Help me find a ipod shuffle replacement
March 14, 2010 12:23 PM   Subscribe

My 2nd generation iPod shuffle seems to have died and I'm looking for a non-Apple replacement that meets a few criteria. This is a similar question to this one but it's been two years and there might be new options out there.

I need an mp3 player purely for working out, I use my Droid for every other time but it's too bulky to carry while I run. I'd like something reasonably close in size to the shuffle but it could be a little bigger.

Some requirements:

1. It should have a replaceable battery.

2. It doesn't need to be very large capacity, I never workout more than 90 minutes at a time.

3. It needs to be loaded just by drag-and-drop as a USB drive, no iTunes/Rhapsody/etc.

4. A small display would be nice with a battery indicator and song title, the Shuffle's single LED doesn't really help much. (Optional)
posted by octothorpe to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have an (oldish) Samsung YP-T6 that looks like this one, but is only 512MB.

I used it for years and I loved it, and only stopped using it when I received an iPod as a present. I still keep it around and am thinking of using it again because I like that it uses AAA batteries, is extremely simple to put music on (drag-n-drop, rather than the iTunes messiness of iPod, which I'm apparently too stupid to figure out.)

It indicates the song title and battery life.

There are apparently new versions of this same model out, but I don't know how they compare to the older one.

It's as big as a cigarette lighter, roughly. You can tuck it in a tight jeans pocket, a shirt pocket, or even in a waistband or whatever as needed. Very light.
posted by Ouisch at 12:34 PM on March 14, 2010

Sansa clip (that I asked a question about a wee while ago) does everything except point one.

I've had good experiences with creative zen before, but they seem to have moved away from replaceable batteries. If you could source an old Creative Zen Nano Plus that would seem to be perfect for you.
posted by Coobeastie at 12:37 PM on March 14, 2010

Best answer: I'd say get one of those ultra-cheap USB stick MP3 players (here's one picked at random). They're tiny, hold plenty of music, use standard AAA batteries, are as accessible as any other USB memory stick, and are pretty much disposable.

The Sansa Clip is also very good. No replaceable battery though.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:47 PM on March 14, 2010

Best answer: My mom actually has the Coby player that le morte de bea arthur links to. Her only complaints are the buttons are a little difficult and some of the icons are confusing (it shows the song title just fine but everything else is shoved together). It's pretty small--basically the size factor is the battery, since it uses an AAA. It's not fussy about putting music on. It would be great for workouts if you just leave it on shuffle and let it go.
posted by anaelith at 12:58 PM on March 14, 2010

After some searching, I found this Coby player that is a similar size to the one I have and takes a AAA battery.

Doh! I see le morte de bea aurthur links to the same one. Oh well, at least you can read the customer reviews on the Amazon link.
posted by Ouisch at 1:05 PM on March 14, 2010

My husband uses this Sansa Clip. He used to have the Creative Zen Nano, and loved it, and when his died, found the Sansa to be the best replacement. He informs me that the drive itself has a little more organization than the Nano did--i.e., it doesn't just show up as an empty drive when he plugs it in. But it has drag and drop capability and doesn't require Rhapsody or iTunes. The only thing on your list that it doesn't have is a removable battery, but that's becoming harder and harder to find (the Nano had a removable battery and my husband looked for a small player with a removable battery when he replaced the Nano with the Sansa). The battery life is really excellent, so this hasn't been a problem for us, but YMMV depending on why you want the removable battery.
posted by devinemissk at 1:46 PM on March 14, 2010

How about one of the non-Clip Sansas, like the e250? They're about $20 now, have a replaceable Li battery and microSD, and have a very tough alloy case.

Only annoyance is that they use a proprietary USB cable just slightly different from an iPod.
posted by scruss at 1:49 PM on March 14, 2010

N'thing a Sansa Clip. I use mine exclusively for working out.
posted by COD at 1:56 PM on March 14, 2010

My Sansa clip is my dedicated gymp3 player. It charges via mini-usb same as my BlackBerry. USB chargers are ubiquitous enough that I've never had difficulty keeping it charged. I get about 15 hours to a charge, and it only takes a couple of hours to top up. Also, they regularly appear for cheap on woot and sellout.woot.
posted by KevCed at 3:07 PM on March 14, 2010

I use an el-cheapo 1GB RCA Jet when I run. Works great. Fits all your criteria, except it doesn't have a replaceable battery (did you mean to say rechargable??). It charges via USB.

Anyway, it's only $10, so you can't really be too upset if you don't like it. I use mine nearly every day.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 4:16 PM on March 14, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all, I'm still undecided but you've given me a lot to work with.
posted by octothorpe at 10:03 AM on March 15, 2010

Response by poster: I ended up getting the Coby player which does exactly what it says it does. It's a cheap piece of plastic compared to the Shuffle and the controls are badly designed but it's easy to load with music, takes a AAA battery and has descent sound quality. I'm happy.
posted by octothorpe at 6:18 PM on March 30, 2010

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