Portable Music Players

I’ve been rebuilding a local music library for the past year. I still stream my music through the phone using PlexAmp.

Last year I read this article An iPod for 2022 and was keen to get a refurbished iPod with some mods (bluetooth for my airpods!) and the ability to play FLAC music.

The idea was to load it up with a selection of albums and intentionally listen to them all before swapping them out for another. Kinda like how I would have 6 CDs in the car CD stacker back in the day.

That never eventuated but I have been intentionally listening to full albums all the way through by using the “Random Album” feature on PlexAmp.

Anyway, I recently came across the Tangara and thought it sounded pretty cool. Haven’t pulled the trigger yet…

Who has a dedicated portable music player? How do you use it?


I used to have a 16 GB (?) walkman. I haven’t added new music to my library for a while, so I stopped carrying it.

I have some Philips thing that I found as new old stock last year. Can’t say it’s the ideal form factor, it only supports MP3, and while it has some kind of Audiobook support, it’s (obsolete) Audible-integrated and I can’t feed it my own alternatives. Probably wanna upgrade to something better at some point.

I mostly use it for listening music when I’m not at a computer. Maybe when napping in my bed, or when doing some crafts or cleaning.


I’ve got a Sansa Clip+ and a Sansa Clip Jam. Unfortunately the Jam’s battery doesn’t hold a charge anymore, I’d like to replace it but it seems like a difficult repair. The Clip+ works great! By default it doesn’t support FLAC but you can put RockBox on it which will. I like using it when I’m working, doing chores, or out on a walk, as it is far less distracting and much lighter than my phone. I’d use it while working out too if it had Bluetooth, which is probably the only time I’d prefer wireless headphones.

The Tangara does look promising, it has everything I want in a music player, and the hackable/repairable nature of it is very attractive. $249 is steep, but it is comparable to iPod pricing when they were still being sold and still less expensive than other high end PMPs on the market. :shrug: There is a part of my brain telling me to refurbish an old iPod, which has gotten louder after I watched Veronica Explains’s video where she repairs one. I really like the click wheel, it feels great to use when scrolling through a lot of songs.

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So far lots of old PMPs.

I’m definitely going to rethink about scoring a restored iPod.

I’ve got no patience to do it all myself at the moment ;)

Ohh I still have my ipod classic and really want to start using it again! I think I just need to figure out the connectors and if there are maybe some adapters that can be used. I’m not fussed about bluetooth so happy to use wired earplugs… I stopped using Spotify etc last year so have weaned myself off that habit.

Really need to continue to learn how to solder and repair electronics… I bought a soldering kit and everything ages ago but still haven’t used it…

Awesome! Maybe you could check out iPod Classic Repair - iFixit to get you going :D

Thanks! Ifixit is such a great resource.

Looks like the ipod classic uses obsolete usb and 30pin connectors so I need to figure out how to solve that eventually. Then buy a cd drive to rip all my cds… I’m also into listening to music by the album and not individual songs. Just a different frame of mind to listen to music.

I have a small cheap MP3 player from back when they were popular, though admittedly, I kind of want something that can hold more. I’m considering looking for a used iPod to refurb and mod. (Maybe looking for other, more obscure ones like the Gigabeat and Zen Portable Media Center too!)

i just have a hand-me-down 7th gen iPod Nano. works fine, does the job! i like that it’s kind of ridiculously tiny lol. wish i could add more storage to it, i ended up having to compress the ever-living crap out of all of my files, but it’s one of those ones that aren’t really moddable, unfortunately. also wish there was a shuffle-albums feature–apparently some apple players do that? i haven’t looked into it much though.

My first was an iRiver H10. I loved this thing. Back when podcasts were becoming a thing I’d download episodes individually and transfer across to this device.

Years later I picked up an iPod Nano 3rd Gen which was fantastic. Being able to sync podcasts between the PC and iPod was fantastic.

I have an iPod Nano 5th gen that I keep in the car because my car is old enough to have a dedicated iPod plug in the entertainment system. Lately I have been streaming more through YT Music but I think I want to get back to owning my mp3s and using the iPod more often, not just in the car.


Back in the day I would have recommended Cowon, and still would except their devices seem to be a bit more expensive and harder to purchase these days. Korean premium audio devices with nice bells and whistles like high output modes for high impedance head phones. Generally they also were incredibly light, had amazing battery life and were just solid devices.

I’ve also had a few different Sansa devices through the years and they rocked too, they were cheap and not always the greatest quality but they played mp3s, didn’t have any features that bugged me and were light with good battery life. No complaints that the price didn’t immediately quell.

Now? I’'d probably go with a Sony in an iPod nano like form factor, or a Fiio in that same nano like form factor if they make any. I had tried the iPod universe multiple times in the past and I just hated iTunes so damn much that I couldn’t get used to it.

Ooo, I really want to go back to loading music on a dedicated player instead of streaming. Some of these DAP prices though… I get it.

I really like the design of the HiBy R4 player :meow_coffee:

Nice find, I like the look of the R3 II  Media Gallery

I’ve been periodically looking through eBay listings at various non-Apple players, and recently pulled the trigger on one that I really liked the look of:

It’s got 5GB of storage on it, but I hear it can be upgraded to a max of 8GB if you can get your hands on the right compact flash card these days. I really like the form factor, and I’ve been having fun listening to the albums I loaded on to it.