I forgot to point out a New York Times "Circuits" column from last week where David Pogue compared the iPod mini to several similar hard disk-based music players. The players compared were:
- Apple iPod mini
- Creative Zen Micro
- Virgin Electronics Player 5GB
- Dell Pocket DJ
- Rio Carbon 5GB MP3 Player
This article was interesting because Pogue found something odd or not quite right about each iPod mini competitor that would be significant enough to give me pause before making a purchase. If I were in the market for a small disk based player, I'd probably still buy an iPod mini, because I'm so comfortable with the combination of it and iTunes.
It's hard to say what the optimal digital music player / digital music library management system would be, but iPod+iTunes is the best thing on the market today by a mile.