MP3 Players – Let the music control your mind.

My MPIO DMG MP3 Player in hand!MP3 players are popular. A few years ago I picked up an MPIO 128 meg DMG MP3 player. This was around the same time that the original iPod was released. I originally got the player just for mountain biking, but have used it extensively. It ended up being my best friend on campus when I went back to finish college.I didn’t just go out and pick up any old player. I did a lot of research and, at the time, the DMG was the best value for the dollar. Before they started branding their own products, MPIO designed and manufactured lots of OEM units distrobuted by some of the biggest names in electronics. The DMG player has solid state memory instead of a spinning hard drive (like the iPod). This means it can store less (a lot less), but because there are no moving parts it uses far less electricity to operate. This makes for a nice long battery life. Additionally, hard drives are sensitive to being bumped and I didn’t want a wipe out on my bike to damage my MP3 player.All in all, I’ve been very happy with my DMG… HOWEVER, there are many new products available on the market today worth checking out. Even though it’s not a solid state device, the iPod is very popular among snowboarders. It’s even more tempting now that Apple’s released the iPod mini. Alternatively, Dell recently joined the MP3 player market with a product that directly competes with the iPod (Dell is also competing with iTunes music store). Also, while you’re checking out big name players, Creative Labs has been in the MP3 player market for a while. Yet another popular player, that used to belong to Diamon Multimedia, is the Rio player. But the biggest names aren’t always the best products. Do your research!

I was nervous when I first brought my MP3 player to the mountain. I wipe out a lot… I get snow everywhere… and when snow melts, it turns into a substance that’s deadly to electronics – water! But, I’ve taken it on most of my snowboarding trips and have never had anything remotely close to an accident. I keep it in an inside pocket in my coat. It’s not a water tight pocket. In fact, it’s made of net material. A lot of newer coats and bags have special pouches designed for your mp3 player. Having had no trouble, I thought these were somewhat gimmicky. But, Burton has something on the market that really seems like a damn good idea. While my player is safe in my pocket, sometimes I have to take it out when I want to adjust the volume, change songs, or just turn my player on or off. This means I have to remove my gloves, unzip my coat, reach into my pocket, etc. The Burton Amp Pack solves this by wiring the controls onto the shoulder strap. Note: I also found a bit info on a Burton iPod jacket with the controls on the arm.

If you’re wondering if having music on the mountain is worth the trouble, my answer would be – “YES, it is!”

P.S. Navigating Burton’s flash centric Web site on dial up sucks!

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