Before the tech explosion it was always thought that bigger was better. America produced the biggest cars, the biggest hamburgers and the biggest size soft drink at 7-11. Times have changed, however, and now it's a race for the smallest device possible. Nothing embodies this change more than the MP3 player. Everyone is thinking small these days, and Apple has just come out with a new iPod Shuffle that it calls "jaw-droppingly small." The iPod shuffle is just 1.8 inches tall x 0.3 inches thin. But how does it really stack up against the rest of the MP3 world? We've chosen some of the smallest MP3 players from across the globe to see how they compare.
1. Ubanana's uCan: Ubanana says this is the "world's smallest fully-integrated waterproof MP3 player." It comes with up to 2GB of storage and 15 hours playing time, and can be submerged in up to 10ft. of water. The uCan fits around the back of your head, so it's hardly the smallest device out there. But if you absolutely need to listen to your music while racking up miles in the pool, what else are you going to use? American customers can only get it online for about $127 USD.
2. Walletex MP3 Player: Slightly thicker than a credit card, this thing is so small you need an adaptor just to plug in your headphones. The player has models from 4GB-8GB of storage and comes with a USB connector. Walletex also says it's waterproof, but I wouldn't advise taking it for your next swim workout. Walletex can also personalize them for your next office party. Prices range from $45-$79.
3. iRiver S10: The S10 comes in as one of the smallest at 1.65 by 1.18 by 0.43 inches and weighs just 0.61 ounces. The S10 comes in 1GB and 2GB versions and the company says it has an eight-hour playback time. The S10 also has a 1.5-inch LED display for photos, an FM radio, voice recorder, clock/alarm, timer and could serve as a removable disk. The S10 costs about $129.
4. The MobiBlu DAH-1500i aka the "Cube": This device made a lot of noise when it came out two years ago. It would seem to blow the iPod Shuffle away with each side measuring just 0.9 inches; however, as a four-sided cube it ends up putting a little extra "bulk" in your pocket. The Cube comes with either 1GB or 2GB of storage, has an FM Radio, voice recorder, storage capabilites and a USB 2.0 port. You can pick up the Cube for about $70.
5. Nachus EMP-Z MP3 Player: There's small and then there's jewelry. The EMP-Z is small in size and storage at 1.65 by 1.65 inches and is just 0.39 inches thick. The devices weighs just under 0.53 ounces and can store either 128 MB or 256 MB of data. This thing is so small you can wear it as a pendant, and if you look around you can probably pick one up for about $20.
6. DataSafe Oomi Music Player: The Oomi comes in at 1.25 by 1.85 inches, and is 0.66 inches thick. It ranges in size from 512 MB to 2 GB, has an FM radio and voice recorder, and claims 12 hours of playback time. The Oomi sells for about $140, but is doesn't seem to be available in the US.
So there you have it: six other devices that can compete with the Shuffle for crown of the world's smallest MP3 player.
However, there are two devices we haven't mentioned. Check out this viral video from 2006, featuring a Panasonic D.Sound MP3 player with built-in thigh controls.
And of course no world’s smallest MP3 player contest would be complete without mentioning the much-anticipated “iPod Invisa,” first announced in 2005.
IPod Invisa - MyVideo URL: http://www.myvideo.de/watch/417313/IPod_Invisa
This story, "MP3 Players: Whose is Smallest?" was originally published by PCWorld.