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Top Budget MP3 Players

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Nov. 20, 2008 -- Let’s face it – not everyone has over $200 to shell out for a MP3 player with a huge hard drive and a designer label name. There are plenty of quality players out there, created by well known companies, which can fulfill the music need without breaking the bank. Most players under $200 use flash memory, which means they hold far less music then your typical iPod. The tradeoff though is you have money left in your pocket to purchase music online or in the stores to transfer to your player.

1. Creative Zen Mozaic

Creative Zen Mozaic
Creative
If you like not the idea of owning a MP3 player which looks garden variety, you might want to take notice of the eye-catching Zen Mozaic from Creative. This player, which does sport a body similar to other MP3 players, stands out because of its cool and functional mosaic keypad. It is available in several body colors, hosts a colorful 1.8-inch display and lets you share music with others via a built-in speaker. Other features of note include a built-in voice recorder, up to 32 hours of audio playback, FM radio with 32 station presets and support for video playback as well as digital photo displays. Connectivity is via USB 2.0.
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2. Creative Zen X-Fi

Creative Zen X-Fi
Creative
A wonderful 2.5-inch viewing display. Specially enhanced sound improvement technology. Bundled with quality in-ear earphones. These are just a few of the top reasons to consider the Creative Zen X-Fi. You get a lot of quality for the inexpensive dollar with this player, including a lightweight 2.4-ounce body, 8GB of internal memory to hold up to 2,000 songs, up to 36 hours of rechargeable battery life, a built-in speaker, support for a variety of audio formats and an equalizer with eight presets. There's also the ability to view digital videos and pictures, listen to FM radio and increase the memory capacity with SD/SDHC cards for more music storage.
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3. SanDisk Sansa Fuze

SanDisk Sansa Fuze
SanDisk
The Sansa Fuze from SanDisk is a very straight forward MP3 player which is 0.3-inches thin and offers you up to a full day of audio playback. It comes in five color choices - including silver, black, blue, pink and red - and offers up to 8GB of internal memory for storage, which is expandable via microSD/microSDHC memory cards for more music storage. It comes with a 1.9-inch color screen, plays video clips and lets you view your favorite digital photos. There's also your obligatory voice recorder, FM radio with 40 presets and support for digital audiobooks.
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4. Sony Walkman NWZ-E436

Sony Walkman NWZ-E436
Sony
The Walkman NWZ-E436 is one of Sony's thinnest ever, measuring 5/16-inch in diameter. A lot is packed into the nice looking body of this player, including a bright 2-inch screen, battery life of up to 40 hours, support for a variety of video file formats, a graphical user interface which is colorful and included high-end earphones. Several colors and storage sizes can be chosen from and a unique feature with these players is one which analyzes the beats-per-minute of the music to create channels of similarly grouped tunes for a more customized listening experience. There is also, of course, a FM radio.
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5. Microsoft Zune 16GB

Microsoft Zune 16GB
Microsoft
The Zune 16GB is one of Microsoft's more slim MP3 players, sporting enough memory to hold up to 4,000 songs, 25,000 digital photos or 50 video hours. The major claim to fame for this Zune is its built-in wireless functionality, which lets you connect your wireless home network to transfer music to it. You can also wirelessly share songs with others around you who also own Zunes, with certain exceptions for legal reasons. This player, offering up a 1.8-inch display, also can download audio and video content to it when connected to a computer which has been purchased through the online Zune Marketplace. You can also buy music wirelessly.
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