You don't have to fork out $250 for a super-diggy-whizbang mp3 player, do you? There are cheap mp3 players to be had, with a host of features perfectly suitable for everyday use. Here is a small sampling of some of the highest-rated cheap mp3 players. Looking at their features and failings can give you an idea of what can be attained for under $100.
The Apple iPod Shuffle is a relatively cheap mp3 player when compared to similar machines, retailing for around $100. It holds 512MB of data, and has the advantage of Flash Memory. Users like the iPod Shuffle mp3 player because it is extremely lightweight, and has good sound quality. There are drawbacks, however. Most notably, this mp3 player has no LCD screen, and very little control over the songs played. Also, it can only be charged through a USB port, or with a charger that must be purchased separately. Some users also report that the shuffle feature plays the same songs over and over. Another downfall is the lack of a radio tuner. Still, if you want a cheap mp3 player to turn on and just let it go - 12 hours on the average charge - the iPod Shuffle is a strong contender.
Another highly rated cheap mp3 player is the iRiver iFP-180T, which comes with 128MB of Flash Memory. With prices averaging $75, but dipping as low as $39, this is a very cheap machine when compared to similar 128MB mp3 players. Unlike the iPod Shuffle, the iRiver mp3 player does come with an LCD screen and an FM tuner. Users of the iRiver iFP-180T like the sound quality, but opinions vary about the ease of use, saying it is difficult to download songs, or to figure out the controls. Perhaps the chief downfall of this cheap mp3 player is the memory, only 128MB.
Sandisk makes a cheap mp3 player they call Digital Audio Player, or DAP. Models are available with 256MB of Flash Memory, which retail for around $65. The pluses of this cheap mp3 player: a large LCD screen, light weight (1.4 ounces), and a long battery life. The DAP has all the standard features you will find on most cheap mp3 players, including voice recording and the FM tuner. Critics say that the DAP mp3 player has poorer sound quality than similar machines, particularly on the voice recorder, and the controls are not intuitive.
There are many other cheap mp3 players on the market. Full retail prices are always higher than what you can find on the Internet, so shop around. Whichever brand you choose, be sure your cheap mp3 player has the basics: an industry standard 1-year warranty, headphones, USB interface, and file transfer software.
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