AA battery powered mp3 player?

Did you see the press release on the Sandisk Slotmusic player? It is just $20, has a micro SD card slot, runs on one AAA battery, but it has no display! Sound quality is said to be worse than the Clip. I wish Sandisk would make a premium edition of this with a display, and sound quality equal to the Clip. It would be great if the player also has a clip.

Well, just to show there is a demand, I found this forum by searching for an mp3

player with a micro SD slot and an AA battery. Also a necessity on my list is mid

track resume. That probably needs a note added. I use the player for some talks

I really enjoy that are 30 to 90 minutes long.  My 2 gb Sansa will display their

length as 10 to about 19 min long. It will play the whole talk, but if a knife fight

breaks out in the seat behind me on a bus and I want to pause the talk after the

displayed time length, I can’t get back to the same spot after I’ve hid under the

seat. I have to start at the beginning again. (Darn it.)


Also on my wish list is AM radio (assuming fm of course) and I would really like 2

AA batteries. The sleek and sexy stuff does absolutely nothing for me. If the

player would go back to the point the battery died with its mid track resume that

would talk me out of the 2nd battery on the wish list.

I did find an audiobook page that had 11 players listed with mid track resume.

None of them were the Mac players or Zunes, and 2 that I looked at closely were


I have actually brought up this question in the off topic part of 2 non related

forums and got 0 replies, so glad to find this page.

That was a lot of typing. I’m going to run back into the office, slam the door and

pour a double brandy. 

Well, this has certainly been a lively discussion!

Does anyone remember the scene from the movie “Armageddon”, where Col. Lev Andropov freaks out and grabs the pipe from Jennifer Watts, and starts to beat the hell out of the spaceship?

Do you remember his lines? Lev: “It’s stuck, yes?” Watts: “Back off! You don’t know the components!” Lev: [annoyed] “Components. American components, Russian components, ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!”

Are there any Chinese interpreters in the house?

Message Edited by mstubie on 11-05-2008 10:28 PM

Message Edited by mstubie on 11-05-2008 10:45 PM

the EU has made some useful rullings, in reaction to apple not having user servicable batteries I suspect. Namely that all new kit must have user servicable batteries either via simple cover or with the use of upto two screws

 I suspect that AAA based MP3 players will be coming soon after.

Interesting to see various discussions on this AA/AAA powered player. 

I am a very (very) big fan of a AA powered small mp3 player.  I mean AA and not AAA.  I have the sansa m260 and like it a lot - my biggest wish for it is it should used a AA and not a AAA.  Come on who would mind a slight extra bulkiness (if that was the reason) if they were offered 3x the battery life?  This would have been my PERFECT player if it had used AA and not AAA.  Of course I am also a big fan of being able to turn the backlight off (in daytime) or setting it to 1 second.  It gives me a feeling that I am not unnecessarily wasting precious battery juice (it is possible that the display drain is a very small percentage, but still…), along these lines I really wish the sansa player did not have the bright circular blue ring light in almost all their players nowadays…

Though I am not a regular listener, I simply like the idea of popping in a battery anytime I wish and enjoy for hours and not having to think about the charge on the player…

Actually I just baught aaa batteries from ebay that were 1500 mah so 1000 is not the highest.


Have you tested those 1500 mah nimh AAA batteries? I find it hard to believe that they would provide 50% more run time than the Sanyo 1000 mah AAA nimh batteries.

I just noticed the 18650 lithium ion rechargeable battery. It is only around $5 retail,  and a charger that charges two of them is only around $10 retail. It holds more than double the power of a 2900 mah AA nimh battery, but is only slightly larger. It would be cool if Sandisk designed a player with an easily replaceable battery using the 18650, and packaged the player with a charger and two 18650 batteries.

Message Edited by JK98 on 12-21-2008 01:52 AM

They just arrived a cople days ago.  I tried 2 and they’re not lasting very long.  My charger might just be broken or may not be the right one.

"They just arrived a cople days ago.  I tried 2 and they’re not lasting very long.  My charger might just be broken or may not be the right one. "

Or perhaps those batteries aren’t so great. I now stick with brands of batteries I know. It seems like Sanyo probably has the best reputation for nimh rechargeable batteries. I have also had good luck with Kodak nimh rechargeable batteries. I think the Kodak nimh batteries might be made by Sanyo. I think Sanyo may make nimh batteries for some other brands as well. Energizer nimh batteries also seem to get good reviews.


@tapeworm wrote:

@vidra wrote:

The advantage of rechargeable NiMH batteries are as follows:

Respectfully discussing:

  • much higher capacity. The Li-ion battery in my Fuze lasts 15-20 hours on a single charge, whereas one 2300mAh AA battery in my old i-River lasts over 40 hours, which is more than double the capacity. This was on you old i-river. How can you know what the charge/play time would be on the Sansa?

You can’t just say hours is hours. You could go through some convoluted reasoning, or it might be easier to just find out the amp-hour rating of the lithium battery in the player of interest.


. Li-ion batteries lose a significant proportion of their capacity each year (up to 20%) from the date of their manufacture. Just to set the record straight, the Fuze uses a Lithium-Polymer battery, not  a Lithium-Ion. 

The lithium ion polymer batteries are worse than the non-polymer ones for lifetime (though improving). The advantage of polymer is they can be flat and thin instead of cylindrical, and a bit more energy density since they don’t need a metal case.  

As for buying rechargeable AA batteries, actually most people do buy them. I disagree. If that were the case, we’d be seeing that damm rabbit with the drum with an AC outlet in his back on the TV commercials. No, it’s just too ‘convenient’ and cheaper (short, not long term) to pick up a package of the disposables. It’s an economically more viable solution than any alkaline battery, so people will unwittingly protect the environment as well. I agree with the economic and environmental advantages, but I just don’t think the majority of people consciously think about it, and practice good conservation (yet). Granted it’s changing, but it’s not there yet.


I think there’s a distinction by application.  In things that go through batteries pretty quickly (say, cameras), people are quick to get rechargeables.  For a clock or TV remote control, no.  



The sansa m250 plays around 19 hours on one AAA alkaline battery. A  AAA alkaline battery is around 1100 mah, or around 1.4 watt hours, figuring around 1.25 volts average over its useful life. A 18650 lion replaceable battery is slightly larger than a AA battery but has 3.7 volts at around 2400 mah, or around 8.9 watt hpurs of power. A 2900 mah AA nimh battery has around 3.5 watt hours of power.

While those who want to watch videos or view photos won’t like a power efficient player with a basic screen, others want just an audio player, and won’t miss a lack of photos or video. I would prefer a basic screen that is on all the time while the player is playing, rather than a bright colorful screen that is off most of the time. 

I’ve been looking for an excellent sounding, ogg supported, SDHC or micro SDHC expandable AAA or AA powered mp3 player, for the last 4 months. To satisfy my curiosity, I spent a little over a few hundred dollars on various “inexpensive” AAA powered mp3 players. There were a few AA powered ones out there, but the features were basically the same. For my purposes, the result is 100% of them did not meet my criteria.

Fortunately, with the holidays I gave most of them away, so this project of mine wasn’t a total loss.

I did find two players that came close to what I was looking for.

The best sounding, (rivals Sansa Fuze® imo), is the discontinued Sony® MyMusix PD-205. It took alot of research to find all the firmware updates which give it folder support and save settings feature. There is no onboard memory or fm radio and plays by SD card only. Fortunately, Transcend® makes 4GB SD cards. If this player had one user preset feature, played ogg, and supported SDHC cards it would hit 100%. I get 11 hours playtime with a Sanyo® 1000 mah NiHm, and 8 hours with a Sanyo® Eneloop 800 mah NiHM.

The most functional is the TrekStor® i.Beat xtension[FM]. The sound quality is not as good as the above, and all the Sansa® models I own. However it reads SDHC cards, and currently I am using 8GB cards. I do not see why it wouldn’t read a 16GB or 32GB card. The menu takes some practice, but is functional. It can record from fm and voice, and plugs directly in an usb port. If this player had one user preset feature and played ogg it would hit 100%. The above AAA power gets around 8 hours and 6 hours respectively.

I have posted to this forum since September 2008 and sort of made a promise to myself I wouldn’t name other brands out of respect to SanDisk® as this is their sight. It is out of respect to SanDisk I did. IMO, a company will produce a player like these in the future. It is just a matter of time. It might as well be SanDisk®. They have started with the Slot player and will hopefully take it to the next level.

Some people move from home to home, job to job etc. and some people like to stay put. I fall in to the stay put’s. I don’t want to throw away a battery operated item because the battery died. Does it have a useful life expectency? Of course! But let it die a natural death, not because you can’t change out something so simple as a battery.

Happy New Year!

Many AAA battery based players in addition to having poor sound quality have battery life of only 8-10 hours. The Sandisk m250 has battery life of 19 hours. I guess the rev2 m250 probably doesn’t sound so bad, however it probably is still lower in sound quality than the Clip. I told a friend how cheap and small the Clip is, and he said you could carry more than  one of them. I guess this would solve the issue of running out battery life. AA battery powerd mp3 players are getting harder and harder to find. Most are only one or two gigs, and are priced high since those who have them know that they are discontinued and hard to find.

I am still hoping that Sandisk will come out with a AAA battery powered Slotmusic player with a basic display. Perhaps a basic monochrome alphanumeric display  like that found on a calculator  would be perfect for it. Something that is on all the time the player is playing, but with a button that lights a backlight when pressed.

The current Slotmusic player is disappointing. Not only is the sound quality disappointing, but navigating on it is too cumbersome.

Message Edited by JK98 on 12-11-2009 03:45 PM

"What are widely available are the Duracell & Energizer alkalines. You can buy them just about anywhere; grocery stores, 7-11’s, & virtually any place battery-powered ‘toys’ are sold. Not always so with re-chargeables. "

The  point of using rechargeable AA or AAA batteries is that they don’t have to be purchased very often. These batteries might last 300-500 charge cycles. Is it so important that such infrequently purchased items be available in so many places? In the US though, rechargeable nimh AA and AAA batteries and chargers for them

are not just sold in electronics stores, mass merchants such as Walmart, Costco and Target, but also in  some drugstore chains as well.

I agree with JK98. 

I’ll never touch an Ipod. the battery on mine went bad, and the whole unit became that much more hazardous waste. 

Liberate the world from Lithium ion tyranny! WE DONT WANT an MP3 player you can hide in your left eyebrow.  WE DONT WANT an MP3 player that slides easily into the kitchen garbage disposal!

When my I-pod was operating, the process of setting playlists was clumsy and pathetically limited - so 20th century.

Using SD card technology is THE logical response to the problem of selecting contents and playlisting.  Please do not ignore the best available technology!

Please take a stand – refuse to put out more ME-TOO products. . . Apple got to the Li-ion/fixed memory market first.  So do something new and better.

I don’t understand Sandisk’s strategy in the mp3 player market. If I was in charge of their mp3 player division, I would aim to make what the other major mp3 player makers don’t make. This would include players that run on a AA or AAA battery, players that have both AM and FM radio, and players with advanced recording features(with the ability to record in mp3 at a user selectable bitrate) and a microphone jack. At least Sandisk has differentiated itself somewhat with the inclusion of a card slot in some models. The refresh time after a card is inserted though makes swapping cards often not very practical. I would like to see players that navigate by tags or folders, and an option to disable tag browsing to eliminate the refresh time after a card is swapped.

I am greatly disappointed that the whole mp3 player market seems to be headed in the same direction. Rather than seeing greater diversity in mp3 players as time goes by, it seems like mp3 are becoming more similar. Imo Slotmusic is a great concept, however the implementation so far seems to be flawed(a player without a display???, the Slotradio player with a builtin battery???). I have not yet seen an mp3 player that is a good replacement for a portable CD player. Imo it should have no pc connectivity, a basic monochrome alphanumeric LCD display that is on all the time while the player is playing, a card slot, use a AA or AAA battery, have both AM and FM radio, and have folder navigation(and no tag navigation). It should be very easy to use, and be basically foolproof.

Perhaps Sandisk should make some models that are primarily mp3 recorders. There are few decent quality reasonably priced digital recorders. For voice recording the Olympus recorders are very popular, however they record in wma or a proprietary format and not mp3. The Samson Zoom H2 Handy Recorder seems to be one of the best mp3 recorders under $200, although imo Sandisk might be able to make a better  recorder and price it lower if they decide to enter this market.

It amazes me that that many digital cameras run on AA batteries, yet it is so hard to find mp3 players that run on AA batteries. Cell phones(except the iphone) use a user replaceable lion battery, and spares are easily available. Why must almost all mp3 players use a built in lion battery? Why can’t many models use a AA, AAA, or easily replaceable lion battery? Why must mp3 players be more disposable than digital cameras or cell phones? I haven’t seen an adequate answer to this question.

No further comments?

in 2009 factories can build player whith every type of batteries, they have many motivation to do that. the only thing they MUST do, in the way they want, is the replacement. Isn’t right that an user , after the life of the battery, must discard the player, with a fully operating memory, lcd screen ecc.

Battery life can be of 7-8 years , in the Fuze, but of 2 years too. depending of many factors. Time of charge, the last times , can be ridiculous, and the solution don’t must be a new player if the user don’t want it, or is happy with the one of some years before. It’s sure hard to make a cool player ipod nano like, very slim and with a very cool dashboard, with AAA batteries and more with AA batteries, but in the first case (AAA batteries) it’s possible to build some cool thing. If you look with more attention a Sansa Clip, isn’t hard imagine it with AAA battery (one or two) and by the type of display, time of charge can be very interesting. Factories, Sandisk too, have interesting only to sell an internal battery is a way to sell more with regularity. other things about that are only LIES.

Message Edited by darkham on 04-24-2009 09:24 AM

Apologies for not reqading the whole thread.


So now we want to go backwards?!?

Rio and many others made players to the OP’s specs YEARS AGO. Maybe you young kids never saw them. They already sell what you want… on EBAY! :smiley:

Example: Rio Chiba.


“It may be big, but for the size you get a large, very clear screen with the ever-present efficient blue backlighting. This combined with the joystick makes the browse ergonomics the best I’ve seen so far on a flash memory player. With its scroll menus and easy-to-use, the device exudes convenience. There are the usual playlists and settings, and an equalizer you can set as you need, plus a built-in FM tuner. Its capacity is 128 or 256 MB with an SD Card extension port. That is a really good idea given the reasonable price of this type of card. It is powered by an AAA battery; we used a Duracell and found an amazing continuous playback time of 15 hours and 30 minutes.”

I doubt you will ever see a player run on regular type batteries ever again.

We need replaceable Li-ON batteries… not alkaline or NiMH. :wink:

Message Edited by Peregrine on 04-24-2009 10:37 AM