Saturday, March 13, 2010

Large capacity MP3 Players

Not so long ago, it was easy to find MP3 players with high capacity storage : Creative, IRiver and of course Apple, all offered options ranging from 20 GB to 110 GB. It was the era when hard drive storage was fairly cheap and accessible.

Now, as the world moves to flash drives and solid state storage, capacities of MP3 players have dropped sharply. There are enough people to point out very rationally that you should not need to carry your entire music collection around, but let's leave out that argument. Some of us just need to. Period.

My Beatles collection is 3 GB even when ripped to low bit-rate MP3 and I want it with me. What are my options?

Surprisingly few. There is the Ipod Touch 64 GB, but that is prohibitively priced at Rs. 20,000 or more through most reputable retailers. The IPod Classic 160 GB is a decently priced option at Rs. 11,000 but read this review on CNET , which basically warns of sub-optimal audio quality. If you are more interested in this subject, read these interesting test results

So what does that leave you with? There are very few MP3 players with expandable storage slots. One of the few (and good sounding) players with expandable storage is The Cowon D2+ which comes with 16 GB and a card slot supporting upto 16 GB SD card. Ok, so 32 GB may not be a lot, but at least it trumps 8 GB. And, it's a good sounding player as well. Currently, I have seen it on sale at Croma in Mumbai for Rs. 6999 and that, people, is simply a steal for a player of this calibre. If you're lucky enough to find this deal, pick it up without thinking twice.

For anything bigger, we will have to wait till flash storage gets cheaper and more accessible.