I have taken to downloading lots of audio lately, ranging from conference talks on the philosophy of mind, through to classic novel audiobooks. I listen to this stuff in the car, playing it out through the speakers using a casette adapter.
I have a hard disk based MP3 player but I decided I wanted a flash-based MP3 player that I could just plug into my Ubuntu box and copy MP3 files across to it. No drivers, no GUIs, thank you very much.
I wanted it to be powered by AAA batteries. I can get these in every little shop I might pass by in my car. I don't want yet another cable that connects to the cigarette lighter or requires me to boot up my laptop to syphon power from the USB.
For bonus points, I wanted something that I could pause, say, 30 minutes into a 1 hour audio talk and then resume at that point.
I wanted something "reasonably cheap". Although that phrase is almost devoid of meaning in any context in ireland.
I ended up taking a risk on a LOGIK 1GB MP3. The chap in Dixons was not able to tell me much about it because, as a Linux user, I was clearly some mad extra-terrestrial anarchist with a beard. He had fact after fact for me about Windows XP though.
Anyway, it works great. It just works with Ubuntu. The controls are simple and not those "trendy" ones aimed at 16 year olds with Barbie doll-sized fingers, perfect coordination and perfect eyesight. I can hit pause and - as long as the battery holds out - I can resume at the same point. Perfect for 1 hour breaks in restaurents on a long road trip. My hard disk MP3 player used to shut itself down after 10 minutes. Grrrr.