December 21st, 2003


Opinions on MP3 tools?

So my mother has decided that she wants to get into the MP3 world -- she spends a lot of time walking her dog, and would like to be properly equipped for it. I'm visiting her next weekend, and would like to get her set up properly.

Truth to tell, though, my own experience is limited. I have my own tools that I've picked up over the years -- Audiograbber (a good medium-power tool) for ripping, Easy CD Creator (because it was there) for burning, a little iTunes for random online shopping. But those tools aren't all the easiest to use, especially for a non-techie like my mother. And I don't have much experience with the real MP3 players; I just have a CD player that handles MP3 discs.

So I'm looking for any and all opinions about tools for MP3s -- software for ripping, burning and downloading, and portable playback hardware. I'm much more interested in ease of use, rather than power -- odds are that I will set up defaults and my mother will never change them. Price isn't a major issue: while I'm not going to spend a thousand dollars here, I'm happy to spend a few hundred to get her the right equipment. What have y'all used, and what did you think of it?