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Music That Fits In Your Pocket

From 3 To 6 GB

Last year's launch of the Archos XS 200 , featuring 20 GB of storage capacity for just $290, led us to believe that the "intermediate" category of MP3 players - sandwiched between Flash memory and hard disk players - was on its way out. Obviously, we were wrong. There are still a lot of people out there who haven't converted their entire music collection to MP3 for use in a hard disk unit, but want to listen on players that deliver better performance than the majority of Flash-memory based units.

Since the demand clearly exists, competition is intensifying in this sector. Manufacturers are coming out with new products, and offering new colors, different capacities, and adding functions like image browsers. Among these are companies like Archos, who prefer the minimalist approach; and others, like iRiver, that take the opposite route and add a plethora of functions. The end result is that there's now something for everybody out there. This comparison is intended to help you find the player that suits you well among the eight best current models.