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Apple iPod MiniWe are constantly being asked by customers "which player should I buy?" or sometimes even "Which of these 2 jukeboxes is better?", or to ourselves, when we're drinking "who would win in a fight: an iPod mini, or a Zen micro?" Once you get past the philosophical debates about which jukebox gets the net-and-trident and whether or not you can release lions into the arena, you realise that there may be some valuable insights behind this notion of jukeboxes fighting mano-a-mano.

Which jukebox is better? The simple answer is there is no simple answer. There is, however, a series of complex and nonlinear answers that are valid.

What the MP3 Fight hopes to achieve is to allow a jukebox to be compared directly to another jukebox, even if they have very different features. E.g. the iPod shuffle 1GB to the Archos AV480 - how on earth could we hope to compare those 2 Jukebox units? Ever? Through some simple, but oh-so-cunning maths. We award each category that we think is important a score out of 5, 5 being best, 3 being neutral, 1 being "you would be better off if they hadn't bothered trying to shoehorn this feature on."

We were going to put in some examples with lengthy commentary on how it all works, but the simplest way to see it is to conduct some battles of your own to get a feel for it.

Zen MicroThere are some very important factors you should keep in mind:

1. It's never going to be perfect! Its fun, not pure science.

2. It's fun! Yes, we said that in the last point. We have given our honest opinion in the scoring, but we know from experience that people do not always appreciate it if you tell the truth. The fact that we may disagree on some scoring does not mean that we're right.

3. There is a natural bias towards players with larger capacity and longer battery life - we think that's how it should be.

4. Price or 'value' is not taken into consideration, and they are important factors in any purchase.

5. YOU get to decide 3 of the scores yourself, as they are scores that owe a lot to your perceptions as a customer and cannot, by definition, be decided by us. They are just as important as our scores. Use them wisely.

Explanation of Categories

Let battle commence!!

Next Generation Portable Music
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