MP3 Players


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CREATIVE’s 3.1-ounce NOMAD MUVO² X-TRAINER 512MB ($269) is built for rough handling, with a half-gig of fixed flash memory wrapped in a protective rubbery case. The rugged X-Trainer gets about twice the battery life (16 hours) of most hard-drive-based spinners.

The most full-featured of the key-chain strongboxes, SAMSUNG’S YEPP YP-55V ($199) holds 256 megabytes of music in bump-proof flash memory. It plays FM when your mixes get moldy, and records digital files from radio, voice, or aftermarket mike. To fill it up, plug the 1.2-ounce unit into your PC’s USB…

Thank goodness for progress—the underwater MP3 player is finally here! The two-inch-diameter earbuds on the OCEANIC H20 AUDIO ($399) clip to your mask strap or sit inside your hood, sending sound waves a short distance through water, to play a surprisingly hi-fi starfish soundtrack.

Pocket Philharmonic We’re all iPod junkies, but Micro­soft’s Zune HD was a nice surprise. As a video player, it’s comparable to the iPod Touch, and for pure audiophile pleasure we daresay it’s better, with warmer tones and sharper high notes. What’s missing? Non-Windows functionality, a camera, and easy navigability. The…

Presenting nine foolproof rules to keep in mind when scouting for presents (or just a little swag for yourself), plus 67 great products we couldn't keep under wraps.

Think flash drive but with a headphone jack. Philips‘s matchbook-size 2GB GoGear player plugs right into your USB port ($50; philips.com). Philips GoGear      …

When collapsed, Black Diamond‘s ultrabright Orbit Lantern is the size of a cell phone ($30; bdel.com). Black Diamond Orbit Lantern             Train: Oakley Radar Sunglasses Oakley Radar SunglassesBecause the Oakley Radar‘s photochromic lenses quickly adapt to changing light conditions and repel almost…

Eight ways to make the flight part of the vacation

Call it trickle-up technology. In the past 30 years, adventure-centric products have moved from the margins to the mainstream. Here's drool-inducing proof that today's top manufacturers are on our side.

Mysteries of the mind-body connection: Why does Willie Nelson make me run faster than the White Stripes? And why do both sound so much better coming out of the Thump Pro? I don't have answers, but I do know that after several trail runs I fell shamelessly in love with…

Cords, schmords. Bluetooth—God love it—has finally arrived in high-fidelity stereo. Available in June, Samsung’s sleek little T9B is a flash-based audio-video unit with FM and voice recording, 30 hours of music playback per charge, and the aforementioned streaming capability. Pair it with wireless earbuds for 21st-century headbanging: Coming in at…

The smartest new gadgets put grand ideas in the palm of your hand

With the latest iPod evolution, our human guinea pig turns on, tunes in, and...drops out?

The latest headphones deliver wireless freedom and truer sound for discerning listeners on the go

Cut the rope or a rug with the same knife. The VICTORINOX S. BEAT integrates a one-gig audio player in the classic blade-scissors-tweezers-file model. The 1.1-ounce unit comes encased in stainless steel, and the player detaches for air travel. $200; www.victorinox.com Victorinox S. Beat Victorinox S. Beat…

The new road-warrior electronics embrace the adventurer's creed: Do more with less. From a pocket cinema to an MP3 watch, these ten ultra-portable gadgets let you get lost in style.

The makers of adventure gear and apparel had utility dialed long ago. Now R&D types are zeroing in on style.

Wherever you're going, today's digital audio players have the memory and muscle to keep the tunes coming

What's a good, trail-worthy MP3 player? It's got to be light and needs lots of storage space since I'm out in the woods for days at a time. I've looked into the iPod mini, but if the battery dies, I can't swap it out for a fresh one. Any ideas? Matt Shasta Lake City, California

I thought I saw during the Tour de France that Lance Armstrong was wearing the latest Oakley glasses with an MP3 player built into them. I right, and did Lance actually wear them during the race? Susan New York City

Presenting our just-discovered Periodic Table of Outside Elements, a breakthrough in mapping the scientific building blocks of big, bad fun. We've alchemized gold, steel, titanium, wood, leather, wool, silicon, plastic, and carbon fiber into an array of 56 high-design gifts that you'll definitely want to give. And, just as important, get.