MP3 for all: the £10 player

Once upon a time, Sony's fancy pants cassette Walkmans would set you back £200 - until they became a complete commodity and cheap rivals appeared at £

Once upon a time, Sony's fancy pants cassette Walkmans would set you back £200 - until they became a complete commodity and cheap rivals appeared at £10 a pop.

Well, the same price-cutting trend has finally hit the MP3 world. It ain't pretty and it doesn't do much, but the 24g Ebuyer Ecoman (above left) does cost the same as a ticket to the cinema. For a tenner, you get MP3 playback, one AAA battery that'll run for eight hours and a pair of in-ear headphones.

What you don't get is any storage. The Ecoman uses SD and MMC cards to store your tunes and a 512MB SD one will set you back £23. So the reality is that this is a £33 MP3 player - making it dangerously close to half the price of Apple's gorgeous, iTunes-compatible 512MB Shuffle.

For those feeling particularly lavish, Ebuyer is also selling the £13 'MP3 Player with Expansion Slot' which features a tiny, calculator-size screen. Like the cheap-as-chips Ecoman, you'll need to add a SD/MMC card.

They're both available now from Ebuyer.

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