Well, I live and die by my palm pilot and as I've gotten into working out, I wanted to consider whether I could use my Zire 71 handheld as an MP3 Player for going to the gym, as opposed to burning $150 or so for a dedicated player. (* I hate having too many devices... druther care just a phone and my palm if possible).
Anyway, I researched it and wound up buying the "Deluxe" reg code for the Pocket Tunes player.
Cost about $30.
I'm not affiliated with these folks in any way, but I know I trust my friends on here and I wanted to share my thoughts in case anyone else wanted to save ammo money by avoiding the duplicative purchase of hardware when you may already have have other devices that will perform the same function.
I'm very satisfied.
First, you've got to have a Palm device for this. It requires the most recent update of PalmOS as well as one of the higher power Palm's Zire 71, Tungsten and up.
You keep the MP3s on a Smart Media card, so get a big one (512Meg cards -- bigger on the hard drive on my computer while I was in lawschool -- go for about $80). Its easy to create playlists, but I've had good luck with some smaller (128 or 256 meg) cards dedicated to specific purposes (i.e., classical music for at the law library, a workout mix at the gym, etc).
You transfer songs through various mechanisms, including a link up with windows media. Easiest method, of course, is to have an SD media drive on your computer and just copy the files directly to the "audio" subdirectory.
Its got a feature that turns off the screen on the Palm so that you don't burn batteries, and it also has a "background" option where it plays the music in the background even when you're doing other things on the Palm Pilot. (Very cool, as I have some workout / weightlifting software that I use to track weights and reps that I like to use while I'm at the gym and I don't have to forego my music while I enter data).
The sound quality is very good on my Zire 71, provided good source material and high quality (160bps plus) MP3 conversions.
I should mention that this thing plays all sorts of formats in addition to MP3 -- Ogg Vorbis, WMA, and even raw WAV files if you've got the space.
The user interface is pretty good, and the features are all very accessible. It's got some sophisticated sound mixing settings I haven't fully evaluated yet, but I like it.
Put your plam in a hardcase with a belt clip and it's perfect for jogging, working out, etc.
With some quality earbuds or low power consumption microphones, battery life off of a full charge is very good as well. Havent' fully timed it from a full charge to failure, but I'll be taking it snowshoing this weekend so that will be a good test of its capabilities. The key here is the screen shut off function. The new color screen handhelds have VERY nice screens, but they burn a hell of a lot of juice when they're on.
This software is good value for the money, and it saved me from having to buy an expensive dedicated MP3 player. It can't hold a candle to some of those solutions (such as the iPOD), but it does most of what all of us need, without breaking the bank.
btt for the night crew