Want to know what the best MP3 player is? You got it. We've hand-picked the four best MP3 players you can buy. We've taken into account their general usefulness, quality and availability, and categorised them by their most outstanding feature: sound quality, battery life, usability and feature set.
Best for sound quality: Creative's Zen Vision:M has the best sound quality you can get in an MP3 player. Indeed, all Creative's players excel at audio reproduction, most likely the result of its history of producing excellent computer soundcards. The Vision:M also looks great and supports loads of useful media formats, and is by far the main competitor to Apple's iPod. If you're passionate about sound quality, get a Creative Zen Vision:M.
Best for long battery life: Sony's NW-A808 has one of the longest-lasting batteries around. Thirty hours of continuous music or 7 hours of continuous full-screen video, and only 3 hours for a completely full charge. This thrashed the iPod for battery performance. It's also a lovely player with some great features and a smart design.
Best for usability: Apple's iPod is above any other player of its class for sheer usability, and its iconic appearance is undeniably stylish. The innovative Click Wheel is a God-send for navigating the massive libraries the player can store, and the simple menus -- while conceptually taken from Creative -- are unhindered in their clarity and implementation.
Best for features: iRiver's Clix 2 is the most feature-rich MP3 player. It's got a wide range of supported codecs, has beautiful menu presentation and an innovative navigation system, FM radio, MPEG-4 video playback, a range of games, great sound quality... the list goes on. It's a great player packed with terrific features.