Lori Arledge, one of our school technology coordinators, is teaching a graduate course for us this summer for our district teachers. The course includes podcasting, and she was demonstrating one of the Sansa Clip MP3 players she had purchased for our school. She graciously allowed me to take one home for the weekend to give it a whirl.
As can be seen in the photo above, the Sansa Clip is only slightly larger than the iPod Shuffle. The version I have sports 1 GB of memory, although a 2 GB version is available. What you get with that slightly larger size is the following:
- MP3 playback (of course)
- Multi-line display screen
- FM tuner
- FM recording
- Voice memo recording
Considering that the iPod Shuffle only offers MP3 playback an no video display, this is a pretty slick set of features. What’s even more amazing is the price comparison. Amazon has the Sansa Clip 1 GB listed for about $34, and the 2 GB version listing for about $50. I also saw a 4 GB version for about $75. That’s some pretty aggressive pricing, considering that the 1 GB Apple iPod Shuffle is about $50 from Amazon. That Apple logo sure must cost a lot to apply.
In its defense, my iPod shuffle has been rock-solid and reliable. It has a brushed aluminum case, so it’s rugged enough to stand up to workouts in the gym or working in the yard. In fact, I use this one more than my full-sized iPod. The Sansa, on the other hand, is made of lightweight plastic, and doesn’t appear to be as substantial as the iPod.
From an operational standpoint, the Sansa is very easy to use. Having the display screen REALLY is a bonus. Sound quality is also fairly good. I tried to FM receiver, and while reception wasn’t stellar, those stations that it did pick up sounded fine. I haven’t tried recording from FM, though. I may try that out this weekend. The voice recording works well, picking up conversations while even in my pocket (yes, I tested it covertly, but I won’t post those conversations.) The quality is nowhere near studio quality, but it’s good enough for podcasting.
The device connects to the computer via a mini-USB cable, setting itself up as an external drive just like a thumb drive or other external drive. Putting music on it is as easy as dragging and dropping the MP3 files onto the unit. Managing files on the device is just as easy.
From a sheer feature-to-price standpoint, the Sansa beats the iPod hands down. Especially if you just get the 1 GB version, the Sansa looks like it would be a great multimedia tool for the classroom.
[tags]Sansa, MP3 Player, podcasting, iPod[/tags]