I was experimenting with my new Clip (firmware version 2.01.13A out of the box) and I discovered I don’t have to create tags for the autoresume (i.e., bookmarks) to work. Creating tags, in my case, would be inconvenient, so this is a “pro”. I just drag the mp3 file from my PC into the Clip’s Audiobooks folder. When I leave an “audiobook” then come back, it resumes. This is true whether or not I pause the file before leaving it. I just experimented with 3 such “audiobooks” (I put in parenthesis because it’s just a regular mp3 file, about 200mb, untagged, and not really an audiobook). Actually, I wouldn’t call this bookmarking. But the Clip is designed to play audiobooks, which would imply that files in the Audiobook folder are resumeable, which is actually a more intuitive way to bookmark, while sparing the user of managing bookmarks, so in a way it’s better than bookmarks.
Two other things I noticed about the clip:
1. It has an accelerating fast-forward, which is fantastic for getting past boring parts of my 4-5 hour recorded radio shows. (This is true in both music and audiobook mode.)2. If I click the FF or REW button when listening to an audiobook (or mp3 in the audiobook folder), nothing happens, which is what I would hope for, actually. Doing the same thing when listening to regular music jumps to the next or previous track, as I would expect, and desire. This dual mode way of handling regular mp3 files and files in the audiobooks folder is very convenient for users who listen to both regular music (where they might want to easily skip to another song, randomly or not), and audiobooks (where they wouldn’t want to skip to another file), and it automatically assumes the correct mode, which is convenient.
This Clip, at 8gig, is a very convenient and powerful dap. And at $69, a remarkable value. This is Walmart’s price. Best Buy was out of stock, but the retail is $99. It’s not bogged down by video capabilities that would only inflate the price, and does anybody really watch movies on those 2-3 inch screens anyway? Or browse the web? I wanted to get a device to just store about 4-8 gigs of music (from my digitized mix-tape collection) but a device that both stores AND plays back the music, the way I want it to, is a great find, and of TREMENDOUS value to me. It’s not really an apples to apples comparison, but the Touch, with the same capacity, costs $199. The Shuffle is attractive, but has less capacity and the *hassle* of synching (and let’s face it, even the tiny display of the Clip affords degrees of functionality, and therefore fun, that the Shuffle lacks). The Sansa Fuze is a slightly bigger version of the Clip, and has a mini-SD card slot – but when you attach these other technologies to an otherwise simple device, it suddenly becomes overly complicated and error prone, a direction I want to avoid.
For active people who need music when they’re walking the dog, doing yard work, working out, running, cycling, hiking, or even commuting, the Clip is a must have. Yes, I would say this is THE IPOD KILLER. But It’s diminutive size puts it below the radar of most. At first glance it looks like something entry level – but looks are deceiving. Best Buy had a noticeable display of the 2 and 4 gig models, but who’s buying 2-4 gig daps these days? Clearly the 8 gig model puts it over the top, at least for me. The size, price, capacity – and simplicity - strike a blend for me that’s just right.
By the way, does this behavior with the autoresume, in the Clip, change with later firmware versions?