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Hard Drive Players

Hard drive-based MP3 players are the Big Daddies of digital music players. With price points frequently in the hundreds of dollars, you can get tens of thousands of songs on each player.

Typical hard drive players have a base model of 20GB, and there are many models that go up to 100GB. When you are picking out a hard drive player, there are some features that you should expect (and that the iPod does not give you): A voice recorder and FM receiver are two basics. Another cool feature that I see popping up on all new players are color displays. All your album art, photos, and even movies can be played back on your player. After all, your MP3 player is just a glorified hard drive with a screen.

An example of an MP3 player pushed to the max is Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP). The PSP plays music, games, and movies, and has a photo gallery. Cool stuff.

Some of the best models I have found include these:

  • Cowon iAudio M3 (20GB with cradle)—$289
  • Creative Zen Touch (20GB)—$289
  • iRiver H320 (20GB)—$300
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