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Sony Walkman NWZ-W202

Good things sometimes come in daft packages. The Sony Walkman NWZ-W202's comfortable fit, ear-pleasing audio and rock-solid build quality more than compensate for its laughable Zappin song-navigation system and Bluetooth headset-esque styling. It's a great alternative to the iPod shuffle for anyone who values sound quality over minuscule dimensions

Philips GoGear Muse

The GoGear Muse is a better media player than Philips' previous offerings, as it supports a wider range of video and audio formats, and features a much more attractive design. But these enhancements still don't make up for the poor screen and disappointing user interface

Cowon S9

The Cowon S9 is the company's best MP3 player to date. It boasts superb sound quality, a beautiful display and great features. Its main downside, however, is its average user interface, which isn't idiot-proof by any means

Cowon O2

If you download a lot of content from the Internet, we've got to say that unless you can afford the more costly alternatives mentioned above, this is one of the best candidates for the job


While it isn't infallible, the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player plays back a wide array of audio, video, and image files on your TV without the need for a computer.

Samsung YP-Q1 Diamond

This could be the best Samsung MP3 player to date. Not only is it remarkably affordable at £99 for 16GB, but support for lossless FLAC audio, BBC iPlayer, FM radio, drag and drop file management and a cracking little screen, means it's going on our list of Samsung successes

iRiver Volcano T7

The iRiver Volcano T7 is a distinctly average performer in numerous respects, with competing players offering notable advantages in each. But if you like its design and don't require anything more than MP3 playback, it'll probably please

Samsung YP-T9

A sleek, feature-packed, high-quality MP3 player with excellent battery life, Bluetooth connectivity, a great FM tuner and support for video playback

Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet

If you can afford it and want the best combination of Web access and outstanding video performance, this is one of the only players in the world you need to consider, despite its flaws

iRiver X20

A well-designed MP3 player with a great range of features and user-friendly software, iRiver's X20's got magnificent potential. Despite the mechanical scroll wheel taking a bit of getting used to, the size and quality of the screen makes this an adorable little MP3 player

Samsung YP-U1 2GB

The YP-U1 won't be up for any awards, but it's a competent player with plenty to offer the casual listener. Though sticklers for sound quality will be underwhelmed by the output, if you're looking for a data USB key with a little extra kick, the business-like U1 should make the commute more bearable

iRiver B20

The iRiver B20 is a superb player with a great set of well implemented features. Sound quality is extremely good, it's easy to use and DAB radio works really well. It's just so expensive for what it is -- you're paying a massive premium for the DAB functionality and iRiver's far cheaper Clix 2 offers a virtually identical feature set. If you want DAB and don't mind the premium, you'll fall in love

Archos AV500

The AV500 is a marked improvement over previous Archos efforts -- the experimental predecessors paying off with a truly desirable gadget. The screen is fantastic, the chassis is sleek and the features are plentiful -- only the interface disappoints on this gorgeous piece of modern gadgetry

Apple iPod shuffle September '09, 3rd gen, 4GB

Apple's latest iPod shuffle is extremely small and stylish, but its lack of a screen and fiddly controls make it tricky to use. As a result, we can't fully recommend it

Archos 105

A distinctly affordable player but very average performance and feature set reflects this. If you're eager to have video alongside your music and are on a tight budget, you'll probably be happy. If you're not fussed about video, or can stretch to a few more pounds, there are many superior alternatives

Samsung YH-999

A few years ago the YH-999 might have seemed gimmicky, but now our lives are rich enough in multimedia content to justify a portable device to access this stuff on the move. Digital photos, video, MP3s and TV can all be transferred to the Samsung. It's not for shy types though -- the idea of a portable video player is still novel enough to guarantee an audience should you pull the YH-999 out in public

Sony Android Walkman

Sony's new Android Walkman, currently dubbed the Sony Walkman Mobile Entertainment Player, has some cool music features and a huge screen.

iRiver E100

The iRiver E100 is a nice player with excellent sound quality and a good price. We feel it's still inferior to Creative's Zen or Apple's iPod nano in terms of screen quality, but its painfully simple operation makes it a good choice for MP3 newbies or Apple and Creative haters