For those of you like me who see past the jazzy infomercials, the bright colors, and the draw of following the herds, there is the question of what mp3 player to choose when the IPod isn’t your automatic default. I admit, I was once delighted to unwrap my own IPod mini for Christmas – it was small, shiny and matched my favorite gym outfit. Then, I went to upload music. As most of us know, ITunes charges a hefty $0.99 per song. For any avid music lover, or long distant runner who requires a constantly updated music catalog, this adds up fast. When you turn to an alternative music subscription service, such as Rhapsody (unlimited music for something like $20 a month) IPods are not supported (Apple’s attempt to monopolize the industry and I believe Zune if following suite). If you’re lucky enough to possess a large music database or “share” your music, IPod eventually surprises you with its inevitable dying battery. Hidden in Apple’s support site:
“Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced…As with other rechargeable batteries, you may eventually need to replace your battery.”
Just a few years after purchase, my shiny, new green IPod mini wouldn’t turn on.
Time to go window shopping.
Not knowing a ton about MP3 players, I ended up picking a winner. The moderately priced Sansa players have everything the IPod has and more. They work with music subscription services like Raphsody, are simple and dependable and come in different sizes and formats, similar to the Apple players (http://www.sansa.com/players
). I’ve been using Sansa players for years now and the only instance I had to replace one is when I found it sitting at the bottom of my gym bag under a spilled water bottle. Since the sturdy player had lasted me a few years already and was considerably cheaper than an IPod, I had little trepidation shelling out money for a new one. With “a little bit of everything”, my personal favorite is the Sansa Fuze, but, of course, you’ll have to find your own favorite.