The Archos Jukebox had some limitations that made it unacceptable to me. I don't know if the newer Jukebox Multimedia is the same or not. I'd check before I bought one.
First, you really need to think about how you're going to use a 20gig MP3 player over the long haul. 99% of my usage of mine falls into one of these categories:
- (Most of the time) I just have it in Shuffle mode, where it plays randomly from all the MP3s on the hard drive.
- Choose a folder (either an artist or a particular album) and hit Play. The Neo then starts playing sequentially with the first song in the first subfolder and just keeps going from there. This is great for when I want to, for example, have a Pink Floyd-fest. Pink Floyd albums are not good on Random, so doing it this way, it'll play the first CD in order, then the next CD, etc.. THIS IS THE FEATURE THAT THE OLDER ARCHOS DIDN'T HAVE.
- Choose a folder and have the Neo dynamically build a play list of all tracks in all subfolders under that folder, then listen to just that playlist on Random. This is really handy when I want to listen to, for example, only Rock. I just pick the Rock folder and it builds a playlist on the fly of all my Rock tracks, then I can listen to them in sequential order, or in random order.
The Neo does all these things pretty well. The Archos used to only work where if you started it playing a particular track, it would play sequentially through that track and all the rest in the same folder and then stop. There was no way to have it automatically go to the next folder in the parent folder's directory, and keep playing there.
I think the iPod does all these things, too, but I haven't played with one enough to be sure. One thing that DOES suck about the iPod is that you don't get to control the folder structure. It does it automatically by Genre/Artist/Album, based on ID3 tags. Which means, if you don't happen to agree with the CDDB-chosen genre for a particular album, you have to manually edit the ID3 tags in all the tracks that were ripped from that CD and change them to what you want them to be.
Of course, it's the same problem if you want to define your own genre's based on what you like to listen to. For example, for me, I have a lot of Jazz. So instead of just having one big Jazz folder, I have Jazz (for instrumental stuff), Jazz Singers, Big Band, and Blues. They're all separate, so I can split my music up between them and be able to find specific songs more easily when I'm looking for them.
Oh, and something I don't do, but a friend does with his Neo, that some other players won't do worth a crap, is listen to books-on-tape. The Neo has the ability to resume playing from exactly where you left off, when you turn it back on. If you're listening to a book, you need to be able to do that. Some players will only let you resume from the beginning of the track you were listening to when you turned it off.
I use my MP3 player at my house, hooked to my home stereo, in my truck, hooked to the Aux In on my receiver, in my office, either with headphones or hooked to the stereo in my office, and on my motorcycle, with headphones inside my helmet. Having that small a device that holds EVERY CD I own, positively rocks! Get yourself one! But make sure it will actually do what you want to use it for.