The name iPod has been synonymous with digital music players since the 3rd generation iPod was launched three years ago but is it really the best product on the market today?
Some in-depth research showed that there are in fact a few companies that have developed and manufactured digital media players that have features to rival even the newest iPod.
The iPod video from Apple
Multimedia player with an internal hard drive, the largest of which is 60GB.
2.5? full colour screen.
Dimensions ? 103.5 x 61.8 x 11mm.
Weight ? 136g
Uses iTunes software which is available for both Windows and Mac computers.
Music, photos, video playback.
14 hour battery life for music playback and 2 hours for video.
Uses iPod click wheel to navigate menus.
This is just one of the iPod models but there are a number of other models available, all of which have different features.
The Zen vision:M from Creative
Mp3 player, photo, video and FM radio receiver with an internal hard drive, the biggest of which is 30GB. This holds 15,000 songs or 120 hours of video.
Has a full colour screen the same size as the iPod video.
Dimensions ? 104 x 62 x 18.9mm
Weight ? 163g
Works with Windows XP but not Mac software.
Similar battery life to iPod video.
Scroll mouse used to navigate very easy to use menu system.
Has ability to record FM radio and can be linked to the TV using AV cable (not included).
Comes with added extras including an AC adaptor and a protective case.
As with Apple?s iPods, Creative have developed an entire range of media players that have a variety of features and cater for all budgets.
The AV500 Mobile DVR (digital video recorder) from Archos
Multimedia entertainment system with an incredible 100GB memory.
Video, music, photos and it has the ability to record straight from the TV or computer.
4? high resolution full colour screen.
Dimensions ? 76 x 124 x 18mm.
Weight ? 255g
Works with Windows 2000/XP and Mac OS 10.2.4 or higher.
15 hours battery life for music playback and 4.5 hours for video.
Music downloaded from Microsoft PlayForSure websites.
Also incorporates FM radio and Dictaphone.
Built in microphone and speaker.
The Archos AV500 Mobile DVR is admittedly a bit more expensive than the other two examples (which are very similar in price) but its extra features make it an exceptional buy.
So if there are other media players to rival iPod why is Apple still commanding the market? Apple and iPod are such big names that people tend to go for what they know to be popular and successful so even though some of Apples adversaries are now making quality products with even more features than the iPod nobody really knows about them?yet.