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iPod vs Cheap MP3 player vs portable CD player?

  • ssaint

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd September, 2009
    Posts: 6


    I'm going to be going on a 7/8month long backpacking trip in November, but i'm torn between taking a cheap MP3 player or my iPod, or an old portable cd player?

    im leaning to the portable old school CD player so i can get AA batteries instead of trying to recharge an iPod, and also i can then buy/swap any random albums... but it will take up more space and weight.
    I've never bacckapcked before so any advice would be great!

    Thanks! xx

    #1 Posted: 21/9/2009 - 22:25

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  • mattocmd

    Joined Travelfish
    13th June, 2007
    Location United States
    Posts: 365

    Who are you going to swap albums with? I could be wrong but I don't remember seeing many CDs in SE Asia. I know travelers want to carry as little as possible so I'm pretty sure most if not all have switched to mp3 players. As opposed to toting a CD collection around.

    For music a lot just take their mp3 player to guys who load songs on for a cheap fee (I'm talking about the guys on like Khao San Road, Siem Reap, ect). Thats the illegal way.

    I guess the legitimate way would be to buy the songs/albums online from like itunes and download them into the mp3 player.

    When it comes to charging mp3 players all you have to do is plug it into the USB port of any computer in any of the numerous internet cafes in the region.

    #2 Posted: 21/9/2009 - 22:37

  • somtam2000

    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
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    At least 113

    Agree with Matt, I'd definitely take an MP3 player.

    #3 Posted: 22/9/2009 - 07:31

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 973

    Depends whether you like listening to noise or music. The quality of the mp3 format is nowhere near the quality of sound of a CD, (which is nowhere near the quality of sound of vinyl.)

    #4 Posted: 22/9/2009 - 09:44

  • Lother

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Location Earth
    Posts: 214
    Total reviews: 31

    I definitely wouldn't drag along a CD player. The player is so much bigger than most mp3 players, and so are the CD's.

    As to Rufus's comment, I gotta say very few people, especially with a portable player and small headphones which I assume you'd be using, can tell the difference between good-quality (256-320 kbps) mp3's and CD. But if that's an issue, most mp3 players also support some lossless formats (at least .wav, maybe also flac or ogg).

    #5 Posted: 22/9/2009 - 15:11

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
    21st April, 2006
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1478
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    Why not take your iPod with a wall charger and AC adapter? That way you won't have to rely on internet cafes or your guest house computer, and you won't have to buy batteries.

    #6 Posted: 25/9/2009 - 00:13

  • sidewinder

    Joined Travelfish
    11th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 56
    Total reviews: 7

    Noticed a lot of guidebooks mention about taking a CD player so you can 'swap cd's with other travellers' but I too have not met anyone who carried around CD's, apart from a DJ I met.

    Take your ipod and try and buy a travel charger for it, then you can plug it in anywhere without an adapter. Also, I took one of these and it was one of the most useful things I took, was very small, sounded great and 3xAAA batteries lasted over 2 months

    #7 Posted: 25/9/2009 - 17:47

  • themuths

    Joined Travelfish
    16th September, 2009
    Location United States
    Posts: 21

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    I traveled India/Nepal three years ago, and took a bulky Creative Labs mp3 player with me. I chose it then because it had 24 hours of battery life, when Ipods were still only lasting for a fraction of that. The player lasted throughout the trip, though dealing with the cumbersome software was annoying, and right afterwards the charger broke down, rendering it useless without a computer.
    Thankfully, Ipod battery life has significantly improved, and my 4th gen nano is doing a fantastic job as I'm cycling through SE Asia. For charging, I have a netbook with me so I don't have to worry about plugging it in, but every hotel we've stayed in has had ample plug-ins, so charging shouldn't be a problem whatsoever.
    Like another poster mentioned, I'd only bring CDs if I were trying to DJ while traveling - and even though I am a DJ, hauling all that weight around to play a few "shows" doesn't sound appealing in the slightest. Music serves as a comfort, and reminder of home, while on the road, you're not going to be concerned with sound quality when you're stressed out on a bus, relaxing on a beach, sitting alone in your hotel room, or whenever else you actually use your iPod. Many days pass when I don't use it at all, there's simply so much else going on that listening to music is a low priority. And as a budget traveler, having to buy new AA batteries constantly is going to be much more annoying (and expensive) than having to recharge your mp3 player!
    As for acquiring music, if your camera has SD cards, and you're using a card-reader with them, then you can also get music off of people's computers quite easily, and then either save it for later or put it on your mp3 player or whatever. I just did that while in Kep, got 2 gigs of great music while staying at Botanica Guesthouse from the kindly owner - who knew Belgian music was so spectacular? I've found that acquiring the new music is arguably more important than listening to it extensively while traveling - I want to here the sounds I miss from home, and later when I'm not traveling I have much more time to listen to the new music I've found.

    #8 Posted: 26/9/2009 - 10:34

  • mattocmd

    Joined Travelfish
    13th June, 2007
    Location United States
    Posts: 365

    To OP

    Invest in an Ipod


    #9 Posted: 26/9/2009 - 14:55

  • ssaint

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd September, 2009
    Posts: 6

    yeah true, i kinda forgot that CDs are getting pretty obsolete these days. thanks for the advice everyone, i'll take my iPod and a travel charger- sorted!

    Thanks sidewinder, that speaker thing looks wicked, i might invest if i have some spare cash!

    #10 Posted: 28/9/2009 - 22:29

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