Disclaimer: I have searched Google and have some brands in mind, however looking at a page of statistics is one thing but it needs to be accompanied by a human opinion who is not a professional reviewer. That is why I am asking the forums.
As I stated in my title, I have some requirements so please don't recommend anything that doesn't fit:
Storage: The bigger the better I guess, I'd say the minimum is 20Gb.
Formats: Must be able to play .mp3, .ogg and .flac, either with or without a firmware modification. Playback must be gapless. I do not want video playback. If it can play back video then thats fine, but I have no intention of using it. If that increases the price dramatically then recommend an MP3 player that doesn't play videos.
DRM compatibility: I have no DRMed files so its not an issue
Connectivity: USB, which is pretty much standard. Firewire would be a nice bonus but not essential. Software must be compatible with Windows XP and Vista. Drag and drop however will be highly recommended.
Battery Life: Usage will be about 5 hours continuous playback per day, so something that can last that long would be good. Also fast charging would be nice but not essential.
Extras: Minimalistic as possible, I just want to be able to play music in the 3 formats mentioned above.
Interface: I don't need a colour screen but I do need a screen, something to navigate my collection easily. Album art and all the stuff doesn't appeal to me.
Price: Not much of an issue, but I don't want to pay for additional functions that I will never use e.g. Video playback. Stores which offer student discounts would also be appreciated. Warranties would also be nice.
These are my requirements and it doesn't have to acomodate every single need. If it has a colour screen but does everything else I want then that is fine, as long as there is nothing of higher quality or value.