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The Best MP3 Players Today

 

The best mp3 player is the one the most fits your needs, whilst providing the highest quality for the best value price.

In determining the best mp3 player, we have considered:

 

Best MP3 Player Overall - iPod Nano [4G]

The iPod Nano comes about above virtually all other MP3 players when considering both sound quality and ease of use.

The key features that earn the iPod this pride of place include:

  • Higher scratch resistant Aluminum shell - much improved on the first-generation nano.
  • Brighter Screen - the 1.5-inch screen is 40 percent brighter than the first nano.
  • Better Battery life - improved to around 24 hours
  • Best Attribute Set - the nano has the best attribute set, in spite of it not playing video or having an FM tuner,

The key disadvantage of the iPod Nano is the restriction on music purchase locations - at present this is limited to Apple's iTunes store.

The iPod nano comes in five colors and is available in 2GB [ 450-500 songs] and 8GB [~2,000 songs] - the 4G model is around $US195.

 

Best Featured MP3 Player - iRiver Clix - 2GB

If you are a feature junky and are willing to deal with the additional weight and complexity, then the iRiver CLix is the best MP3 Player for you.

The Clix has most features of both the SanDisk Sansa e200 series, and the iPod nano, and still comes in very close to the iPod in most MP3 Player reviews. So what makes this MP3 Player so hot:

  • Larger 2.2 inch color LCD touch screen - the doubles for navigation
  • Video Capable
  • High quality sound and video
  • FM Tuner, Voice recorder and Equalizer!!
  • Macromedia Flash Player and Flash games
  • Alarm Clock
  • Long battery life [20 hours]

That's a whole lot of MP3/Video/FM player, all with a very slick user interface, and at a very reasonable $US160 for the 2G model.

Best Value MP3 Player - SanDisk Sansa e280 - 8GB

Expert reviews place the SanDisk Sansa line of MP3 players as the best value Mp3 player available. This is based on the combination of its great design, features and value.

At $US210, the 8GB version costs about $70 less than the 8GB iPod nano. Plus, the Sansa e280 has a great feature set, including:

  • A larger 1.8-inch screen
  • Plays videos and photos.
  • Has an FM tuner and voice recorder
  • A microSD card slot for adding more memory.
  • 22-hour battery life.
  • Has a user-replaceable battery -- a feature lacking in all iPod players.

The main disadvantage is that the SanDisk is not as intuitive as the iPod/iTunes system. However, it is still relatively easy to use and proves its worth as the best MP3 Player for the money. [8GB, *est. $210]

 

Best Budget MP3 player - Creative Zen V Plus [2 GB]

At around $US90, the Creative Zen V Plus MP3 Player has proven easy to use and great compared to other Mp3 Players. Features include:

  • An FM radio
  • Photo viewer
  • Video player
  • Alarm clock
  • Calendar and organizer - can sync with Outlook.
  • 15 hour+ battery life

The main disadvantage of the Zen V Plus is that whilst it is compatible with most music formats and music-subscription services, it is not compatible with Apple's AAC format, making it an unsuitable upgrade to load your ipod tunes. The Creative MP3 player is PC only.

 

Best Large Capacity - Apple iPod - 80GB

Supporting 20,000 songs!!!...the best capacity MP3 player is the iPod. Experts agree that with the seamless integration of the iPod hardware and the iTunes software and song library, this MP3 player is the brute of the pack.

With the latest iPod featuring a much brighter screen, and playing both photos and video it stacks up as a much improved contender as a multi-media player. Its operation is akin to the iPhone, with improved search function helping users find specific songs.

The main drawback is the ever restricting proprietary AAC music format common oto all Apple MP3 players, meanin gyou are still limited mainly to the iTunes music store for music downloads.

A 30GB iPod costs around $US250 with an 80G model also available at $330.

 


Closest iPod Rival - Toshiba Gigabeat - [30GB]

If you are an iPod evangalist but just can't justify the price for the lack of features and range of music formats, the Toshiba Gigabeat is the closest contenter to the Aple iPod in terms of its intuitive interface, small size and excellent audio quality.

Like the iPod, the Toshiba plays both audio and video, but beats the iPod in the range of music and video formats it supports, including music subscription services like Napster To Go.

The 30GB Toshiba Gigabeat is about the same size as the iPod, with the same size color screen.

So for those wanting a large-capacity player, unshackled from Apple's proprietary music format, the Windows-only Toshiba Gigabeat is the favorite large-capacity player in current markets. Priced at around $US195. Also available in a 60GB version [ $US260].

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