I purchased my first MP3 player nearly 11-years ago when the technology was first entering the consumer market. The player cost $75 and sported a whopping 32MB of removable storage. Since then, MP3 players have come a long way in terms of value for the cost, and added capabilities, such as gaming, video and even internet browsing. Our list for best MP3 player for college students consists of great devices that offer plenty of storage and some great-added features.
iPod Touch 8GB $199 (Link)
The iPod Touch combines a dizzying array of features for the price, including internet browsing, music playback, video playback, gaming access to the apps store and much more. The recent iOS 4 update for the iPod Touch now allows users to multitask, which is a feature that was previously unavailable. Having owned the first and second-generation models, I found the gaming to provide a level of fun and time wasting that I thought I had outgrown with age. Racing games utilize the motion controls and look amazing on the 3.5″ screen, and the first person shooters have evolved in a way that they are playing and actually quite fun. Call of Duty: Zombies, for instance, is an easy to use game that utilizes the built in Wi-Fi for fun multiplayer action. The only downsides that I have encountered in nearly two and half years of ownership comes with the limited memory at this price range.
Zune-HD 16GB $180 (Link)
Microsoft has come a long way since it first entered the MP3 player market with its clunky and large Zune. This sporty touch-screen model comes equipped with 16GB of memory, HD screen with 480 x 272 pixels, internet browsing and a slim .4″ design. This device is great for students on a budget that want a reliable and easy to use Apple alternative. Overall, I was very impressed with the features and memory for the price; it is a clear competitor to many Apple products, but still manages to distinguish itself, in a non-geeky Microsoft way.
iPod nano 16B $179 (Link)
The iPod nano has been redesigned from previous models and comes with a variety of new features. The nano features a built in FM radio with Live Pause, video recording, built-in pedometer, slim design and great color choices. The MP3 player has all the basics, but one feature we have not seen in any near competition was the video camera. The camera option is a great addition for capturing video on the go, but it seems almost unnecessary with higher-definition video cameras built into many smartphones. Overall, the nano is easy to use, has a great price, includes some cool new features, but has yet to feature a touch screen.
Sony Walkman 16GB $120 (Link)
The Sony Walkman is a no-nonsense MP3 player that plays music, has an FM radio and a long lasting battery life. This no gimmick MP3 player is great if you are looking for a player that does not include features you would never use, such as gaming, or a video camera. Overall, the 42 hour battery life, slim easy to use design and lack of relatively useless features (basic MP3 player) makes the Walkman a serious contender in the MP3 player market for college students.
iPod nano 8GB $149 (Link)
The 16GB nano is identical to the 8GB version except for the added memory. The 8GB nano is an excellent choice for anyone that does not have an extensive music library. The $30 drop in price also makes this a great budget choice for anyone trying to save money and still get an excellent music player.