I need to buy a new digital audio player. I have been using a 1GB iPod nano since 2006 and it is near dead. The battery is empty ever faster and sometimes doesn't even allow me more than ten minutes of continuous listening. I am using every trick in the book to use as little battery as possible (and there are a good number of those, disabling back light as the most important one), but at best I can listen for two, three hours with the battery constantly in the red, threatening to choke the player any minute. And when it revives, all the playback positions are gone and all podcasts dropped out of the playlists (why? Beats me).
Some research around shops (on-line and in actual buildings where you have to physically go to) begins to point to a pretty well established conclusion: for a podcast listener such as myself, the next player should be the next generation of the iPod nano. That is, however, a lot of money for more features than I care to use. Is there really no player out there that can connect to a podcatcher, play podcasts, remember their playback position?
Is the ever growing amount of university content that comes in m4a format and should be had through iTunes U yet another indicator that the iPod has a monopoly on the kind of audio I want? What about those poor students? Must they invest in the top shelve audio player for their studies?
Any suggestions out there?