There are so many mp3 players on the market that it can be difficult to know which one to buy. If you don’t want to support Apple by buying one of their ubiquitous iPods, there are some great alternatives out there. Some of these alternative mp3 players may be less expensive than the iPod, play various types of media more effectively than the iPod, and have a longer battery life than the iPod. Look through the following list of some of the best mp3 competitors to the Apple iPod to see which one most aptly fits your needs.
1. Microsoft Zune
The Microsoft Zune HD digital media player can play both music and video in high definition format. It also contains an HD radio tuner and can integrate subscription music services. With Zune,you can buy, stream,and play music, HD video, games, and podcasts. It will hold4000 songs, 24hours of SD video,5 hours of HD video. It is,however, only PC-compatible, so ifyou’re a Mac useryou’re out of luck with this one. The Microsoft Zune is available in a 16GB format for $192, 32GB for $228, 64 GB for $280, 80 GB for $325, or 120 GB for $375.
2. Archos 605 WiFi portable media player
The Archos 605 WiFi portable media player will play a variety of media choices, including MPEG-4, AVI, and WMV formats. You can also buy support for other formats. Its WiFi capabilities makes it easy for anyone to download movies, television, music, photos, and PDF files, or even to stream content from your PC or the Internet to your television. The Archos 605 WiFi portable media player is currently selling at the following prices: 30 GB, $320; 160 GB, $370; 250 GB, $450.
3. Ibiza Rhapsody Wi Fi media player
Wireless and with Bluetooth capabilities, the Ibiza Rhapsody makes your Rhapsody account portable. It comes with FM stations, free videos on demand from AOL, 1000 podcasts, and a web browser. If you’re not a Rhapsody subscriber, it comes with a 30 day trial of Rhapsody to Go, with its library of 4 million songs. It works on Windows XP and Vista only, so Mac users are again, unfortunately, left out in the cold. The Ibiza Rhapsody 30GB model sells for $160.
4. Cowon O2 Portable Media Player
Want an mp3 player that will play TV shows, photos, music and movies, plus record video from camcorder and TV? The Cowon A3 is your best bet in that category. Its FM tuner has record capability and it also comes with a voice recorder and line-in recording to MP3. It holds about 8000 songs or 8 hours of video. Best of all, it’s affordable: you can pick up a 32 GB Cowon O2 for about $180.
5. Creative Zen Portable Media Center
At only the width of a credit card, the Creative Zen will fit right into your pocket for convenient portability. It holds 9000 songs, 7 hours of videos, and hundreds of photos. You can listen to music and video downloaded through iTunes on this as well, making it the first real viable competitor to the iPod. It also comes with FM radio, a voice recorder, and support for subscription music and video services. The 20 GB Creative Zen Portable Media Center costs about $300.
6. Creative Zen MX Video MP3 Player
If you’re looking for something a little less expensive but with full video and mp3 capabilities, the Creative Zen MX Video MP3 Player is for you. This handy little gadget features a 2.5-inch color TFT display, 8 GB of storage with SD card expansion, up to 30 hours of continuous audio playback, an FM radio, voice recorder, and clock with alarm. It supports music formats including MP3, WMA, and AUDIBLE 4. The price of this little guy is attractive as well, at $120.
7. Iriver E150 Digital Media Player
This 8GB media player handles music files including MP3, WMA, ASF,OGG Q10 and FLAC (Lossless), as well as video files MPGE, WMV9, XVID. It also has an FM Radio Tuner and FM recording reservation, Voice Recording, Photo Viewer, and Text Viewer. Users love the long battery life of this player, which averages 5 to 10 hours depending upon the type of usage. The affordable Iriver can be purchased for $100.
8. Samsung P3 Palm Theatre Plus MP3 player
If you want a top-notch portable audio player but don’t care about video, this one is for you. It will play numerous audio formats such as MP3, WMA, OGG, AAX, FLAC, WAV and ASF. With Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity, a built-in FM tuner and its compatibility to PC (sorry again, Mac users), this is one of the best audio mp3 players on the market. The 32 GB model sells for about $230.
9. Sony Walkman MP3 Player
Remember when your good old Sony Walkman was innovative? Well, the new model is just as innovative as its predecessors. The 16GB mp3 player will play movies and digital photos as well as music, supporting formats like AAC, MP3, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, L-PCM, WAV, WMA (DRM), WMV (DRM) and JPEG. With an FM radio tuner, voice recorder, and PC compatibility, this mp3 player is a popular choice among entry-level buyers. You can pick up a 16 GB model for around $100 in a variety of colors.
10. Sandisk Sansa View Video MP3 Player
The Sansa View Video MP3 Player by Sandisk offers both audio and video capabilities, and supports formats such as MP3, protected and unprotected WMA,WAV, and DRM-free MP3 downloads. The built-in FM radio comes with 20 digital presets, and an expandable MicroSD/SDHC card slot is also included for additional storage capacity. One of the least expensive of the fully functional alternatives to the iPod that offers both music and video, the Sandisk Sansa View sells for $60 for a 4GB model, $70 for an 8GB model, and $100 for a 16 GB model.