There was a time in the history of MP3 players when new models were clearly superior to hardware that had been on the shelf a few years. If you were one of the unfortunate souls who bought an iPod Photo a few months before the iPod Video came out, you know exactly what I mean.
These days, the MP3 and portable video player landscape has hit a plateau of sorts. Sure, you've got your iPod Touch and Zune HD out there to keep things interesting, but for the others, features such as sound quality, format compatibility, screen size, and capacity have stayed relatively unchanged over the past few years. In fact, when it comes to storage capacity, your choices are more limited today then they were a few years ago--back when the hard drive was still king.
The point is, you can get some killer deals on a one- or two-year old MP3 player, without sacrificing much in way of features. Sometimes we get so caught-up in what's new, we forget to acknowledge those choice pieces of gear that are still relevant and excellent in spite of how long they've been on the shelf.
To honor these remarkable elders of portable audio and video, we've rounded up our top picks in the following slideshow. Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments section.