“My MP3 broke!” – Poor Man’s Guide to simple MP3s

Well, my current MP3 just broke. It served me well for last 2 years through some brutal beatings
and some mistaken laundry washings.
I thought about an ipod or zune but with their bulkiness, they are not really practical for my pockets.
Well, another point is that I don’t want to spend another $300-400 on an MP3.
Then, I looked at the ipod shuffle, but it had no LCD and no option to play with when I am bored.
Plus, I like having some kind of control over my MP3…having it shuffle by itself seems too crazy for me.
An MP3 that would do radio and play music with about 1GB of memory would do fine. On top of that,
maybe the MP3 would only cost me about a hundred dollars with nice headphones that come with it.

One more thing to consider that I consider the most important is that the MP3 player has a built-in
USB. If it doesn’t, then you gotta take a really cumbersome cable with you everywhere you go, instead
of having the comfort that your MP3 player will plug and play to any PC.

So in all this is the list of features that an ideal MP3 should have

  1. Small size
  2. Built-in USB
  3. at least 1GB of memory
  4. no video needed, just need songs!
  5. ability to scroll through playlists, meaning it needs an LCD
  6. under $150
  7. included headphones
  8. arm-band for working out
  9. takes beatings
  10. radio a must!
  11. rechargeable battery via USB

So to find the ideal MP3, I have to digg some cool tech blogs.

First I went to Engadget’s Portable Audio Section:

Well I wished Engadget had more sections that you can specify the specs and search for articles such
as Audio and Video options…

Regardless, I found a Hitachi MP3, but it seems like it’s not available in the US…
A lot of the MP3 were too new for actually buying it.

Hmm… I really wished there was a way to filter out by features and price…
now I am on page 6 and found one that matches all the features I wanted…
Moving on to TechEBlog, I decided maybe I can find some cool MP3s here:

MusiQ looked kinda cool and pricing only at $88! Well, I tried to get more information on their homepage,
but it looks like their website is down.

Sony Walkman looks pretty nice, even the old version has good stylish design and compactness that I needed.
The only thing with the new Walkman was it’s USB connector was female instead of male, which would require
additional cables to bring along with me everywhere…

Well I found the Toshiba GigaBit MP3 but again, it’s only available in Japan right now.

The Sony NW series look very nice, but looks pricey…probably is and the USB connector again is not built-in.

Well, enough looking at MP3s on the internet, I decided to go for a little outing.

After going to Target, RadioShack, and CircuitCity, I was able to locate an MP3 Player that met most of the specs:

I first hesitated for the Samsung YP-25 with price tag of $125 at CircuitCity, but with no built-in USB and no FM radio,
I had to forego the nice color LCD and touchscreen interface.
I ended up with a Sony NW-E307 even though it’s been out for a while, it met all the features that a poor man would
want. Plus, Sony’s known for nice OEM headphones. I don’t have to go out and spend another $20 on headphones.
So I plugged the built-in USB connector to my PC and Windows XP recognized it right away.

The Bean also has a built-in USB adapter that directly connects to the PC without a wire. Furthermore, Sony continues with its Super Quick Battery Charge functionality; essentially, you can charge the Bean for three minutes to listen to three hours of music. According to Sony, the total playback time is 50 hours for the 1GB version of the Bean. Continuing with standard features, we’ve the onboard FM tuner, time/calendar and multi language display. Unsurprisingly, the Bean is compatible with CONNECT, which is Sony’s Online Music store. The device has support for MP3, ATRAC3, ATRAC3 Plus, WMA and WAV audio formats.

The point of this story? Sometimes all you want is a simple gadget with least of the features.

The Poor Man’s Choice of simple MP3:


$108 from Amazon and Circuit City.

One Response to “My MP3 broke!” – Poor Man’s Guide to simple MP3s

  1. Izl says:

    Is it really durable though?

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