My trusty old Rio Karma is nearing the end of its useful life, so I’m starting to think about an upgrade.

The ‘easy’ solution would be simply to buy an iPod. Since I’m looking for something with more than 20GB of solid state (not hard drive) storage, the ‘best fit’ iPod for me would seem to be a 32GB iPod Touch. And it’s a lovely looking piece of kit — but really expensive ($A629). And then there are my pet iPod peeves:

  • limited audio format support (I’d like my device to be able to play a format that offers higher quality than MP3 at a given bit rate — maybe AAC fits the bill, but I’m not yet convinced)
  • iTunes and all the associated DRM issues (I don’t buy compressed music — everything in my existing player is ripped from CDs that I own (no copies), so I don’t need access to an online store with wide range of downloadable music).

So… I’m contemplating staying outside the iPod ecosystem. I’m seriously considering the Creative Zen 32GB player, which can be had for $A319.

If you have thoughts or experiences, let me know.