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iPod Alternatives

Friday, January 11th, 2008 by | Filed Under: Multimedia
 
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Q:
I really wanted to get my grandson an iPod for Christmas, but they were just too expensive. Now, his birthday is coming up and while I’d like to get him one, I don’t want to spend all that money. Are there any alternative music players for children that he might like just as well? If so, please tell me all about them!

A:
You wouldn’t believe how many e-mails and phone calls I’ve gotten in the last few weeks about this very same thing! It seems like all of you parents and grandparents want your children and grandchildren to have the very latest in a media player, but when it really comes down to it, they’re just too expensive! You shouldn’t have to spend that much money on your youngins. So, in light of saving you all a little dough, I’ve got three alternative media players for you today that have the potential to make you very happy. Let’s check ‘em out!

1.) Sansa Shaker – The first one comes from the SanDisk company and it is an MP3 player that is designed specifically for children. The Sansa Shaker comes with an SD memory card filled with pre-loaded music, but you can download your child’s favorite music to it as well. It also comes with a pair of earbuds for your child to use, but if they’re even too young for that, they can listen to their music with the Shaker’s built-in speaker. It even has a second jack so that you can listen with them as well! The Sansa Shaker runs off of a AAA battery, which allows for at least 10 hours of playback. But don’t worry, your child will not be able to access the battery area by themselves. That part is meant for grown-ups only!

The Sansa Shaker comes in both blue and pink, so it’s perfect for either a little boy or girl. Now, like I said, it is completely designed for young children. With the Sansa Shaker, your child can have complete control over their music with the easy to use fast forward, rewind and volume controls. So, why is it called the Shaker, you ask? Well, if your child wants to change their music selection, all they have to do is shake the player and it will be done! They can even make some pretty cool sound effects with just a little shake. The Sansa Shaker is very lightweight, it comes with a USB cable for either a PC or Mac and it even comes with stickers your child can use to personalize their player. The Sansa Shaker goes for approximately $29 for the 512 MB size or $49 for the 1 GB style. Either way, it’s much cheaper than an iPod and it’s kid friendly!

2.) Transformer MP3 Player – As you can probably tell, this MP3 player was designed with the popular movie The Transformers in mind. It was designed by both Takara Tomy and the SoundWave company. This media player starts out looking like a normal portable audio player, but it can be transformed into the action figure of Decepticon. It comes complete with two weapons and four hands, just like the movie. What kid doesn’t love that?! The Transformer MP3 player comes with a 1 GB mini-SD memory card, which goes into the action figure’s chest. It runs on one AAA battery for approximately six hours and it gives off an audio frequency range of 60Hz. It also comes with earphones, so your child can enjoy their music all on their own!

The Transformer MP3 player comes in either blue or white and it goes for $129.99. For even more Transformers fun, you can get Frenzy and Rumble as earphones for $37.99 or Convoy as an iPod docking station with speakers for $109.99. Yes, they’re a little more pricey, but if your child or grandchild loves The Transformers, you can’t beat it!

3.) Disney MP3 Players – These next media players come from none other than Disney! They have designed several MP3 players that are perfect for young children. For the girls, there is the Princess Flower model, along with a Cheetah Girls style and for the boys, there’s a Pirates of the Caribbean version. There are even Hanna Montana and High School Musical players available as well. There really is something for everyone!

All of these MP3 players come with built-in rechargeable batteries that can last up to 10 hours at a time. They are compatible with both PCs and Macs and they work with MP3, WMA, Disney Mix Clips and data files. They are made with both plastic and metal, but they are very lightweight and small in size. All of them come with audio jacks, lanyards, earbuds and a USB port for a computer hookup. The prices vary depending on the model you get and how much memory the player holds. A lot of the 256 MB styles have been marked down to $29.99, while some of the 512 MB versions are $49.99. All of that just depends on what you decide to buy!

Now, I know none of these are anything like an iPod, but they’re definitely more kid friendly, they’re less expensive and let’s face it, they’re just more fun! I truly believe if you give your child or grandchild one of these MP3 players, they will love it just as much and you’ll save yourself some hassle as well. What could be better than that?!

~ Erin

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