About a week ago I lost my mp3 player, a Sansa Clip+ which I’d had since 2010. I knew I only ever left it in a few spots around the house, but when I went to look for it, it wasn’t in any of the usual places. I assumed that it would turn up after a bit, but it hasn’t, so I’ve bought a new one: the Sansa Clip Zip.

clip_zip_dirty

The Clip Zip is an updated model of the Clip+, which is an updated model of the Clip v2, which is in turn a modification of the original Clip. I’ve developed some loyalty to the Sansa line, because the Clip+ had a few features I really love.

For a start it’s small and light, the components effectively amount to a Sandisk storage device with a small sound processing chip, a screen and a headphone jack, and that’s basically it. The screen is a 128x64 pixel resolution OLED screen which draws minimal power, and is bright enough to be readable in most environments. It’s fully compatible with Rockbox, an embedded linux distribution for music players. The standard firmware plays Ogg Vorbis out of the box, which makes me happy. The only moving part is the clip, which snapped off sometime in late 2011. Apart from that the rest of the device is incredibly rugged. It survived with no apparent damage after being put through the laundry twice, it’s also been accidentally trodden on, and dropped countless times.

The price (£40) is above the normal price for a small music player, you could get a Sony Walkman for £25 and a knockoff iPod Shuffle for £5, that said, it’s the same price as the real iPod shuffle or the Creative Zen Style M300.

When I lost my Clip+ I also lost my entire music library. I didn’t make any backups, so now I’m rebuilding it all from memory. The downloads for some albums I paid for have expired.

DRM

I’m not going to pay for them a second time, so I’m going straight to the torrent networks. Most of the files are available in the uncompressed FLAC format, my plan is to compress these to Ogg Vorbis and then copy everything onto the shiny new Clip Zip when it arrives sometime next week.

I listen to a fairly eclectic mix of music. Here’s what I’ve downloaded so far: