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Old MP3 players that are still worth buying

CNET's Donald Bell rounds-up six great bargains on older MP3 and portable video players.

Photo of first-generation Slacker media player.
Slacker's first-generation Wi-Fi portable media player sold for $200 when it hit in 2008. Today it's just $50. CNET Networks

There was a time in the history of MP3 players when new models were clearly superior to hardware that had been on the shelf a few years. If you were one of the unfortunate souls who bought an iPod Photo a few months before the iPod Video came out, you know exactly what I mean.

These days, the MP3 and portable video player landscape has hit a plateau of sorts. Sure, you've got your iPod Touch and Zune HD out there to keep things interesting, but for the others, features such as sound quality, format compatibility, screen size, and capacity have stayed relatively unchanged over the past few years. In fact, when it comes to storage capacity, your choices are more limited today then they were a few years ago--back when the hard drive was still king.

The point is, you can get some killer deals on a one- or two-year old MP3 player, without sacrificing much in way of features. Sometimes we get so caught-up in what's new, we forget to acknowledge those choice pieces of gear that are still relevant and excellent in spite of how long they've been on the shelf.

To honor these remarkable elders of portable audio and video, we've rounded up our top picks in the following slideshow. Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments section.

For more tips on wallet-friendly MP3 players (both young and old) check out our Budget MP3 player list, as well as MP3 players under $100, and MP3 players for under $50.