I’ve reviewed probably a couple of hundred MP3 players over the years, but this post on choosing a player for the first time reminded me of the first one I actually used. This was a SmartDisk Rover, back in 2002 or so. It held 128MB of music – two to three albums, give or take – and had no display. It also had nothing that could, even charitably, be called a design.
Since then I’ve owned a few. One Creative MuVo NX, one Archos Gmini XS, one Creative Zen Xtra (my beloved 30GB iBrick), one original iPod Shuffle and a couple of dodgy no-name personal video players later, I’m now using an 80GB iPod Classic. This has over 600 times more storage than the Rover (enough to swallow every record I’ve ever purchased) plus a huge and swanky colour screen and a battery that’ll outlast a transatlantic flight even when using it to watch TV shows. Also, as an added bonus, it’s nowhere near as ugly.
And all those changes in six years. It’s quite amazing, really.