My favorite MP3 player this year is small, lightweight, doesn’t hold a lot of songs and doesn’t come from Apple. You can only get it Target. A testament to Target’s marketing savvy, it also doubles as a $50 gift card.
The player (minus the retractable earbuds) would fit inside an Altoids tin. The design has an Apple-like simplicity and elegantly incorporates the Target bullseye. It has a 64MB memory chip, enough for about 15 songs. Loading up songs is easy – just plug the included cable into your computer’s USB port and drag the songs over. (You can also use it as a thumb drive.) Sound quality is pretty good. The player is powered by a replaceable AAA battery.
Despite being a flash player, the player I got doesn’t survive shakes very well. As far as I can tell it’s probably a loose contact in the power switch or battery compartment.
On the back of the player is a bar code that serves as the gift card. Just scan the player to pay for your Target purchase. It’s somewhat impractical as a gift card. (It won’t fit in a wallet.) But its uniqueness makes it much more interesting than the typical gift card. I could see loading up the player with songs tailored to the giftee.
As a marketing guy, my one disappointment is that the bullseye is decorative – it doesn’t, for example, play one of the songs from Target TV commercials.
I was thinking last week that with the drop in price of storage it wouldn’t be long until companies gave away MP3 players. I just didn’t it expect it to be on Sunday.