An MP3 Casualty of Vacation

I had a wonderful time on my vacation, but there was a bit of a tragedy as I lost my Creative Zan Nano Plus 1GB MP3 player. It’s a shame because I had gotten such a great deal on it during the CompUSA liquidation. The price for it now is around double of what I had paid two years ago.

Without another liquidation on the horizon, I decided to do a search for some of the best values around, as we like to do here on Techeap.

Everyone’s search is going to depend on their selected criteria and what they are looking for an MP3 player to do. My main use for this is primarily podcasts, and I rotate through those pretty quickly. Therefore, I don’t need a large amount of storage space, so I’m looking for other features to tip the balance. I’ve also considered adding on video, so I can start to catch the video content that is floating out there on the web.

Here’s the list of things I’m looking to find.

  • At least 1GB for audio (5GB for video)
  • FM Tuning (and preferably recording)
  • Voice Recording (I sometimes like to make little notes for myself)
  • At least 12 hours of battery life
  • Having an expandable SD card slot would be a big plus

Here are some of the items that I found.

With those things in mind, here’s what I found.

Coby seems to lead the way with selection for value-minded customers. Reviews across the net to seem to indicate that there are some lemons, but the people who have gotten their working seem to be pretty happy with them.

First up are a link from 6th Avenue Electronics. I should note that while these links don’t have the absolute rock-bottom prices. I have dealt with this store before, and I like the format of their spec sheets. It’s definitely worthwhile to look elsewhere after reading about them here.

Coby MPC-694 was a nice baseline for me to work from. For about 30 bucks, this item had basically everything that I was looking for except for video playback. The reviews I had found though confirmed my suspicions that it had a very light feel and seems to be prone to scratching.

SanDisk Sansa Clip 1GB has a very nice aesthetic and spectacular reviews. The worst thing people said about it is that a few had bad batteries and some times the clip broke off. It was about the same price for about half the memory and a few other features missing, but the reputation did mean something.

I didn’t realize how expensive it would be to add video to an MP3 players. Most of the items that played anything resembling a standard format like AVI or MPG were all well into the $100 range.

Finally, I came across another selection by Colby that really impressed me.

Coby PMP-3522 had a list price of over $300, but with a ticket price at $70, they certainly had my attention. There are, however, very few reviews for this item. The good news is, however, the Amazon re-seller is actually a local business for me, so I’m going to go check it out in person before making any decisions.

I’ll keep you posted of the results here. I should mention that I did actually consider the iPods, including the Touch, which has a great amount of functionality beyond that of an MP3 player, but the Apple tax just put them completely out of my price range.

What do you think the best value in this market is? Leave some thoughts in the comments.

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