Finding an MP3 player in 2022: cheap ones are rare.

I grew up in the pivotal time of MP3 players. It was impossible to go to a department store (or two-dollar-shop!) and not find some el cheapo MP3 player ready for purchase. Apple’s iPod had taken off, the Sony Walkman was dying, and Samsung was trying desperately to keep up. We hadn’t yet decided to maintain our music libraries through our smartphones — it was normal to carry multiple devices!

I am admittedly nostalgic for those days. As much as I’m known to make dozens upon dozens of Spotify playlists, I miss not having phone calls, messages, or the temptation of internet browsing interrupt my music time — I write my best work when listening to music, after all. And most of all, I miss having a device into which I could plug an Aux cable.

Because I run an Oppo Find X2 Neo. And my Find X2 Neo does not have a regular headphone jack. (sigh)

It’s next to impossible to buy a cheap MP3 player these days

Listen, I’m a student. I cheat my way through expensive purchases by finding pre-owned goods. If I can cut corners on costs, I’ll do it. So you can be sure I wasn’t going to spend more than $30 on something I usually spent $20 on “back in the day”.

As a kid, I had several different MP3 players on the low-end side; often cheap knock-offs. The one MP3 player I owned that was “higher-end” was a cheap(er) Samsung device that was black with a small screen, lit blue-light touch buttons and a proprietary charging cable. And when kid Deanna inevitably lost that cable… bye-bye Samsung MP3 player.

Amazon sellers have priced most of their MP3 players above my price point. Additionally, it seems the primary market competitor on Amazon is AGPTEK — a company I know nothing about and have only ever seen on Amazon. eBay yielded similar results.

And don’t even bother searching for MP3 players at your local K-Mart.

Unwilling to spend more than I have to, and in a bit of a hurry (because I’m house-sitting and my tinnitus is driving me insane thanks to contracting the dreaded COVID-19…), I began searching for other methods of MP3 players that didn’t involve me leaving my laptop on overnight. Stay tuned for the journey.

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