Best MP3 Players and Digital Music Devices

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Although it’s been more than 30 years since the Sony Walkman made music mobile, and more than 10 years since the iPod began the revolution on personal electronics, devices dedicated to downloading, storing and, of course, playing music still remain one of the most popular tech items for both youth and adults.  Whether it’s playing songs you have in your own personal collection or streaming music from Internet-based services via a Wi-Fi connection, these five of the best MP3 players and digital music devices (including portable media players) available today are essential for anyone looking to bring the joy of music with them wherever they go.

iPod Touch – The iPod Touch remains the essential portable music player simply because of how easy they are to use and how pervasive the Apple brand has become.  Sure, the iPod Touch is now basically a smartphone without the phone capability (and there are even apps you can download to provide that), but at its heart the iPod Touch is a simple way to sort, play and explore new music in a way that allows you to have even a vast collection of songs right at your fingertips.

SanDisk Sansa Fuze – Available for less than half of what a new iPod Touch will cost you, the Sansa Fuze has a port for SD cards to let you quickly expand or switch your music library.  There’s also a built-in microphone so you can use the Fuze as a voice recorder, and an antenna that allows you to listen to live radio as well.  Although the screen isn’t as big as other devices, it is still a touchscreen and can support video playback from a number of different formats.

Samsung Galaxy Player – The Samsung Galaxy Player is essentially the Android equivalent to the iPod Touch, offering a 5 inch display and access to a wide-variety of apps in addition to its music download capabilities.  It does also have a built-in FM antenna that allows you to listen to live radio, and sports a front-facing camera and microphone so that with a Wi-Fi connection it essentially can function as a phone or video chat device.

Cricket Muve Music – Nearly any Cricket phone can serve as a music player with the company’s Muve Music service that offers access to millions of songs.  Since many are using their devices as texting, chat or even video phones anyway with any number of apps, Cricket’s Muve service offers a way for users to consolidate devices and use a pay-as-you-go phone that has the memory and capability of devices like the Samsung Galaxy or iPod Touch.

Sony W Series Walkman – That’s right, the Walkman brand is still around, and while you’d expect Sony to have ditched the cassette format of the original, you may be surprised that The Sony W Series Walkmans are now self-contained within the headphones, making it perfect for exercising or even carrying anywhere where you just need music and no extra device.  They hold up to 4 GB of music, and are even waterproof.

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Johner Riehl

Johner Riehl is a freelance writer focusing on families, technology and online safety. As founder and editorial director for FamilyFriendlyApps.com and FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com, sites that provide reviews and recommendations geared towards families, he examines hundreds of family-friendly games and apps every year. He’s also host of Parent Savers, a podcast aimed at helping parents of newborns, infants and toddlers. TWITTER: @FamilyTechDad

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