isn't tiny.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby RonK » Thu 14 Jun, 2018 10:34 am

Tortoise wrote:I realise I could use my phone (an 'inherited' iPhone 5, which will probably be my last apple), but the battery doesn't last, and I don't want to flatten the battery of a potentially important communication device.

This

is easily resolved with

this:
Tortoise wrote:I probably also need to get a power bank for longer walks. I'm not even sure what questions to ask about those. :oops:

I use my phone because it gives me easy access to audiobooks and podcasts as well as music. Not to mention great mapping apps like Pocket Earth.

I mostly doze off to audiobooks - the Audible app has a snooze function which I set to 30 minutes.

And put the phone in aeroplane mode to conserve battery power.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby andrewp » Thu 14 Jun, 2018 8:05 pm

Hi tortoise,
I have similar requirements. I bought a SanDisk Clip Sport from ebay a couple of years ago for ~$65. Still available.
Weight: ~25gm
Battery life: 25hrs (USB recharge)
Auto power off after finishing playing current folder.
Capacity: 4Gb or 8Gb and card slot.
Does everything I want.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby Orion » Fri 15 Jun, 2018 11:31 am

I'm happy to see that someone is filling the niche that Apple has deemed unworthy.

I tested my 9 month old iPhone SE as a music player (airplane mode, screen off, no background apps). After an initial period where the full 100% charge didn't change at all it began losing 1.5% of its charge each hour.

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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby Tortoise » Fri 15 Jun, 2018 1:02 pm

Thanks everyone for your input - much appreciated. There's a fair bit to process, but I'm much closer than I was to finding my answer.
Orion wrote:
Tortoise wrote:My old MP3 player is nearly dead...

Is it the battery that is dying?

No, the battery is ok, though I don't think it lasts as long as it used to. It's the wheel and arrows and select button on my SanDisk MP3 player that are so dodgy now that it's really hard to actually select what I want. They flip out all over the place, going back and forth unpredictably even when moved in the one direction. It's so sensitive that trying to select an album can take several goes.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby bernieq » Fri 15 Jun, 2018 5:49 pm

Sounds like we have the same player, Tortoise - my Sandisk has wheel issues, too. I bricked it a few months ago - loaded a few podcasts but one was corrupt. On restart, it would lock up when re-building the database - had to pull out the battery to turn off (at least you can do that!).

Looked for a more current alternative but didn't find anything to match (for a reasonable price - why are they so expensive?). So after a few hours of research and threatening to throw it against the wall, it re-formatted and reloaded the firmware - all good (apart from the dodgy wheel selector). I use the up/down keys instead.

The 2nd-hand option sounds reasonable but you'd want to test it first - or risk buying the same problem - it's a common point of failure.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby Gadgetgeek » Fri 15 Jun, 2018 9:09 pm

MP3 players are just not a big market anymore with even a really low end smart phone being almost always a better option. I currently use an ipod nano 7 that I've had for a few years. Its ok, but the usb connector is not great and apparently that can be a problem with them. They are also not super robust or repairable, so unless you were really good at doing phone repairs, I wouldn't bother with a broken one. Looking at the wirecutter reviews it seems the clipsport is about the best option for you. I'd also see what else they reviewed, but honestly sandisk is one of the major companies still in that space. I use my ipod mostly for podcasts as that was the best choice at the time, and it has good battery life, but when it dies I'll just switch to a phone. I got a jelly-phone, it was a kickstarter, and its about the same size as the nano just thicker (10mm or so) ends up being about the same price, paid version of dogcatcher and wifi sync and its better for podcasts than the ipod, but ipod has standby mode which the phone does not.

As for battery packs, I have a 10,000mah that is quite good, its an intocircuit, the anker ones also rate well. I think its worth paying for a good one as they have less storage loss, more efficient charging, than the cheap ones. Bigger is also better in that you will get more charge per gram of battery pack. Goalzero falls way behind the tech curve sadly, they have a good idea, but too much style and flash, Anker just puts out ugly bricks that work.
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Re: Wanting an MP3 player with USB + power bank

Postby Hiking Noob » Sat 16 Jun, 2018 9:19 am

Probably one of the better sites for portable music player reviews- http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/

Xears headphones sound nice and reasonably priced if anybody is looking for a set. They come in a very basic unbranded plastic zip lock bag with a few sets of tips and a small neoprene bag. I had these and they really make me regret spending a lot more on some Sennheiser wireless headphones that don't sound all that much better, xears are fantastic for the money https://www.xears.com/index.php/produkt ... ya-edition
They often sell them direct on Ebay a bit cheaper.
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