Jan 192008

::iimageright(“Sansa_e200.jpg”,”Sansa”):: I finally broke down and bought myself an MP3 player. I had held off for a long time because I could put my audiobooks on my Palm T3. What pushed me over the edge?

Von received an 8gb iPod nano for Christmas. Yeah, in order to avoid the 10th commandment I would have to buy one for myself. I could not bring myself to spend the money for an iPod (my Norwegian blood won out here). I liked the Sansa models I saw at the stores but they were still more money than I wanted to spend, so I kept looking.

I have been using my Palm as an MP3 player. PocketTunes works very well on the Palm but the maximum memory card that the Palm T3 would take is 1gb. Half of that is used by other software so that only left me half a gig. Still plenty for a couple chapters at a time on the palm, but I would always seem to run out of book before I remembered to update.

I tried using my new Razr2 phone. But the software on it was just too cumbersome. It would probably work ok for music collections, but I have fewer than 12 cds. I want to listen to books and podcasts and the regular ID3 tagging system just doesn’t work that well for those.

Then it happened. A note on the Fatwallet Hot Deals Forum showed that Woot! had refurb’d 4gb Sansa e260s (engadget review) on sale for $49.99 plus $5 shipping. I bit. The e260 looks to be a decent MP3 player and it will take a micro-DD card as well as having a built-in FM radio.

Also, in my earlier searching I found that an alternate operating system, Rockbox, will also work on the Sansa. I will probably write up my experience with Rockbox but the main reason I wanted to use it was that it adds a lot of features to the unit and allows you to customize the unit beyond just adding various ‘skins’.

My current project is to find a decent podcast aggregator for the thing. All such software downloads the podcast and puts it on the mp3 player. The difficulty is what the software does after you listen to it on the MP3 player. Most don’t sync back to the podcast software. I want one that does. We will see what I can find.

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