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Six great choices in portable media players

Reviews of Apple iPods and some alternatives, too

Published: December 2012

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Even in an era of multipurpose smart phones, there’s still good reason to buy or gift a media player that lets you carry your music in your pocket.

Media players, especially music-only models such as the iPod Nano and Philips GoGear Raga, can be smaller and cheaper than a phone. And the bigger, more versatile ones—notably the iPod Touch and its competitors, including the growing family of Samsung Galaxy Players—cost less than a phone and increasingly offer practically all the same capabilities, except phoning and texting. As a bonus, there’s no monthly fee for cell service.

Here’s a rundown of some great choices in players this holiday season, based on our own evaluations and tests conducted by ICRT (International Consumer Research & Testing). Find out the highs, lows, and bottom line for these six players.


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