Portable music players do a lot more than just play music these days. Many of them also play movies, connect to the Internet, and have an abundance of apps from which you can choose. In the case of the iPod touch, it also doubles as one of the most popular portable gaming devices on the market today. It’s getting to the point where finding a dedicated music player is quite difficult. That said, there’s no reason we can’t kick back and enjoy this change in the market.

After all, isn’t making wise purchasing decisions basically a matter of getting the most bang for your buck?

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best portable media players you can find out there. Some of them do a lot more than just play music, but others offer a lower price in exchange for a usage profile that is a bit more true to the genre.

mp3 players

Apple iPod touch

The Apple iPod touch is part PDA, part game console, and part media player. It’s basically an iPhone without the phone component. Many iPod touch owners have actually taken advantage of VoIP software to turn them into Wi-Fi enabled phones.

The iPod touch is a great gift for students who may not be ready for an iPhone, but could still take advantage of the giant library of apps made for the platform.

The latest iPod touch comes in a variety of colors, has an excellent 5 megapixel camera, and comes with its own built-in speaker.

Samsung Galaxy Player

If there is an Android equivalent to the iPod touch, it would be the Samsung Galaxy Player. Available in a variety of screen sizes, this Android Gingerbread-powered media player gives the user access to the greater Android Play marketplace.

Unlike the iPod touch, you won’t be enjoying the latest version of the available operating system on the Galaxy Player. Likewise, you’re giving up much in the way of screen resolution. You do gain the advantage of having a device that costs a lot less than the iPod touch, though.

Apple iPod nano

Not just an MP3 player, the iPod nano adds the benefit for Nike+ and a built-in radio in exchange for the premium price. At an entry fee of $149 ($20 higher than the Samsung Galaxy Player), you’re not going to be enjoying any iOS apps, but you will enjoy all the features you might expect from a basic media player, including video playback.

The iPod nano features 16 GB of onboard storage for all of your podcasts, music, and videos in addition to a built-in accelerometer, which acts as a pedometer.

SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip

Sometimes, you just want to give someone the gift of music without breaking the bank to do so. For that reason, the SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip is certainly a contender for this list.

Costing less than $40, the Sansa Clip Zip is capable of playing the most popular audio file types, storing 4 GB of data, tuning in to live FM radio, and it even allows the user to record voice memos. There really isn’t much more you can ask for at that price. It’s a sleek-looking player, too.

Do you have a favorite mp3 player on this list? Something else? Please share in the comments below!