I have always been an iPod person. See my entries about my iPod#1, iPod#2 and iPod#3. I also had a 256MB one by Creative before any of these before my sisters got me the first one (which still was totally the most expensive and awesome gift I've ever received).
Yeesh, have I gone through a lot of mp3 players! However, iPod#2 went to "The Ukrainian" when I got iPod#3. (Can you believe he'd never had an MP3 player?) And iPod#1 is with my little sister. So really, only one remains in my possession.
So you can imagine how redundant I felt buying yet another MP3 player.
Meet the Sony W Series Walkman. Yes, "walkman." I used to carry those walkm(en) around high school and thought they were already old-fashioned. But this is totally cutting-edge.
Above: Ha ha... don't mind the cat butt in this pic!! :)
You may have seen these promoted at running expos lately. This looks like a double-bluetooth device that goes on your head to wirelessly play music. But in actuality, the entire MP3 player itself exists in this unit.
Sorry about the blurry pic of myself, but this is an idea of what it looks like when worn. (This was one of those cold morning runs I did recently!)
THIS PLAYER ROCKS! The sound quality is great. And it's water-resistant against my copious sweat. ;) I also like not having to clip something on my waistband or arm to listen to music or worrying about yanking out the cord when I'm running or doing other cardio/weights. I used to have to replace my iPod headphones a couple of times per year because they kept going south (even the expensive ones).
It also has nice tech features such as a 3-min charge for 90 min playback (full charge in 1.5 hours for 11 hours of playback), and this "Zappin" feature that goes through snippets of your songs so you can play the full version of the one you want. The device will "talk" to you so you know which features you have activated.
I also like that it is relatively easy to operate while running with buttons you can distinguish by touch. I know I need to get used to this thing still, but I expect it will all become second-nature to me soon. Besides, it looks great and feels comfortable, though I have to test it out when I am sweating like a maniac which has yet to happen in this weather.
The main caveat is that there's only a 2GB capacity, which is 1/4 of my iPod's but I find quite sufficient for its purposes. Also, it charges via USB cable, which is a drag to me that I need to turn on my computer to charge it (same with the iPod). Also, to shut it off, you need to connect the ear pieces, which are magnets. While this is easy, keeping it this way is not. And if it comes apart, your battery life will suffer. The kit comes with a plastic case to prevent this, so you must use it unless you leave the device sittin' pretty on a table somewhere all the time.
Finally, for safety purposes, you need to keep the volume pretty low because this thing sits pretty well in your ears and blocks out some outdoor noises. I keep it very low and can still hear everything around me, so I suggest you do the same.
All in all, GREAT player. I got it online at Wal-Mart for $50 with shipping included, though it's $10 more at other retailers. For this price, I'm sure it will pay for itself soon because I won't be yanking/damaging headphone cords and having to replace them anymore. I think I'm going to reserve my iPod for my car, when I want to listen to my MP3 player with my hair down, or back-up gym MP3 player in general.