T Nation

MP3 Players


hey all,

Am in the market for an MP3 player. Does anyone have any recommendations? It needs to stand up to running/jogging, preferably sporty, look good and be reasonably loud so i can ignore all the dicks on my bus to the gym

Any ideas? (links would be good too)


The iPod nano or shuffle are the easiest to carry around and are probably the "loudest" as far as overall volume on the market.

The Rio brand is great for athletes because they are constructed extremely well. I have owned both a "Rio Cali" and a Shuffle and the Rio could fall out of a two story window and still probably work. It has survived the bottom of my gym bag for 2 years now...which says a lot.

The downside of the Shuffle is it isn't made to last any type of injury. If you drop it too hard, chances are, it won't work anymore. They also don't hold up well to sweat. The software to download songs is also more complicated and it takes longer for them to upload to the machine. It also requires the ipod player on your computer and I have had problems with mine. The upside is it carries a shit load of songs and shuffles them.

The downside of The Rio brand is that it isn't the loudest (in the sense that I can sometimes hear background noise instead of creating craters in my eardrums) and does NOT shuffle songs unless you spend the extra time to make a specific play list on your computer. That means it will play all of the songs by the same artist in a row. The upside is its strength and the ease of using the software to download songs. It is the easiest program I have ever used. You simply click and drag the songs and it takes less time to download than the shuffle could ever dream of. It also plays the radio stations as well as tells time and acts like a stopwatch.

You can buy a Rio Forge here (I have the Cali version):

You can get an iPod shuffle here:


The Nano is slick but if you have a large music collection like I have, 2000+, go for the new iPod video. They're $299 and $399. When you get bored of music you can watch some videos you copied to it. If not you can probably get the non-video for $50 off. They're $250 and $350 I believe.

Don't listen to the people that will scream "OMG d0nt g3t t3h iPawd it sux0rs." Its easily the best on the market.....


excellent links prof....
the rio looks promising


I have a Rio Nitrus. I love it. Small enought to fit in the palm of my hand or pocket, but still holds 1.5G of mp3's. I have dropped it several times with no issues.
I am not a "go with the trend" guy, so I avoided the whole iPod craze. Never been hip to the whole Apple/Starbucks/VW beetle marketing crap.


I must say, even with the faulty battery I had (which Apple replaced free of charge), the I-Pod Mini is the best damn invention since the wheel. They don't make the Mini anymore, but the Nano does the same things and is even smaller (looks damn cool)! However, there have been preliminary reports that it scratches really easily. Whether or not that's important to you, I don't know. I will say that, as far as durability goes, I got one of those clear protective cases for my Mini and have dropped it MANY times and the thing has survived without a blink. And it's LOUD. :slight_smile:

Go with an I-Pod of one sort or another.


...For non-athletic use.


I love both my iPods (40GB and Shuffle), but you do need to be a little gentle with them. The RIOs are good too, and if volume is a concern, you can get some better headphones. I use the Shure E2c, and when I use the foam sleeves I can't hear anything but the music.



For what it's worth:

I clip my "vanilla" iPod to my waistband with the case I bought for it; it isn't affected by sweat there. A Shuffle could certainly go somewhere it won't be drenched?

I've dropped the iPod several times on the hard gym floor with no problems.

I say: treat any tech purchase like you would an automotive purchase. Go where you can see several models and "test drive" them to get a feel for the controls/sound. Don't let a salesmen talk you into something. Don't make an impulse purchase; walk away and think about the choices.


excellent advice but no worries here regarding sales men. I have a health comtempt for anyone that wants to prise my hard to come by cash from my hands with a few NLP techniques he learned in a weekend seminar. Assholes.


Works perfectly fine while being "athletic." Never had a problem and friends never had a problem even with generation 2's. Now, is it more prone to "fail" than the Nano, of course because the Nano doesn't have any moving parts. I'll gladly spend $50 more for a shit load more room and functions.


But why buy an mp3 player that plays videos? I might as well get a PSP. At least I can watch movies and play games on it.


Whatever you decide to buy, check out prices on www.pricegrabber.com

It scans a lot of major retailers and displays the lowest price. The only notable absence is Amazon.com.



Avoid Rio. Yes, they are built for athletes, but they are built poorly. They have a common problem: they simply quit working. The local Circuit City stopped carrying Rio brand because of this problem. I called Rio customer service. It's a COMMON problem with their gear.

The I-pod shuffle demands you buy several extra items. And they are overpriced.

Creative makes some OK stuff. Because its cheap.

Also avoid anything with a key-style USB interface. When those things get sweaty, they will corrode.


That's the first I've heard of this...and mine hasn't stopped working.


I like to watch movies when I bench press. I have my daughter hold it in my line of sight.


I have a Rio Nitrus that has survived the gym, running, and a trip to Afghanistan. Plus LOTS of memory (Ive never filled it to capacity. I'd buy another without a second thought.



True, the I-Pod models are pricier, but that's because they're simply the best, all trendiness aside. Nothing out there does what they do (with their memory capacity and all) as well as they do (sound quality, loudness, user-friendliness, etc.). Some other products might do some of those things well, but not all. And trust me -- you can drop your I-Pod, especially if you have one of those cheap ($20) plastic cases on it, and it will be just fine. Millions of customers would be up in arms if they were fragile.


I own an Ipod shuffle and it is great. I dont know why people say you need to buy all of this stuff for it, i havent baught anything extra. It is really easy to use and is so light you hardly know its there. Also, there is no need to charge it, when you plug it in to put songs on it, it charges as the songs are uploading to it, so i have never had to actually charge it. I highly reccomend it.


Check out the iRiver H10 20gig player. Small, strong, loud, sound quality, built in rechargeable battery that last 30 hours, and holds shit loads of songs.

I actually managed to drive over this thing with my truck, and it still plays exceptionally.