November 18, 2008 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a portable MP3/Media player that is NOT rechargeable, and takes AAA batteries.

I have and love my Sansa M240 1gb. It's durable and performs great, but alas, only plays MP3s.

I'm looking to possibly upgrade and donate my M240 to my mother, but I'd like a more robust player. I'm aware of the 2gb version, but i 'm looking more for versatility and playability than storage.

The thing is,when I went with the Sansa M240 it was specifically because it takes AAA batteries. It is not practical in my situation for me to have my mp3 player plugged into a wall receptacle and I spend very little time in a car, so I wouldnt get the chance to charge it regularly.

As luck would have it, though, I have a virtually unlimited free supply of AAA batteries. My friend works for a place that services a kind of protective monitoring device in hospitals and such, and because of some kind of regulation the battery backup,which are AAA batteries, have to be changed every week or so. So I have access to literally buckets of unused batteries when I want them. So I've been using them for my MP3 player for years.

So, anyone know of a player that fits the bill?
posted by sandra_s to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Anything But iPod has a good search engine that lets you choose the features that you want.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:13 AM on November 18, 2008

I think this surprisingly recent article will help you make a decision about which would suit your needs best.
posted by biggity at 10:17 AM on November 18, 2008

I keep a couple old, cheap MuVos around for similar reasons (no way I'm taking my nice player hiking, but that, sure). The models that use AAAs are getting hard to find now, though.

But in your situation, why not just get a player that recharges via mini-usb, and one of those "emergency cell phone recharger" boxes that connects to mini-usb? They come in both AA and AAA-accepting sizes, and that would open up your options considerably.
posted by Pufferish at 10:19 AM on November 18, 2008

Unfortunately, portable audio players that use AAA batteries are a dying breed. I have both the Muvo and SanDisk Sansa m250 in the review that biggity linked to. They do a fine job of playing both MP3 and WMA files, but the Muvo wins for battery life. As the reviews said, neither of these are being produced by their manufacturers, though you might be able to find them in stores, and can definitely find them new on Ebay.
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:25 AM on November 18, 2008

I have a tiny lexar player that came with my headphones. It takes AAAs and uses flash memory, so you could get several memory cards if you wanted it to hold more. The sound quality isn't quite up to par with my iPod, but I still enjoy it if I don't want to lug around something bigger.
posted by valadil at 10:35 AM on November 18, 2008

Just get an ipod and one of these
posted by zeoslap at 10:49 AM on November 18, 2008

I had this Lexar JumpGear player a while ago and loved it. It runs on AAA batteries, though I can't remember if it used one or two.

I haven't looked, but I bet they're cheap on ebay.
posted by terpia at 11:44 AM on November 18, 2008

nthing the Creative MuVo's.

Pros: very good sound quality, solid build, and outstanding battery life, particularly if you turn off the backlighting. I regularly squeeze fifteen or sixteen hours of play out of mine. Plus, 2GB ones are now dirt cheap.

Con: The case scratches easily. Manufacturer is no longer producing them or the accessories, and consequently, the Neoprene case/armband combos are going for $20 themselves when they show up on eBay.

Also, the only color now at that link above is. Uh. Hot pink. I swallowed my pride and bought two yesterday, though, because I loathe MP3 players with proprietary rechargeable batteries.
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:59 AM on November 18, 2008

I was going to nth the suggestions about the Creative MuVo/Zen Nano (which are extremely similar), but then I realized you're looking for more "playability" and "versatility." I don't think the Creative products are more versatile than the player you're looking to give up, except possibly that the Zen Nanos have a line-in for recording in addition to their built-in microphones.

What is it you want to do on your new mp3 player, besides play mp3s? Video?
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:18 PM on November 18, 2008

I noticed several MP3 players that take AAA batteries on the DealExtreme site the other day. This search should get you started. I don't know about quality, but they are cheap. Several in the $10-15 range.
posted by fidelity at 2:17 PM on November 18, 2008

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