Personal Success: Moving With the Music

It used to be so simple. Sony introduced the Walkman, and everyone could listen to music on the move. Other companies entered the market, but they were all casually referred to as Walkmans, thanks to Sony's innovation and early popularity. But since then, the world of mobile music has gotten complicated. Apple Com-puter's iPod has more or less taken the baton from Sony's Walkman, both in the market and in the lexicon, but there are many other options out there. Not to mention the confusing and cryptically abbreviated digital formats, such as MP3, WMA, and AAC. Here's a brief guide to some of the more popular portable digital music players.

Apple's iPod
Apple's sleek design and effective marketing campaign have made this little number quite a hit in the digital music world. The largest-capacity iPod offers 60GB of disc space or 15,000 songs. From $199

JetAudio iAudio U2
This device uses flash-based memory, so it has no moving parts—it won't skip during bumpy rides or tough workouts. Flash-memory devices store less music overall (usually less than 5 GB, 1,500 songs), but compensate with smaller sizes, lower costs, and less weight. From $169

Creative Zen Micro
This player contains 20 or 40GB of disc space or 5,000 to 8,000 songs, and is compatible with most online music stores (unlike the Apple and Sony players). Easy to use and relatively low-priced. $215