“Apple Computer’s iPods are the most popular digital-music players on the planet, and for good reasons: They’re trim, elegant, easy to use and compatible with Windows PCs as well as Macintosh computers,” Julio Ojeda-Zapata reports for The Pioneer Press. “When paired with Apple’s iTunes jukebox software and online store (also for PCs as well as Macs), they give users mastery over their music along with access to more than a million songs for purchase.”
“So should anyone in his or her right mind buy a portable player other than an iPod? To find out, I borrowed two of the most credible iPod challengers: Rio Audio’s Carbon and Creative’s Zen Touch,” Ojeda-Zapata reports.
Ojeda-Zapata looks at various issues and concludes, “Encrypted AAC files from the iTunes Music Store can’t be used on any player other than iPods (at least not without a bothersome conversion process), nor can encrypted Windows Media files bought in the Microsoft bazaar be used on iPods. This is the Apple vs. Everyone Else conundrum, and it would be a problem if Apple’s music offerings were anything but spectacular. Keep in mind that iTunes takes MP3 files as well as the AAC kind, and it will even import unencrypted Windows Media files. So get an iPod with iTunes, and be happy.”
Full article here.