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A modest price, don't you think?
Ho-lee crap: a pair of ear-bud headphones for $500. I didn’t even know those existed, let alone that there were enough mobile audiophiles to justify such a product in the first place.

I mean, five hundred dollars USD, WTF?

In other news, I’m considering buying a Neuros II 256MB portable audio player.

The pros:
  • Cost ($140 US is typical for that amount of storage)
  • Supports Ogg Vorbis audio files
  • Works with Linux as well as Windows and Mac
  • Can be used as a USB removable storage device (though it won’t “see” music stored via drag-n-drop, I can at least take it home and then put it back on via the regular sync program)
  • Firmware is open-source and upgradeable, meaning that future revisions will support new audio formats (such as FLAC) and features (such as Replay Gain)
  • Storage is upgradeable to as much as 80GB (via swappable “backpacks” that connect to the “brain”)
  • Customer support looks to be very good
  • Broadcasts music via short-range FM radio
  • Records and compresses audio with a built-in microphone or the line-in jack
  • Not a hard-drive player so I don’t have to worry about jiggling it or getting it too near the magnetic closure on my courier’s bag
The cons:
  • It’s bloody huge for 256MB of storage
  • It’s not available locally and I’d have to have it shipped here. Not so bad, since nothing available locally even knows about Ogg files
  • Upgrading the backpack to a hard-drive storage one makes it bloody huger
  • It’s black and orange, which might offend people nearby
  • The defect rate is not negligible, though it’s magnified by their policy of open customer forums. And from some reports, the more well-known brands of portable players have as significant a defect rate that just isn’t publicised by the company (google “rio carbon static” for one example). Still, good customer support has been demonstrated in these cases, but it would be a pain to have it get here only to send it back.
  • I can’t use it as a mass storage device without toting around the USB cable
  • It’s freaking bloody huge