Mobile Music: MP3 or DAP?

While my little ol flash Zune works great for me it doesn’t work so well for the kiddos. The things they like to listen to are random video game songs or stuff off YouTube, which can be hard to get a song file for that the Zune can play. Not to mention that adding music to the device is a roundabout thing. It’s not an issue for someone with a dedicated and established music library but for the “Hey mom add this one.” bit that goes down every few days it can be tedious.

A few years ago we got the oldest kid a Sony Mp3 player that did basically the same thing as the Zune, you charge and load it up with just the right file types and it plays off the list. The same issues came up when he wanted to listen to podcasts that came out daily. He later got a phone which fixes most of those issues.

So if the old school Mp3 player isn’t working out what would be the best option? Well, as far as sound quality goes using a phone is no different than the music player. I figured I’d go searching one of the subreddits for audiophiles. Sure enough, they also pointed out that unless you need to play formats like OGG or FLAC any old Mp3 player or phone will do. That and your best bet (if you are using a phone to play music) is to invest in quality headphones/earbuds.

SanDisk Clip – Reminds me of the newer ipod shuffles.

But let’s say you don’t use a smartphone anymore. What if you’re using a feature phone or something with limited data/WiFi access? What if you are working out or hiking and don’t want to lug around your 5lb brick of a cell phone? (Ok, don’t want to drop your $1000 glass brick of a cell phone.) Well, there seems to be these things called DAP’s. There are Digital Audio Players out there that have high end audio hardware built in, typically using custom or android firmware and touch screen just like a phone but without the cellular connection. No microphones, no cameras, no junk just a music player that also has a Spotify/Tidal app. (You can google which ones have this and which ones don’t.) Some of these things can get into the thousands of dollars. Are all four Florence + The Machine albums worth a $3k audio player? Yes, but that’s not in my budget.

One of the many FiiO DAP’s

Do the kids need a DAP? Lol, no the SanDisk Clip is more than enough for them. Do I need one? Yes No. Do they sound really cool? Yes. But I think that if I were pricing HiFi systems and receivers and amps and all that, a DAP would be worlds cheaper and more portable in the long run. Besides, most of my HiFi equipment is for cassette tapes. When an non-Florence artist I listen to comes out with new stuff I do my best to buy a hard copy vinyl or cassette version of the music to ensure they get some money from it. (Also, 99% of the hard copy options come with the mp3, especially on Bandcamp.)

If anyone has used a DAP or similar, let me know how it goes.

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