If you’re new to MP3 or digital audio, here are a few links to websites that give good information for beginners:
How many gigabytes do I need?
This depends on your current computer and how you will use it. If you only have 20 gigs on your computer, you may find it difficult to manage a 30 gig MP3 player. That doesn’t mean you can’t, it just means that you cannot auto syncronize your MP3 with, say iTunes (if you get an iPod). You will have to do it manually, and the MP3 player will be the master storage device.
Personally, I get along fine with my 20 gig iPod. It’s maxed and I have to unload content to load new content. I also have a lot of music on it too. If I were to get a new one it would be a 40 gig.
Just to give you an idea, I have on 23 gigs of audio on iTunes. The Max Mclean Listener’s MP3 ESV Bible is 75 hours and takes 2 gigs of MP3 data. I have almost 600 sermons which work out to almost 6 gigs (oddly enough). I have 5 gigs of classical music and soundtracks, 2 gigs of Christian music, and 4 gigs of French language instruction (because I now live in Quebec). The rest are odd’s and ends. I can only fit about 18.8 gigs on my 20 gig iPod.
I use my iPod daily (actually I don’t know how I ever lived without it) during my commute, walking downtown, shopping, running errands, etc.
Determine how much audio you will consume. If you will use 40 minutes or more a day I suggest a minimum of a 20 gig player. The smaller the player, the more often you will have to rotate out audio.
SUGGESTIONS FOR MP3 MANAGEMENT
In iTunes, make sure to select to view ‘Date Added’. This will allow you to sort files to see the latest files added. This helps you remember the latest MP3 files that were added, because it’s easy to forget.
You will often find that you have to rename files that you’ve added to iTunes. The tagged information embedded in MP3’s are often not very user-friendly. A file named 09443-SunAM you will want to rename to something relevant such as ‘Dever_On Elders’. For a series of messages you will want to start the name with a number, for example ’01_Scripture_Clarity’. If you don’t the series of messages will not display or play in the proper order.
Other files may have names that are too long to read in the MP3 player window. For example, the files of Max Mclean’s Listener’s ESV Bible are named ‘The Listener’s Bible ESV Isaiah 1′ in the artist or album category of iTunes. This means as you scroll through the ‘The Listener’s Bible’ or ‘Max Mclean’ categories all you will see in the window is 66 occurances of ‘The Listener’s Bib…’ The only way to find Isaiah 10 is to scroll through the ‘Song’ category listing (which is the largest category) until you see Isaiah 10.
Perhaps the newer MP3 Players have allow more text and/or smaller fonts in the screen.
One final bit of advice. Create a playlist for your iPod to discipline your listening habits. I use the play list to do 2 things. First, all my latest MP3 audio additions are placed in this playlist, particularly the single sermons and short series, which are easily overlooked in your iPod. How often I have loaded a bunch of sermons only to forget the names and unable to find my latest uploads. Second, I place a few chapters of the ESV Bible between the sermons so that I get a balance of Scripture and preaching.
There’s a few programs that help with downloading. Mozilla Firefox is an excellent web browser that has good downloading tools built right into it’s browser. It will resume interrupted downloads and shows a progress bar for each one. This is the best solution.
If you’re in love with Internet Explorer, you can use Free Download Manager.