Christopher Null of Yahoo! recently decided to give another MP3 player a try after his 4th Gen iPod went kaput. He subsequently replaced his trusty ole’ iPod with a Sandisk Fuze, but it wasn’t too long before he began to miss the comfort and usability of the iPod/iTunes combo. He eventually dropped the Fuze and picked up an iPhone – and here’s why:
… But after working with both non-Apple hardware and software for a week, the things that started as little annoyances began to become truly aggravating. First was managing music and playlists through WMP. In iTunes, once you set them up once, your playlists are tied to your iPod unless you decide to remove them. You update the playlist on the PC, then sync, and it’s done. WMP doesn’t work that way. You have to drag the playlist to the appropriate column in WMP every time you want to sync it. So if you add or delete one song, you have to undertake this long process just to re-sync to your player. Add to that: On the Fuze, you have to manage the internal memory and add-on card separately, which becomes quite a pain and often ends up with duplicate songs on the device. WMP also failed to see the card in the Fuze half the time, so I’d have to pop it out and put it into a microSD card reader and access it via the card slot on my computer… yet another hassle over something that ought to be brainlessly simple to do.
Once I got the music onto the device, I was happier with the Fuze, but little things still nagged. You can’t sort a playlist the way you want, for example: The Fuze playlist shows the names of the songs, but they are sorted by artist, not by title. No matter how the playlist is sorted in WMP, this is the way it shows up on the Fuze. On the iPod, the playlist is ordered however you do so on iTunes. It’s a little thing, but it makes sifting through a thousand-song playlist for a single title (a common request from the kids yelling in the back seat) so much simpler.
The other problem is the lack of an accessories infrastructure for non-iPod hardware. I mainly listen to my iPod in the car via an FM radio transmitter attachment which also charged the iPod. Accessories for other products are hard to find: SanDisk told me that five transmitters exist (three are made by the same company), but none of them have great reviews. Eventually I bought a Griffin iTrip for Sansa, which took over a week to arrive in the mail.
You can check out the full article over here.