Answers to your questions -
-Are there free programs to convert any video (preferrably including mp4 or google video files) to the correct format? And if so, which is best?
To use the x5L, I've had bad luck with anything other than the Jet converter that comes with it. Yep, it's free, and fairly decent. Covers a good slice of formats, but still means a lot of time converting everything to play on the x5L - nothing has worked for me without doing the conversion first.
-Is the lack of id3 tags a big deal if I currently have my music semi organized? I am willing to spend a good bit of time organizing it.
Not really, but I've always been a folders guy. Makes creating playlists annoying though.
-Is browsing the files easy? The navigation device doesnt look as smooth and simple as the iPods.
UI sucks terribly, esp. compared to the iPod. I hate the joystick. I hate having to press it for X seconds to get to the other menus - the slightest jimmy, and you wait and wait and nothing responds...no easy way to switch the volume around...
What you didn't ask - but ought to know -
(1) The sound is good. Somewhat better than iPods, to my ears.
(2) The battery life really is sweet. I've had nothing but good experiences with my battery after 5 months now. Recorded 17 hours of audio during a conference without one recharge. Not bad (voice recording/encoding takes more power than playback - I've gotten a good 35 hours or so from the unit just playing MP3s). No good tests on the video though (probably cuts the total life to a fraction).
(3) I **had** to do go without recharging it - because without the ridiculously stupid mini-dock, you can't charge your iAudio. You can't plug in to most items to swap files. Can't use the line input.
One of the stupidest design choices ever - that mini-dock is ridiculous...so ridiculous that I expect iAudio will dump the model shortly with a new and improved one with "features" that correct the serious design flaws.
Hopes that helps.
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