I've got a 20Gb sony,
36hr battery life, plays most formats mp3,.wav,.oma (except Apple, but that not a bad thing).
It can be re-charged via USB or Mains, unlike some more famous brands.
It comes with some pretty good software, but you don't have to use it (unlike the iPods)
And it's built like sherman tank, so takes the knocks.
i'd just take a tape player. the sound is just as good if not better than most peoples mp3s. and it dosent matter if you lose/break it.
I recommend ipod nano -- amazingly portable, reliable, and good sound quality... plus itunes is pretty much the best system out there for downloading music so you don't have to worry about file compatibility.
I use a Rio Cali now (bought 2 years back), which is waterproof and aimed for runners/joggers, but the sound quality (and headphones) is not so great and I can't use any songs downloaded from itunes. A pain.
Apple also definitely has the most accessories available: you'll never have to worry about finding a travel adaptor, case, etc.
Just my two cents! :-)
I have a ZEN too. (Well, I had a 20Gb Zen until last week when it was robbed while I slept on a bus. ) Went straight out and bought another 5Gb one. I wouldnt bring an i-pod because you cant really download any music while you travel from what I hear. With the Zen and I-river you can keep putting new music on, which means if you are going on a really long trip you wont have to listen to the same old songs over and over again.
The larger MP3 player was great because the battery life was excellent (they claim, double that of the i-pod) and it can hold a LOT of music. But, it is slightly heavier and more difficult to hide. A smaller MP3 player can be just popped into a pocket, making it less obvious. Seems like a small thing, but when you are travelling and you have a camera and an Mp3 player and various other gadgets, the more compact the better in my opinion.
Very happy with the Zen(s) anyway..so hope that helps.
I pod's stink!!! iv had 4 and they have all let me down, in diff ways, iv sacrificed the huge meory and gone a for a great little mp3 called a mobi blue cube, you get them in a range of sizes but only going up to 2 gb which is what ive got, dont know about you but that does me fine.
also you can get one of these from the lies of ebay for around £100!!!
built in fm radio, dictaphone(sound recorder),
oh forgot to mention its the smallest mp3 in the world right now, or one of them measuring at a tiny 24mm by 24mm cube!!!!
great bat life and easy to use, plus no software is need its just a simple drag and drop file unit like a flash disk!!!
check them out.
mobi blu cube.
ha are you deaf ??? the person up there??? mp3 is far better sound than tape.
each to there own i supose.
VIVA LE IPOD......EVERYTIME..!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A TAPE PLAYER..????????????????????
I'M SURE THAT WAS A REALLY GOOD IDEA.......IN THE 60'S....LOL