There's a lot of people out there who think they're too "cool", too "hip" to own an iPod. (Communists.) For these people, the New York Times has put together a small fiesta of non-iPods to lust after. For the tantalizing details, jump. Word.
After interviewing a college freshman who's too busy discovering himself to admit that the iPod is a quality product, the article looks at the SanDisk Sansa e200, the Creative Zen V Plus, the iRiver Clix and the Samsung Yepp YP-T9J. All of these anti-iPods come with features that Apple has chosen to ignore, like built-in FM radio tuners and microphones. The iPod still has the edge in terms of aesthetics and is still the slimmest out of all of them.
What many people, especially tech nerds like us, claim keeps them coming back to the iPod is its interface. For a lot of folks, Apple's scroll wheel and menu structure are a perfect fit; it's the standard that others are held to, unfairly or not. The Sansa sports the best interface among the anti-iPods as it's the closest to replicating the iPod's system without creating copyright issues.
Video. Yes, these anti-iPods also play video, provided you convert the video into a format that the player can read. The Yepp handles video the best, thanks to its brighter screen. The Zen's fared the worst, due to its smaller and dimmer screen.
So, all in all, the non-iPods are able to play all your digital music, less music bought from the iTunes Store, which is all they really need to do. Oh, and they're not an iPod. Rock on, rebellious youth.
Singing the Praises of the Non-Nano [New York Times]