MP3 player — to buy or not to buy?

That is the question that I’ve been pondering for months.  Months turned into years, and I do not own an MP3 player.  Since I made it through all this pondering time without one, I obviously don’t NEED one.

So why am I considering purchasing an unnecessary THING in the first place?

I have the special inability to do anything other than sit and stare straight ahead when I am in any kind of moving vehicle, be it a car, bus, train, or airplane — no reading, no crossword puzzles, no movie watching — I can carry on a conversation, but I won’t turn my head to look at you while doing so.   That’s correct, my motion sickness is so sensitive that I can’t even read on airplanes.

Fortunately, I don’t spend much time on airplanes (as flying is almost always the least green transportation choice), but a flight in my future always brings up the MP3 player subject.  Now I’m about to make a trans-Atlantic journey, the longest flight of my life, and while I hope to spend a good chunk of that time sleeping, some form of entertainment might be nice, not to mention possibly having a calming effect on my unmedicated self.  (I usually take Dramamine when I fly, which I won’t be using this time due to the pregnancy.)

So what do I have against MP3 players?

An MP3 player is just another THING, engineered, like most things these days, for planned obsolescence.  Most articles tell you not to worry about the non-replaceable battery wearing out, because the battery will last 2-3 years, and by then, you’ll “need” a new player anyway.  Strangely, this reasoning fails to comfort me 😦

Aside from lengthy trips (of which I don’t take many), I don’t know that I would use an MP3 player all that much, which makes it hard to justify the purchase, both in terms of environmental impact and the impact on my wallet.

Well, writing thoughts down can be a great way to take a new look at an issue and find new solutions.  Now I see that maybe “buy” or “don’t buy” aren’t my only options here.  Since I want to use an MP3 player for a specified, finite period, borrowing one would be ideal.

Do you have an MP3 player you want to lend me for a couple of weeks?


  1. Non-replaceable batteries?!? Seriously? I am so far behind the times that I still own a sony walkman (actually a cheap knock-off). But hey, I’ve owned it for 20+ years and it’s still going strong! Maybe you could get an out of date MP3 on eBay or freecycle?

    I am so totally with you on the motion sickness thing. I can’t even stand elevators… they totally make me want to puke. And I haven’t been on a plane since 1993. I live such a small life… You’re welcome to my walkman! :~)

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      I actually have a music player, a Sony MiniDisc player, that I bought eight years ago (when I probably should have just bought an MP3 player). It uses these little plastic-encased mini CDs — my reasoning was that it would be better than an MP3 player because, at the time, the storage capacity of affordable MP3 players was rather limited. It still works — kind-of. The discs that I made when I bought it work fine, but I can’t get any new music to transfer correctly, which means I’m limited to listening to the music I listened to in 2003-2004, a lot of which is just not working out for me 😉 However, it’s nice because it runs off of one rechargeable AAA battery — maybe I should try to trouble-shoot the issues I’m having with it a bit more.

      I was also wondering about renting an MP3 player — an internet search turned up one library (in CA) that loans MP3 players — neat concept. Anyway, if all else fails, and I decide I would like one, I’ll definitely check into used options.

  2. Luke says:

    I do a good deal of driving, so I have found the mp3 (iPod) to be very useful for audiobooks. I get them through iTunes, or There are a ton of great books available for download, audible allows rentals I think. Maybe you could buy one on craigslist, then sell it when you get back from the trip..

  3. Kim Richert says:

    Yes, I would be happy to lend you my MP3 player!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s