And some memories I have of using them

Memorex CD/MP3 Player

2003-2005 memorex cd-mp3 player

The first device I carried around with me constantly. Before I could afford a proper disk-drive based MP3 player, this let me carry around 150 songs. Every month or so, I'd add the latest songs to it by wiping the contents of my CD-RW disc and burning all the new songs on to it. Since I'd want to fill it up to capacity, this process would take 30 mins each time. I have a lot of special memories with this player, as it was the one I had in my final year of high school before going off to college. I was discovering new music and hanging out with friends, some for the last time ever. I guess we just didn't know it at the time.

Disposed: late 2004. I dropped it while walking to my job in downtown Wash DC. It was already skipping due to an earlier drop at the gym, but this one killed it dead.

Favourite Song: Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic

Sandisk Sansa 1GB

2005-2007 sandisk sansa e140 1GB

My first real MP3 player. I remember it was a tossup between this and the screen-less iPod Shuffle, then available for around US$150. The Sansa used 1AA battery instead of a non-removable li-ion. It also had a gigantic expansion slot for a full-size SD card which extended the total storage to a whopping 2GB. I loved this player, it was super-compact and accompanied me through my freshman and sophomore college years, so there are a lot of memories associated with having this. I was listening to so much music at the time, I'd manually reduce the bitrate of songs through DBPowerAmp so that they took up less space.

I was writing music reviews for Epinions at this time, and decided to write one for this as well. It turned out to be my most successful review ever, pulling in 10,000 pageviews and netting me $50 in income sharing royalties.

Favourite Song: Smashing Pumpkins - Quiet

Disposed: Summer 2007. I think it popped out of my travel bag somewhere in Baltimore.

Toshiba Gigabeat F40 40GB

toshiba gigabeat f40 40GB

On the 2nd or 3rd day of college dorm life, I discovered that iTunes libraries were shareable inside each dorm residence, so you could play and download stuff from other people's collections. My library grew threefold in the space of a couple of days. I needed more storage, so I bought this. In hindsight, I should have gone with conventional wisdom and bought the 30GB video iPod which was available for around the same price. I went with this because it had 10GB more storage (although no video playback), and a charging dock, which would have cost extra with the iPod. I think the biggest reason I got this was because, at the time, I couldn't stand Steve Jobs. The reality distortion field he had when talking to tech writers and journalists confounded and infuriated me. He talked like the iPod was curing disease. And don't get me started on that that stupid, smug turtleneck. I'm writing this on a refurbished 2014 Macbook Pro I'm very fond of, so clearly not all Apple stuff was overrrated and overpriced. They always just seemed like when clasped in Jobs' hands.

(RIP Steve)

Favourite Song: New Order - Ceremony

Disposed: 2011. Despite this falling out of my everyday carry by 2007, it would end up being my longest-serving music player. During senior year in 2009, it made a comeback. I was using my new Dell Inspiron Mini netbook for writing my thesis, and its pathetic 8GB storage didn't allow me to have my full library. But the Gigabeat did. Eventually, I would install Rockbox firmware on to it to replace the god-awful Toshiba UI, and would finally sell it to someone on Amazon for around $30.

Meizu M6 8GB

Meizu M6 8GB

Bought this as a present to myself. I had a nice lucrative summer intership and spending the $180 didn't seem like a big deal. I could have afforded an iPod, but the 2007 Nano series was pretty ugly in my opinion. The Meizu M6 on the other hand caught my eye immediately; it had the short, wide body of the Nano but with an iPod video sized screen. No wifi, as with most standalone players of that time. But it did support lyrics files, and it was kinda fun watching TV shows on the now-miniscule seeming 2.5 inch screen.

Favourite Song: Veruca Salt - Blind

Disposed: Jan 2008. Stupidly kept it on my checked luggage for an international flight and it was stolen at some point during the baggage loading process.

Toshiba Gigabeat T400 8GB

Toshiba Gigabeat T400 8GB

After the Meizu got stolen, I decided to try a different brand. The Gigabeat T400 had the same form factor as the M6, and had the additional benefit of using Microsoft's PlaysForSure technology. What that meant for the layperson like me is that the player wouldn't appear on your computer as a storage drive, but rather as an MTP device. I was a big user of Last.FM, so the MTP made it possible for me to sync my portable listens to my account. Since I was in college at the time and constantly on the move, this was a big improvement for my playback tracking ability. I could also use an MTP-compatible music library application like MediaMonkey to sync tracks and album art. For some reason, I took a lot of pride in having a perfectly manicured portable library with all the correct album art.

Favourite Song: The Fratellis - Babydoll

Disposed: 2011, along with its older, fatter brother the Gigabeat F40