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10 reasons your old MP3 player isn't useless

Time to dust it off and take it out

MP3 players, iPods and the MP3 format may have been abandoned by their makers a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean you should do the same too.

In fact, the very item you spent a hundred bucks on a decade ago - yep, the one now rotting away at the back of your tech waste drawer - can still be put to good use. And doing so can save the earth and money, plus you'll feel good about reviving old tech.

Don’t expect anything revolutionary, like bringing your Spotify playlist to your old iPod Classic. But read on for some ideas and compelling reasons to save that trusty old MP3 player before you trash it. 

#1 You can make it a music station

So we all have Spotify or iTunes on our phones and laptops, which can play music anywhere. But there's also joy in having a focused music station filled with the tunes you love.

Load your favourite, most timeless tracks into your MP3 player or iPod and dock it up to a set of speakers. A music station like this will surely find some use at home, or at work, and it doesn’t need to be expensive. 

#2 You can hook it up with a DAC

This is one for those serious about their music stations. There’s only so much output the in-build Digital-to-Analogue Converters in our MP3 players and phones can produce, but linking it up with a dedicated DAC can really amp up the audio quality.

Think of it as a sort of “music bar”. With Bluetooth audio all the hype these days, you can also pick up wireless DACs, such as those by FiiO, to keep your peripherals modern while enjoying music at its best. 

#3 You can use it for on-the-go FM

Many MP3 players also come with in-built FM so you can connect to radio stations on the go. There are plenty of phone apps that offer the same service, but who wants to burn precious data just to tune into the radio? Your old iPod can do the job without eating into your data plan.

#4 You can use it as a spare thumb drive

Your old MP3 player doesn’t just need to serve you for music - trying using it for storage. That's an extra 16GB of portable storage right there. Good way to recycle. 

#5 You can use it in the car

Not all audio systems in cars have wireless connectivity, but most of them do have an audio jack, perfect for an MP3 player.

And with many phones now ditching the jack, the MP3 is coming in as the unlikely hero to play the songs you really want to hear. So load it up with your favourite tracks, pop it in your vehicle and just leave it there as a permanent extension to your car's audio system. 

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