Opinion

There’s Still a Place for Old School MP3 Players

Why the “Outdated” Devices Deserve Space in Our Pockets

By Lucia Rossi

The one thing that wakes me up and puts me in a good mood for the day besides caffeine, is music. Nothing prepares me better for anything than getting pumped by my favorite guitar riffs, inspiring high notes, and hair flipping melodies.

Commercials and monthly payments for Spotify and Pandora have ruined my musical experience because the money spent adds up.

The free versions are beyond frustrating as they’re often coupled with the inability to change songs and constant advertisements.

Needless to say, I’ve had enough.

I decided that this year is the year where I enjoy my music again and take back control.

Although I am usually supportive of modern technological advancements, some old things should have never gone away, like MP3 players.

Growing up with Windows and Android products, I always steered away from Apple products because of their lack of customization and unfriendly prices. I didn’t want to feed the money-grubbing industry that includes iTunes, Apple Music, the iOS system, or even the Cloud.

In all honesty, all companies are money-grubbers but I can take advantage of some better than others.

Anyway, my main concerns when looking for a worthwhile MP3 player are space and battery life.

Quick background story, I own an 8 GB iPod Nano and 8 GB iPad mini. My iPod is from high school and served me well for that time but didn’t have enough space and doesn’t have the ability to run applications.

My iPad mini is full of apps but is only used for school.

My phone is a Samsung Galaxy S5 which may be glitchy at times but otherwise loyal, and comes with 16 GB of memory with a micro SD card slot next to the battery.

“Why don’t you just put your music on an SD card for your phone,” you may ask. Although people may not agree, I’d rather have a separate device solely dedicated to music so it doesn’t drain my phone battery.

Also, what if I have multiple SD cards with music? Then I have to constantly switch them out by removing the back of the phone casing which can get tedious.

I take pride in being very prepared for disasters as well as any misfortunes, so I bring an external power bank for my devices while on the go to work and school as well as extra fully charged batteries for my phone in case of emergency.

Call me paranoid, but this came especially handy during Hurricane Sandy.

When it comes down to it, what I was looking for was an iPod ouch without buying an iPod Touch.

I wanted the ability to change batteries easily, have speakers to play music out loud, a long battery life span, a micro SD card slot for expandable memory, a program system that is reliable, and the ability to use Wi-Fi for internet with applications.

Yes, an iPod may do some of these things but the price is not poor-college student friendly.

I considered many options before I made my decision. I checked top 10 lists, watched YouTube demos, read customer reviews, and compared specifications of different devices.

Although, I must admit, the Sandisk Sansa Clip/Fuze/etc. series and the Sony Walkman series (yes, they still exist) are great choices for those who go to the gym.

They’re small enough to clip to your clothes, they’re durable and have high ratings but are limited in memory.

I debated the pros and cons of Microsoft’s Zune which is comparable to Apple’s iPod Classic.

It comes with a ton of space since its hard drive based, can use Wi-Fi, has up to 14 hours of battery life, but the price is more than a typical iPod, which automatically disqualifies it.

The Cowon X9 and M2 were highly debatable choices. Both have flash memory devices that have expandable memory with a micro SD card slot, speakers, and a crazy amount of battery life. The M2 has 90 hours of battery life while the X9 has 110 hours! The price is also right at about $140-$150 each.

The downside is you can only get these products imported from Japan, so I’m skeptical of their quality even with their decent ratings.

I found it somewhat disappointing that you couldn’t use Wi-Fi or apps although this wasn’t originally a necessity for me.

Video reviews also claimed that the touch screens didn’t read touch very accurately and was often glitchy.

Then I found the MP3 of my dreams, the Samsung Galaxy Player 5. It’s a complete shame this product was discontinued by Samsung because it’s basically an iPod Touch, but better.

The product runs on an outdated Android 2.2 system. But that doesn’t bother me too much because it has a camera, front facing camera, 8 GB of storage with a micro SD card slot for expansion, has 60 hours of battery life, speakers, Wi-Fi, GPS, and an app store.

Even more exciting, it can be bought on Ebay in perfect condition for less than $100 with a 64 GB micro SD card on Amazon for about $20.

The Samsung Galaxy Player is something old and yet new that may not have survived on the market but is still a product that should be remembered and noticed.

This MP3 is sadly underrated and under appreciated when it has the potential to surpass iPods if it was simply upgraded.

Regardless, I love my MP3 and I look forward to our long and happy musical relationship together.

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