First, my evaluation is based on music only. The player is used solely for my workout but I selected this product for the sound quality and the 8GB capacity which is more than I need, but good value for the money. Philips has a reputation for sound quality which is well deserved - very good to excellent with particular emphasis on cost/value - I paid $40 for the WalMart player but I noticed substantial price differential among different vendors. Second, music and playlists sync directly and effortlessly to this player. (Songbird not required and it looks to me that Philips Songbird, which is distinct from Songbird, doesn't work with this player but as I wrote, it's not needed so the issue is moot.) Third, I can't assess the design life since it is a recent purchase but my old Philips player lasted around 3 to 4 years, slightly less than an old ipod. Last, the only negative is the small size - slips out of my hand without a good grip! Obviously a minor quibble - design is very slick - significantly more appealing than the Sony.
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