Wednesday, March 26, 2008

FIOS and Rhapsody, the killer combo

I recently picked up a Sansa e260, an mp3 player, from for a lowly $49 after shipping. I've toyed with the idea of getting a media player for some time, but I've never been a fan of the DRM nonsense of iTunes and the iPod is crazy expensive for an mp3 player, even if I think the user interface is awesome. I've looked at other mp3 players, but I could never get myself motivated to go through the trouble of ripping all of music (legally) so that I could have it in portable form. On top of that, I've become a power user of, where I have an unlimited subscription to just about anything I want to listen to. (Seriously, if you haven't tried it, you need to click your way over there right now to understand the ramifications of leasing your music instead of buying it.) I listen to most of my music at work and at home, so a portable player, and all that trouble, just didn't seem worth it for me to have it for the short trip to work or the occasional longer road trip or flight to see family.

But the amazing part of the Sansa player is that it is compatible with the Rhapsody-to-go feature. I can transfer the leased music to my Sansa as if it were any other mp3, and I don't have to bother with ripping the song or paying for it. With that amazing price (it's a refurb), I couldn't say no any more. I've all the music I could ever want and I can take it with me anywhere I go. Bliss.

I did notice something that surprised me, even though at this point it probably shouldn't. When I got the Sansa in the mail, it was delivered to my work address (to avoid having it stolen off my doorstep) and so I started transferring songs from Rhapsody, and it was a breeze. It took about 10 minutes to get an entire album on the Sansa, which I thought was kinda slow. I got home and started the transfers again and HOLY COW I could get several albums on there in under a minute. Hot diggity! I puzzled at the disparity in speeds for awhile, because both machines were pretty beefy and used USB2. Finally, the light bulb came on. In order to transfer the files from Rhapsody to the Sansa, I actually had to get them from the Rhapsody server first. My FIOS connection was outperforming my work's lowly T1 connection that I share with twenty-something other people.

I can't sing the praises of this setup enough. All the music I can listen to, with album transfer speeds that are shorter than most pop songs.

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