Perhaps unsurprisingly, Disney is the Apple of the children's portable entertainment market. Still, as with the iPod, others will not stand idly by and let the Mix Stick and Mix Max go unchallenged. Enter the SanDisk Sansa Shaker, the latest MP3 player aimed at getting your youngster into the digital audio game. And at $40 with a dead simple design, it's definitely up to the task.
The Sansa Shaker was designed with the little ones in mind and it shows. Its hourglass shape makes it perfect for small hands, and as it's about the size of a salt shaker (3 inches tall and 1.5 inches in diameter at the wide ends), it won't be a choking hazard. The player has no screen--just a few simple controls. There's a play/pause button on the front with an LED ring that lights up when the unit is powered on. You can shuttle through tracks by twisting a ring around the bottom of the Shaker and adjust volume via a similar ring around the top. SanDisk has taken young ears into account and implemented a volume limiter feature that defaults to a safe volume every time the earbuds are plugged in, no matter how far the external speaker is turned up.