MP3 product test results

April 7, 2009 8:22:58 AM PDT
iPods have the cool factor going for it, but other MP3 players may be good too, and a lot less expensive. SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

The Apple iPod Nano did real well in the Good Housekeeping Research Institute's lab tests. But the competition in the MP3 market is now more intense.

"We evaluated 19, flash-based MP3 players for ease of use, performance, durability, as well as their appearance. In our tests, two MP3 players really stood out," said Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

For its budget pick, good housekeeping likes the $40 "Sansa Clip" by SanDisk.

Testers found it extremely durable. You can also record your voice on it. And you can also clip it on to yourself while working out. Good Housekeeping also liked the $50 Philips "Go Gear Spark." they raved about its simple setup and ease of use.

"Well, I really liked that it was small, but not to small that I couldn't see the display clearly, and it's also very easy to navigate," said a tester.

Good Housekeeping also suggests you look for flash memory players. They're less likely to get damaged when jostled.

For those that would like a few higher end models, testers liked the iRiver Spinn. It sells for $170 and comes with touch screen and Bluetooth. The Microsoft Zune also scored well for its customization and full-color videos - it sells for $100.

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