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This will not a thorough test, just a comparison between two very distinct devices that can both be used for listening to podcasts. I compare 2 years old iPod mini and spankin’ new Sony Ericsson W800i.

I use iPod almost exclusively for podcasts and I always carry phone with me (except when I forget it somewhere, which is not very uncommon). If I could I would merge both devices and I would have to worry for one battery less.

Here what I think good podcasting device should do/have and what these devices have/can do:

Feature iPod mini SE W800i Comment
Storage 4 GB 500 MB Both have more than enough storage for couple of shows.
Fits in pocket yes yes Essential.
Remembers the position when song/podcast was stopped yes yes This is crucial. Trying to remember where you last stopped listening and rewinding can take a lot fun out of podcasts. iPod remembers positions of every podcast if you listen to .m4b audio books.
Sufficient battery life days days Both can hold their juice for couple of days which works for me.
Fast Forwarding accelerated slow SE fails here. Fast Forwarding is not fast at all. It can take you couple of minutes to fast forward and hour long show.
Easy uploading yes yes You can put songs on iPod in gazzilion ways. You can use infra red, bluetooth or USB for SE. Quite different, but both good enough. 
Faster playing yes no This is killer function of a podcast player. You can accelerate playback on iPods if you listen to .m4b audio books.

So, what’s the conclusion? W800i is a great walkman. But it is still bad compared to iPod. If I would own an iPod I would use it for listening to podcasts, but this way I still carry both with me.

Posted on Wednesday, February 08, 2006 11:13 PM | Filed under: Gadgets |

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# re: What makes a good podcast listening device? 2/9/2006 4:27 PM Mark
I love the feel of W800i in my hands. I don't own one but one of my friends has it and sometimes I had some fun with it. It's just a fun phone to carry around, to use it for different fun stuff. When my t610 dies (which will probably be very soon) I will consider it.

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