These days, having loads of digital music is the norm. We have it on our cell phones, laptops, and tablets; and many of us have it stored in the cloud. Buying digital music is as easy, but finding just the right device to hold it all and play it back can be a challenge. Music can be a very personal thing, and the right device for one audiophile might not be the right device for another. It is important to consider and compare many factors before choosing your digital music player. Battery life plays an important role in the choice, as does the type and amount of storage, the type of playback, the ease or complexity of use, and device durability. This article reviews five of the most popular, most affordable digital music players available today.
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#1. AGPtEK A02 8GB MP3 Lossless Sound Music Player, Black
This device has an impressive range of capabilities. It plays music, and it will also play radio station, record 20 hours of lectures or conversations, play video, and act as an e-book reader. All of those features make it sound complicated to use, but it’s comparatively simple to operate. One of its best features, especially for those who plan to use it in the car, is a simple mode that allows for one-touch volume control and song selection. The AGPtEK A02 also gets an A for storage capacity. It will hold several hundred songs in its 8GB internal memory, and is expandable to about 4,000 songs with a 64GB SD card (not included). The entire unit weighs just a little over 1 ounce, and for such a small package, it can put out some decibels. Invest in good headphones, and this player will have you jamming everywhere you go. The manufacturer claims that the unit has a 70-hour battery life, and when I tested it, it lived up to that promise. Mine lasted for 3 days and finally bit the dust on the morning of the 4th day. Now I didn’t listen to music for all of that time, but the device remained powered and played whenever I wanted to to for three days, and that’s a win in my book.
#2. Apple iPod nano 16GB Silver (7th Generation)
This iPod nano package is appealing because it comes with generic earpods and a USB data cable. It costs a little more than some of the other players, but by the time you buy the accessories for a cheaper player, you could have this little Apple for a very reasonable price. The iPod nano features Apple’s usual intuitive user interface, and boasts 30 hours of music playback or 3.5 hours of video playback. Just 5.4mm thick, this iPod is the thinnest iPod ever made. It has a solid, durable feel to it and it will fit easily in a pocket, purse, or just about anywhere, really. It has the high-quality audio playback that you would expect from Apple, and overall it is one of my favorite digital music players.
#3. Apple MKME2LL/A iPod Shuffle 2GB, Bluehttp
The iPod Shuffle’s greatest attribute is its price. For just over $50, you can have an iPod. Frankly, however, everything else about it just doesn’t measure up to the other digital music players out there. This model is 2GB, so it holds over 100 songs, but that’s a far cry from the thousands of songs you can fit on an SD-expandable model. It can’t play video or record voice, and it can’t show you album art. It can, however, tell you the name of the song that’s playing. The battery life on this model is respectable. It will give you several hours of playback before needing a recharge. It’s compact, lightweight, and durable; so for running, biking, working out, and that sort of thing, it’s perfect. The iPod shuffle is a classic basic that will probably be around forever. If you’re looking for something easy, inexpensive, and long-lasting, an iPod shuffle is a solid choice.
#4. Lonve Music Player 16GB, Blue 1.82” with Screen, FM Radio
This little $20 gem is so light that I’d forget it was in my pocket. With 16GB internal memory, it will hold a few thousand songs, depending on the file size and type. The screen is easy to read and the user controls are simple. I didn’t have any trouble figuring this one out. It has a voice recorder, and it is expandable with a micro-SD chip. The Lonve has great battery life, usually around 9 hours of playback, and an odd collection of extra features. It will let you load a shopping list or an e-book, and it has a game or two on it. To me, a good music player should simply be a good music player, but hey. To each their own. The sound quality is good, but not outstanding, and the unit feels surprisingly durable to be almost entirely plastic. If you’re looking for tunes on a shoestring budget, the Lonve is for you.
#5. Apple iPod touch 8 GB Black (4th Gen) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
The Apple iPod Touch is so much more than just a digital music player. To get the basics out of the way, it has outstanding sound quality and the intuitive use controls you expect in an Apple product. This device boasts 40 hours of audio playback or 10 hours of video playback on a single charge, and its built-in 8GB storage capacity holds enough that you would never have to hear or see the same thing twice in one day. Other than being an excellent digital music player, the iPod touch is nearly an iPhone without the telephone app. It can download apps and games, it has an impressive HD camera, and it even supports iMovie so that you can trim, edit, and share video on-the-go. This model tips the pricing scale at over $150.00, so if cost isn’t a concern for you, you need one of these. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the Cadillac of the digital music players.
No matter what kind of music you love, there is a digital music player out there that you will love too. The Lonve is a great choice for the poor college student who needs to record lectures by day and rock out by night. The iPod shuffle is attractive for an athlete or a construction worker who needs something light, compact, and tough. For that marathon executive who travels the world all week, the 70 hour battery life on the AGPtEK is a win, and for anybody who has the money and just wants a great music player, you can’t go wrong with an iPod nano or an iPod Touch. The best way to select your digital music player is to think about how you’re going to use it, think about how much you want to spend on it, and then use articles like this to research the pro’s and con’s of your top three or four choices. Happy hunting, music lover!