Does Anybody Still Buy MP3 Players?

Sony has just proudly launched a new range of MP3 players, that are light, offer long battery life and... probably won't sell. Does anybody actually buy MP3 players these days?

There was a time when having an iPod was essential: even the best smartphones were pretty hopeless when it came to listening to music. But now flash storage is cheaper, so you can squeeze on a decent amount of music, and streaming services like Spotify work well thanks to decent 3G and 4G connections.

OK, so maybe they're useful for those of us who exercise -- I still use an old iPod shuffle when I run -- but other than that, does anybody really buy 'em?

Picture: Mac Users Guide/Flickr

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    Yes people do, I bought one a few months back, and I saw someone using an iPod classic yesterday.

    I use my sansa clip+ every day.I still prefer a dedicated mp3 player than putting music on a phone. Its always felt weird knowing someone else can interrupt my listening time.....and the software kinda sucks. I guess my love of mp3 players is limited to those that I can put Rockbox on. Love that software :)

    Last edited 11/07/13 11:36 am

    I'm looking at getting one because my iPhone is 16gb and full and I want something that takes sd cards and is small

      Get an android phone for God's sake

        Android doesn't support the apps I use. I am a big user of garageband on the iphone and ipad, so unless android releases a decent portable DAW and improves the touch responsiveness for music apps, I wont buy an android phone again. and again, I want a "small" mp3 player

    They're good for kids (I wouldn't buy a child a smartphone until they were in late teens at the earliest), or people who have too much music for their smartphone, or who don't want a smartphone but want music, or who want a device they can take overseas with all their music without risking their smartphone...

      RE: the smartphone for kids, you obviously don't have one.

        You're right, I don't. But my parents didn't buy me any kind of phone until I was 13 and I had to pay for my own phonebill and smartphone when I wanted one. I think I'm a better person for it, so that's how I'll raise my kids if ever I have any.

    Don't forget the people that still don't have smart-phones. Some businesses use them for in-house music. The childcare centre my girlfriend works in uses them for each room. Not everyone lives in a 1st-world country. Some people don't like smart-phones for jogging etc (too bulky). You even said that you use one while running, so doesn't that mean that millions of people use them while running? Parents buy them for their kids. Etc, etc.

    ...and why do we have a picture of an old iPod when we're talking about Sony mp3 players?

    So basically the author wants to know if anyone buys MP3 players while recognising a large population who do including himself? Talk about answering your own question!

      The pedant in me feels the need to point out the distinction between 'buy' and 'use' here... The author admits to using an MP3 player on a regular basis, not buying one brand new.

        Well to be fair if people use them they'll need to buy them at some point. Unfortunately no tech lasts forever.

    I love my Classic and use it everyday though I also have a considerable amount of music on my 5.
    I'm also very interested in the new generation of PMP's made by the like of iriver, Hifiman, iBasso and Fiio.
    Having said all that it's hard to go past an iPhone 5 as your principal audio source; just read what Jim Rockwell has to say about the quality of the device...

    I see it all the time. Someone listening to their iPod while looking at surfing the web or playing a game on their iPhone.

    Yep still buy em. If i want to listen to music at work I cant have any device that has recording or wifi capabilities.

    I cant even plug my MP3 player into my computer to charge it I need a 240v adapter if i require charging.

    I still have two former iPod Touch's in use (one for the car, the other for the home stereo/jogging), although my tendency to obtain GPS tracking of my runs means I've started using my iPhone more for that purpose too.

    As mentioned above, they definitely still have a big use. Some people just want something cheap to leave in the car for media purposes, others prefer having an iPod for music and their smartphone for everything else.

    I use my clip zip (with rockbox) for about 4 hours a day on average. It's tiny, weighs nothing, has a great battery life and holds all of my 55gb of music. Destroys any app for speed from wanting to listen to music to actually listening.

    I still use one mainly because whilst i acknowledge we're in an era when our devices are made to encompass everything, I just prefer having a dedicated phone and a dedicated MP3 player there's just something about the independence of the two devices that I find practical.

    Yep - when I had my Samsung Galaxy S II, the battery life was pretty average so I didn't want to drain it further throughout the day by listening to music (especially if I was going out after work like on a Friday night). On top of that, it lacked the power to properly drive my decent earphones (well, Shure SE530 IEMs). Bass was very weak & overall sound underwhelming. The DACs used in the phone were obviously chosen to be thin/light/small, not powerful and sound good. The SGS II design philosophy seemed to be "yep it puts out stereo sound; good enough".

    So that I could still listen to music without worrying about my phone's battery life, I bought myself a Sandisk Clip Zip & a 32GB MicroSD card and put Rockbox on it. Whilst not as good as my old fantastic iRiver H340's sound quality (and on par with iPhone 3GS I guess?), it was better than my Samsung Galaxy S II.

    But now I have a Nokia 920, which has *superb* battery life, and has an impressive-enough DAC to drive my IEMs properly - better than the Sandisk which I no longer use.

    Yes, people still buy MP3 players. This cheap and cheerful number was released not too long ago to great fanfare in the head-fi crowd. So obviously people still very much interested in MP3 players:

      Great a butt-ugly MP3 player that costs more than my Phone.... more than my Tablet.... more than my current TV.... more than my media center.... more than my fridge.... (you get the point)

        It is black with an impractical knob on the side though. The impractical knob makes it stand out.

        But it only costs a fraction of some high end headphones or custom IEMs

    I still see a few people at the gym with nano's, but the vast majority have their headphones plugged directly into their smartphone.

    I still use my iPod "Classic" in most situations when I'm listening to music away from my desk. I can play music through my phone, but it simply doesn't have the battery life to do that and operate as a phone.

    Additionally, in the car, it's still the only option. I can't control music playback through my car stereo if it's coming from my phone, only if it's coming from an iPod. That mean I have to start fiddling with my phone to change music, which is a big no-no from the police's point of view. Bluetooth is just stupid, uses all the battery in about 20 minutes flat.

    Absolutely. One serves as my car stereo and running companion, one lets me play my music from multiple machines around the house.

    I very much like the idea of keeping music player and phone separate. Mainly it's a battery/recharging issue.

    I buy cheapass ones to run with. My major gripe is even on the cheapest ones in stores they are desperate to shove a cheap screen on it which is completely unnecessary. I just need, like, 1 gig of space, a few buttons, and a lock switch. It's not like I'm going to try and watch videos on some tiny, shitty, monochrome screen o.0

    Anybody who actively listens to music uses an mp3 player.

    I've owned an iPod for years. My 4th generation classic is still kicking and I use it from time to time but I was ready for an upgrade. I just dipped my toe into the wild world of Audiophileism and coughed up for a proper DAC FLAC player the iriver AK100...yes iriver still exists! It will still play your shoddily ripped MP3s but can push out FLAC files up to 24bit/192khz which is basically studio quality. I wanted something with an optical out that was mobile as well and this is it. Has slots for 2 micro SD cards up to 64gb so storage isn't a problem. MP3s and the Pandora's and Spotify's of this world have their place for convenient listening but you can't beat good quality lossless through a nice set of IEMs or a half decent Hifi.

    I use my iPod Nano (5th gen) for music. I do have a smart phone (HTC Wildfire S) but sadly my iPod's battery lasts a lot longer than my phone does. One day (when I have the money) I'd like to use one device for music and everything else, but until then my iPod has lasted my very well!

    Everyone is commenting on current usage of mp3 players but the actual question asks wether anyone is *buying* mp3 players. :)
    The moment I got my iPhone, my iPod was obsolete and I didn't use it anymore. Sold it quickly after that. And I can't seem to come up with a reason to buy one. I would expect runners (or other sporty people) who only listen to music and don't use companion apps would buy cheap mp3 players.

    I use a Sandisk Sansa for running as it's incredibly light and clip on... something my Galaxy S4 doesn't do well.

    I've tried sports arm bands... but I sweat through them and they are uncomfortable. For the $30 the Sansa cost me, it's a perfect 'throw-away' device.

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