Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga
Personally, I keep far away from the iPod and iTunes. I use some mongrel mp3 player that doesn't try to commandeer all my entertainment choices like iTunes does. I want a simple music player, not a cross-architected digital entertainment solution that tries to take over every thing I do. Listening to tunes has gotten so hard with licenses and stuff that I just go back to my cassette player sometimes - no licenses or auto expiration or any other BS. Just the music.
I know what you mean, but really the iPod is no worse than anything else. I'll 100% agree with you that licenses and DRM suck, but that's really an iTunes thing not an iPod thing, and has much more to do with where you buy your music than what you listen to it on. Also, Apple recently made some deals with several of the major labels and is now selling a lot of DRM-free music.
But really I think you can ignore that stuff when looking for a player, because there's nothing saying you have to buy your music on iTunes to play it on the 'pod - CDs or whatever other service work fine. Videos are a little more tricky, but it's not hard to find a media converter that will take care of that for you quite nicely.