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Zune

 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14859
Registered: May-04
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Does anyone out there use this device? If so, what information can you provide?


I'm looking for a portable unit to deal almost exclusively with audio books. The potential user is in her 60's with failing eye sight. She's not all that computer savvy so downloads need to be simple from an XP platform. She's comflusulled by too many gadgets on a single device and is looking for the most straight forward player she can find. She can get through a single book in a few nights and is used to having more than one book going at any one time. Quick and easy access to files is important for someone not wanting to deal with technology. Also, anyone have any input on subscription services for such a device?


Does anyone have any advice for her?



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Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14979
Registered: Dec-04
Let me look too, JV, I heard nothing but crap for the zune, but not as an audio reader.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14861
Registered: May-04
.

So she says - as of now ...

The preference is for a portable player for audio books. She's apparently not interested in a portable reader. She prefers the audio books read by various actors and those professionals who are experienced at reading books. This is the sort of stuff you buy on a hard disc in CD format but she's now looking for a downloadable service. From what she's said, I assume devices such as Kindle and iPad are not what she's looking for. So that leaves what? MP3 players?

Something like this?

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=A1702663&cs=19&c=us&l=en&dgc=SS&cid=39715&lid=1003774


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Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1160
Registered: Oct-07
Ipod in a dock? How is she with ear buds is why I suggest the dock.

You'd have to be able to go thru the file system to get what you wanted....so that might not be easy enough.

Are there audiobooks on Itunes?
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3818
Registered: May-05
iTunes sells audiobooks. Not sure how good the selection is nor if they have what she's looking for. I haven't heard the Zune, but I haven't heard anything good about it either.

Apple makes an iPod that'll do voice commands. I think it's one of the shuffles. The iPhone will too, but that's not what she's really looking for IMO. I doubt the iPod Touch will do voice commands, but you never know. The iPod touch has a good screen size, and is very user friendly. If she has books on CD, she can rip them to iTunes. iTunes is very user friendly IMO. My mother who isn't very computer savy and has diminishing vision uses the iPod Touch and iTunes very well. She uses it while she stuck to a dialysis machine for hours on end.

Apple has it's critics. Regardless of what people think of them, no one in their right mind can say they haven't won the user friendliness war.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3819
Registered: May-05
Just to add...

The voice command iPod may not be the best bet. Not sure how well it'll respond to voice commands.

The iPod Touch has a lot of extras on it, but you can move them around and keep them out of sight. They also have some valuable stuff on them - she can keep important info on it's notes application: meds she's taking, emergency contact info, and so on. There's some emergency apps available from iTunes too. She could do medication reminders, and on and on. It can be as simpleor complex as the user wants it to be.

The earbuds are junk. I liken them to the interconnects you get in the box when you buy a CD playe. Get a comfortable set, and the iPod can actually sound somewhat respectable.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3820
Registered: May-05
I just keep posting...

Apple sells refurbished gear on their Apple Store website.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14990
Registered: Dec-04
My bud has an iPhone.

It rocks, and he can use it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3883
Registered: Feb-07
I would stay away from the Zune Jan. Very far.

I've owned two now. One of the issues I've found with them is that the unit has trouble being charged on the relatively low electrical output of a computer's USB port. I tried it on 3 different computers, and finally had to buy a docking station to charge it. Then it stopped working altogether. I returned it.

A year and half later I tried it again as a source for music outside on my back via a docking station into an old receiver. The docking station fried the receiver.

On top of that, the Zune software to load media (you have to use it) quite simply sucks. In epic Microsoft suckiness. Worse than iTunes if you can imagine that.

Everyone I know who owns an iPhone loves it, and can't imagine life without it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3822
Registered: May-05
I've got an iPhone, and I can use it too. In fact, I'm using it now to post this. Great device with a very easy learning curve. The iPod Touch is the same unit minus the phone.

My iPhone makes a great remote for my Apple TV. The iPod Touch works too.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2390
Registered: May-06
Some of these may be covered by Medicare or other insurance.


http://www.loc.gov/nls/reference/factsheets/audiobkplayers.html#audiobook
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14862
Registered: May-04
.


Thanks for the help, guys.



OK, it looks like the simplest is the best here. The Touch is looking too complicated for what she needs and more expensive than desired for what she wants. It does look pretty cool though.


I doubt she can go the insurance route yet, Mike. Her doctors are working hard to make sure she has some sight and at this point her trouble is in reading small or stylized fonts. So she needs a good sized screen and something that isn't complicated.


Zune seemed unreasonable in many ways after I did a bit more looking and I did see your earlier post about the "sucky" software, Dave.


I brought her a Sandisk "Fuze" (the item I linked to above) and it would appear to suit her needs and be uncomplicated enough to operate without hassles. The screen is a good size and the controls are pretty intuitive at first glance. The sound is remarkably good for what it is.

We'll see.


Next question ...


Does anyone have any good suggestions for audio book services? She's looking at Audible.com and so forth but the more she looks, the more she gets confused at this point. She prefers mysteries. Does anyone use any such service they can recommend or should she just buy individual books as she finds them?






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Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3886
Registered: Feb-07
The Sandisk stuff gets really good reviews Jan. I have a small Sandisk mp3 player for going for runs and going to the gym, and it's a great little unit. Very robust and uncomplicated to use - no bloated software to install and learn, you just plug it in and drag the files you want on the device from Windows Explorer. Not sure about the unit you linked to, but it may be the same.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1161
Registered: Oct-07
Jan, Not only is the 'touch too complicated, but NO microphone for voice commands.
I don't know how or IF you can change icon sizes for someone sight impaired.
Ipod, even the touch mounted in a dock with the apple remote....a little dongle size remote that formerly came with the Imac may be suitable.
BTW, Apple has superior support starting with the geeks that sell them in-store along with the 'expert' guys also in-house. Make an appointment for those guys. The phone would be the next level and would be able to answer any additional questions.
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