But now my Samsung is dying and it's dying fast. It started innocuously enough. The unit started displaying errors about its FM tuner (problem: the YP-700 is the only Samsung MP3 player in its series without a FM tuner). I figured out what the problem was, learned how to prevent it, and it was all good. More recently though, I'm having other issues. The battery compartment is being held closed by a rubber band because the door that holds it in place has broken. The battery itself (which could be inexpensively replaced) doesn't hold a charge as long as it used to. Given the amount of wear and tear the unit has been through, this is not surprising. It's a good thing MP3 players have so few moving parts. If this had been a personal CD player, it would have been repurchased three times by now.
Still, the thing is dying, and I'm thinking that maybe I should get a new one. And here's my problem: I have to make a choice about what the next one will be. On the one hand, I would love to get a shiny, new iPod or something comparable with 40 GBs of storage, but the 128 MB model would be less expensive. I don't feel like spending the money on an iPod right now, but given a month or so, I could set aside enough to justify the purchase. On the other hand, 40 GB holds less than half of my CD collection, and 128 MB holds two or three albums, which is more than I need for my daily car ride. I have an additional 128 MB SmartMedia card that doubles the player's memory, and it's been empty for more than a year.
Does it sound like I'm having a hard time deciding what to do here? I didn't think so either. When I find one that I like, I will purchase an inexpensive, lower-capacity player. Hopefully by the time that one wears out, the new players will have appreciably higher capacities, I'll be able to justify buying one, and (with any luck) I'll be treating my electronic equipment more carefully.