Gadget whores needed

Gadget whores, I need your help. I want to get my mom an mp3/digital audio player for Christmas. The zune and iPod are overkill for her needs, I think. She’s got tons of CDs (mostly opera), but is very unlikely to purchase music online. Can any of you recommend a little device that would work for her? Here’s the criteria:

Easy to use… too many buttons and flashy things on the device itself will frustrate and confuse her
Easy to rip CDs and create playlists–simple interface
Works with Windows

Anybody have something that fits the bill here? Maybe something you got for one of your kids? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


  1. My mother is a champ with iTunes. Personally, I would go for a modest iPod. I have not played with the Zune yet–it is a possibility too since buying music online is not in the cards anyway. It’s your mother! Overkill is not possible.

  2. I think a Creative 256MB/512MB should be great, like the MuVo N200…. It is pretty simple, and PlaysForSure, so anyone with access to Windows Media Player will be able to convert and sync mp3 there :)Hope i helped.

  3. I don’t know why you wouldnt just get her a Zune. The Zune benifites those with large CD collections most of all. It is the digi downloaders and subscribers that can find waay better and simpler solutions than the Zune.
    As you know, the Zune is probably the easiest to operate device on the market right now.
    The only drawbacks are that she won’t be able to rip her opera in a lossless format for optimal sound and the lack of gapless playback.
    What do you think she will use it for? Will she use it as a portable device or will she more likely use it as a replacement CD player in her home?
    If she is more likely to use it as a home system, I still think the Zune would be a good choice. Get her a good home dock with a remote and she can load all her CDs on to the device.
    If you think she is going to use it portable with earbuds, then just go with what you know and get a little shuffle or something. Your familiar with that and can help her out. 

  4. I don’t think you can find an easier to use mp3 player than the iPod.  iTunes is great for ripping cd’s.  

  5. The Samsung Sansas are extremely easy to use.  They have a 4gb model and of course it works with Media Player 11 so it is easy to make playlists and such.  The iRiver Clix is also a good find.  It works with Media Player 11 and now comes in 4gigs as well.  The cool thing about it is that you navigate the menus by clicking the outside edges of the player itself.  It also has video capability although they don’t look that great.

  6. I have to agree that the Nano or Shuffle might work well. I got my mom a shuffle for her birthday and she grew so comfortable with it and iTunes that she bought herself a iPod video this year.XBL: Saffista

  7. i just bought my 9 year old a shuffle and its small and great! so easy to use, he needed no lessons

  8. I agree with the Creative Zen Nano.  I got one for my technically challenged mother and she found the drag and drop interface very easy to use.  No proprietary software to worry about.  You can take whatever is already on the comp and just drag it to the device.  AND.. it comes in lots of colors 🙂
    I even gave you a link to check it out! 🙂

  9. I can’t really offer an opinion, as I like my gadgets to be as arcane and user-unfriendly as possible (my iRiver PMP-140 is great.  No one will ever try to ‘borrow’ it).
    However, it’s pretty clear to me that too many buttons is much better than too few.  If there are too many, then you only use the ones you need – play, pause, skip, whatever.  I once had an MP3 player with 1 button and a lever-thing.  It performed different functions depending on how long you held it or how hard you pressed it.  There were no cues on how to use it on the device; if you forgot how to do something you had to check the manual.  It was teh suck.

  10. Get her a Creative Zen V, 4GB, since it it’s easy to use, operates similar to an Ipod (with few buttons) and has drag-and-drop capabilities.  You’ll want the bigger size, since you’ll need room for her tons of CDs now and for the future ones (this player can handle 2000 songs), plus she can put some photos, etc on there too.
    One thing I’ve found is that while our parents don’t want to download music at the beginning, that changes quickly once they see how easy it is to do.  You want to buy more than you think she needs, since it will fill up quickly and the worst thing is to have to choose what songs to delete to add new ones.
    Here’s a link to them at Walmart
    Happy belated Thanksgiving to all.

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