mp3 player with user-replaceable battery?
May 4, 2008 3:15 PM   Subscribe

Is there an mp3 player with a user-replaceable battery?

I'm tired of throwing mp3 players away simply because the battery wears out. My original ipod shuffle died after ~18 months. I'm looking for a replacement that lacks designed obsolescence. Specifically, I want a portable player where I can replace the battery.

Is there a player no larger than the original iPod that that fits the bill? The battery should cost less than $50 and be a DIY job. The player should cost less than $200, not require a Windows PC to fill with music, and hold 2GB+.

DIY here means:

- device designed to be opened
- battery is easily accessible and replaceable

What are my choices, if any?
posted by zippy to Shopping (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My Sandisk Sansa can be easily opened, and the battery is certainly removable with no problem - I've had two, and was thus able to swap the battery from my first with the battery of my second with no problem when I needed to. I like this device quite a lot, but I -would- warn that - despite its many pluses - it does have an irritating 'minus,' too, in that after a while the headphone jack gets a bit wonky ... on both of my units I've ended up with a situation where it'll pump music into one ear but not the other ... other than that, though (and I'm HOPING that's an issue that can be dealt with with deft use of a solder gun), I quite like them, plus they're relatively inexpensive and have that replaceable-battery feature you're looking for ...
posted by zeph at 3:29 PM on May 4, 2008

You can replace iPod batteries...I did it to my old 3G. I bought a new one that came with some non-scratch nylon tools from a site similar to this one. Good as new after the swap and one 8-hour full charge.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:48 PM on May 4, 2008

Best answer: Yep the Sansa C200 has a user replaceable battery. Access is though a slide off door on the back. C$40 at Costco, 2GB internal + a MicroSD slot, can act like a hard drive (though you might have trouble viewing video as it requires specially converted files and I don't know if the conversion program is available on Mac). I don't have an iPod but I think the c200 is slightly thicker but shorter and narrower. Also it has a built in FM receiver.
posted by Mitheral at 3:50 PM on May 4, 2008

Best answer: Creative players all have replacable batteries.
posted by cholly at 4:05 PM on May 4, 2008

Best answer: iRiver T50 - 50 hour battery life off a single AA battery.

Of course, you'll need an AA charger, but buy a pack of 4 rechargable AA's and you'll only need to charge them once every few weeks (depending how much you use your MP3 player of course).
posted by Static Vagabond at 4:07 PM on May 4, 2008

Best answer: More or less the entire low-end (< $30) fits the category, as they almost all run on a single AAA battery, for example this or this.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:22 PM on May 4, 2008

My Sansa e140 uses one AAA. Lasts forever, too. I use rechargeables.

It's got 1GB space on board and I have a 2GB SD card in it.

Ain't got the cachet of an ipod, but I'm happy.
posted by loiseau at 4:45 PM on May 4, 2008

Every Creative player I've owned (including the exceptional sounding Muvo^2) has had an easily replaced battery. There's a door on the back, it slides open, the battery is inside. No screwdrivers, no special tools, no warranty implications. You know, the way that portable electronics are supposed to be made :)

I've also got a no-name Chinese import. It uses a generic AAA NiMH cell that's also easily replaced.
posted by toxic at 5:42 PM on May 4, 2008

Best answer: The entire Sansa E2xx line have user replaceable li-ion battery packs that are behind four phillips screws.

And they run Rockbox. So there's your winner, I'd say.
posted by SlyBevel at 5:44 PM on May 4, 2008

My 2002-era Archos Ondio FM takes 3x AAA NiMH, has FM and line/radio/min recording, swaps in MMC/SD (ie, thin) memory cards up to 2 GB (maybe more, that's all I have tried), works as simple USB Mass Storage, and runs Rockbox. You'd have to kill me to get it.
posted by meehawl at 5:59 PM on May 4, 2008

I really like my iRIver H10

The 5gb model has a battery pack that pops off the back. You can also use it with Rhapsody's music subscription service. $14 a month for all you can download/listen to.

I'm not affiliated with either iRiver, or Rhapsody.

The H10 has been discontinued, but you can still get them on ebay for a reasonable price.

There's a good community of users, too.
posted by xotis at 6:16 PM on May 4, 2008

I've got a Yum-Cha player somewhere that takes a single AA (or possibly AAA).

On the other hand, it's crap.
posted by pompomtom at 6:18 PM on May 4, 2008

Sansa E200 series does this - four philips head screws on the back and you're in. As for capacity it's 4GB with a micro SD slot in the side that takes up to 2GB.

Also, if you do decide to go with a Sansa - install Rockbox. It turned it from the player I didn't like using all that much (didn't like the interface) to my favourite player.
posted by tomble at 7:10 PM on May 4, 2008

Response by poster: I didn't realize Creative players had user-replaceable batteries - good to know. Same goes with the Sansa series. I read many reviews, and I hadn't found any mention of this, so this first-hand info is just what I needed.

Do Creative players play well with non-Windows PCs. I understand that the software they come with doesn't run on Macs.

Re the low end (sub-$50), that's good too - I wasn't thinking about that space. Not sure I'd find a 2GB player in that area, but I'll look.
posted by zippy at 7:45 PM on May 4, 2008

Thanks for the info about Creative's replaceable batteries... led me to this creative user forum.
posted by acro at 9:15 PM on May 4, 2008

I have a Sansa mp3 player (actually my husband and two kids do, too) that has a clip back and takes a AAA battery - one every 12 hours or so. We use rechargeable batteries because we listen to music a lot.
posted by b33j at 12:26 AM on May 5, 2008

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