Re: iPod for Birding

Subject: Re: iPod for Birding
From: Brenda Muncrief <>
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 16:29:12 -0500
I can chime in on this one. :) I use a Dell Digital Jukebox MP3 (about the size of a pack of cigarettes) with a 20 GB hard drive for music and birdsongs. It will hold up to 10,000 tracks! I have a small JBL external speaker system (two speakers in a single body) that runs on four AAA batteries. This system has served me well in the field and in teaching beginning birdwatching classes for our State Park system. My player and speaker will be three years old this Christmas. The player keeps its charge for a good long while, though I've never actually timed it. The charger runs either on USB port or a wall plug. I highly recommend something similar for help with identification in the field and will be loading my Australian birdsong CDs onto it when they arrive.

Brenda Muncrief
Huntsville, TX USA

Russell Woodford wrote:

A little advice for anyone considering one of the many iPod lookalikes .... choose carefully, especially if you want to use the device to access individual birdcalls from a big playlist quickly. I don't know much about the branded competitors, such as iRiver, Sandisk, Creative, Sony etc. I'm guessing they are probably fairly easy to use and have similar features to the real iPods.

The ones to be wary of are the Chinese or Hong Kong clones. I recently bought one of these, and I'm happy with it as a tiny nano- sized MP3 player (it has a radio, voice recorder, and plays movies as well!) but it doesn't use the same menu system as a real iPod, and the "clickwheel" isn't! It just has a 5-way toggle switch so it is impossible to fast-forward or rewind within tracks. It's also rather clumsy moving between tracks. Mine has 4 gigabytes of storage, and all the Australian birdsongs CDs I have easily fit onto this tiny player, leaving plenty of room for voice recording in the field, and for hundreds of songs - all for under $100. BUT it is fairly useless for locating a specific track quickly, so won't be much good for helping me check birdsong in the field. You get what you pay for.

I think for serious use -i.e. quick access to recordings in a huge playlist - the players with hard drives still perform a lot better than the Flash memory models.

Russell Woodford


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