Go with the Ipod, here's why...
Hey I saw your posting and wanted to help you out. I have for the past month exchanging Mp3 players for the fact that I haven't yet found the right one. I have purchased Ipod photo 30 gb (great sound, gets loud, not worth the money for a lousy 65k screen), Sony NW-HD5 (smaller than Ipod, screen looks prettier on the Cnet's review than when seen in person, not loud enough), VGF-AP1L (nice 262k screen, doesn't get loud, had to navigate with the touchpad, too many wires, earpiece not long enough, must use wired remote control supplied, huge) and the Mini ipod. Well so far the Ipods far better, they sound great, get really loud and the sound quality is just awesome. I am a huge Sony fan, everything I own is made by Sony, Home theater system, tv, laptop, desktop, etc etc. But Sony Mp3 players are pretty bad. They have clear sound and good bass but they just don't get loud enough. Even with the most expensive earphones, if you are in a crowded area you won't get the sound desired ( I guess Sony has an agreement with those help the deaf associations and they have a limit to their sound which to me was pretty low). So after trying all those, I went and got the Ipod Mini, it is small, sounds just like the big Ipod, it looks prettier too (the silver one). So if I were you I would get the Ipod, just make sure you get the HP Apple Ipod, it is the same as the ones made by Apple but you will have the HP warranty. What's the difference? The difference is that with Apple you have 90 days to call customers service after that you have to pay to talk to them and they charge $49.99 for that (an absurd right?), HP you can call customer's service as much as you want for a year and after your warranty expires you can contact customer's service through e-mail. Sony's customer service are pretty bad too, sometimes you have to wait 30 minutes to talk to someone there, and they know just as much as you. Conclusion, go with the Ipod, I know from experience. Just wanted to help you out...Good luck
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