For MP3 and media players, 2008 could be called the Year of the Upgrade, because many consumers saw the technological developments this year as a great reason to get a better player. Be it more capacity, smaller size, or bigger screens, MP3 and media players have improved tremendously over the past year.
When it comes to capacity, Archos remains the Heavyweight Champion--the company's new Internet Media Tablets have a 320 GB model (and a 7-inch touchscreen). Apple and Microsoft both launched 120 GB models of their iPod and Zune players. Of course, these models are hard-drive players. In terms of flash-based players, capacity is coming around, slowly but surely. This year, Apple took it to a new level with the 32 GB iPod touch.
Size certainly matters when it comes to MP3 players. And despite growth in capacity, the physical size and shape of players are getting smaller every day. For example, the new 120 GB iPod classic is the same size as the 80 GB classic, even though it has 40 GB more storage. And the new Archos IMTs have double the capacity and are much smaller in size than the previous 605 and 705 models. Some of the cuter new players that hit the market this year include the Samsung S2 pebble-like players, SanDisk's Sansa Fuze, Creative's Zen Mozaic, and, of course, the new colors of Apple's iPod shuffle.
And accessories have really shined in 2008, with speaker systems taking top prize. In 2008, we've seen some of the best-sounding (Zeppelin from Bowers & Wilkins), cutest (Ladybug from Vestalife), and most portable (iM237 Orbit from Altec Lansing) systems released.
Here are our Editors' Picks for the best MP3 players and accessories of the year, the Top Sellers of the year, and the current products that garnered the best customer reviews in 2008.