Digital Music Gift Guide: What to Buy

Portable bluetooth speakers, budget earbuds, USB turntables and more!

Shop stress-free by consulting this guide to some of the best digital music gifts. This guide has been compiled to save you time, and show you just what's available for the music fan.

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Digital Music Gift Cards

iTunes Gift Card
Courtesy of Apple

Digital music gift cards are the perfect choice if you want to buy someone digital music downloads. Choosing a digital music gift card couldn't be easier, just buy online or from a participating retailer.

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External Hard Drives

LaCie Quadra 1TB External Hard Drive
LaCie Quadra 1TB External Hard Drive. Image © LaCie

If you have invested a lot of time and money into building up a media library, then you'll want to make sure that you have a backup just in case disaster strikes.

It's a fact of life that your computer's hard drive will fail, and so backing up your digital music, videos, photos, and other important files is essential. Here is a list (in no particular order) of external hard drives that have been selected for their performance, features, and value for money.

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USB Turntables

Audio Technica AT-LP60-USB
Audio Technica AT-LP60-USB. Image © Audio-Technica, Inc.

USB turntables make an excellent gift for anyone who wants to transfer their old collection of vinyl records to digital audio -- like MP3. These days vinyl records are not as popular of they once were, but that doesn't mean you should keep them in the attic gathering dust. Investing in a USB turntable makes it easy to quickly transfer vinyl records to your computer which can then be synced to MP3 players, etc.

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MicroSD/SDHC Cards

Kingston 8GB MicroSD Mobility Kit
Kingston 8GB MicroSD Mobility Kit. Image © Kingston Technology

Some MP3 players and media players come with MicroSD/SDHC card slots for extra storage. This is a very useful feature that can often be found on other devices such as: cell phones, car stereos, home Hi-Fi's, TVs, video gaming systems, GPS, etc. Using a MicroSD/SDHC card is also a smart way of instantly plugging in your media library.

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Bluetooth Speakers

Nokia Play 360
Nokia Play 360. Image © Nokia

Bluetooth speakers work with practically any device that supports this wireless system. Whether you've got an iPhone, iPod, iPad, or other type of portable with this feature, you can listen to your music library without the hassle of wires.

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Budget Earbuds

Klipsch Image S4 Stereo Earphones
Klipsch Image S4 Stereo Earphones. Image © Klipsch Group, Inc.

If you are on a budget and need to replace your current set of earbuds, then this guide showcases a selection of top quality earphones ranging from $30 - $150. This type of MP3 accessory also makes a great gift for a friend or family member who might be in need of an upgrade.

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Budget MP3 Players

Courtesy of Apple

You may be surprised to learn that even MP3 players that are classed as budget devices can still pack a nifty set of features. These super-budget portables may not typically come with screens for displaying photos and video (media players), but are great if you just want to listen to music, audiobooks, podcasts, and other audio.

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Kids Headphones (Built-in Volume Level Protection)

JLab JBuddies Kids Headphones
JLab JBuddies Kids Headphones. Image © JLab Audio

When searching for a pair of headphones that are safe for children to use, you'll want to ensure they come with a built-in loudness limiter. This will make sure your child's hearing is protected at all times -- even if they alter the volume on their MP3 player.

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Portable Speakers

iHome IHM79
iHome IHM79. Image courtesy of PriceGrabber

Having a set of speakers that can travel with you makes it possible to play and share digital music virtually anywhere without the need for earbuds or headphones. These can be an inexpensive and useful accessory if you want to enjoy your music on vacation, at the beach, etc.

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FM Transmitters

iTrip Auto Universal Plus FM Transmitter
iTrip Auto Universal Plus FM Transmitter. Image © Griffin Technology

If you've got a car stereo that doesn't have the facilities to directly dock with portables, USB flash drives or flash cards, then a great way to listen to your digital music is to hook it up via an FM transmitter.

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CD/DVD Repair Kits

Aleratec CD/DVD Disc Repair Plus Kit. Image Courtesy of Pricegrabber

If you (or someone else you know) has got scratched CDs or DVDs that skip, jump, or simply don't play any more, then a CD/DVD repair kit could just save a visit to the trash can. If you want to rip your CDs for instance, then you'll need discs that have almost perfect surfaces to produce quality audio files. Investing in a CD repair kit will also save you money in costly replacements.

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USB Flash Drives

Trancend JetFlash 600 32GB
Trancend JetFlash 600 32GB. Image © Transcend Information, Inc.

MP3 players and portable media devices are great if you want to listen to music via earbuds, but what if you want to share and enjoy your music in different places? If you've got a home Hi-Fi, car stereo, games console (PS3), etc., then all of these can have a USB port. You can then directly plug in your music library to share, copy, sync, etc.

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Car Cassette Adapters

Coby CA747 Cassette Adapter
Coby CA747 Cassette Adapter. Image © Coby Electronics Corp.

An old car radio/cassette stereo system doesn't have the facility to interface with modern digital audio equipment like: portable CD players, Mini Disc players, smartphones, et.. However, a car cassette adapter is an essential car accessory that makes it possible to play digital music on an aging car stereo as long as your portable device has a standard headphone socket.

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iPod Armbands

Belkin Dual Fit Sports Armband
Belkin Dual Fit Sports Armband for iPod nano 4G. Image © Belkin International, Inc.

If you regularly exercise, or just want a safe place for your iPod while on the move, then using an armband can make life so much easier. Not all iPods (like the Shuffle) come with built-in clips for attaching to a pocket or sleeve, and so buying an accessory such as this is a smart choice that won't cost the earth.

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iPod And MP3 Player Accessories

Altec Lansing IMT800 Boombox
Photo Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Buying an MP3 player accessory can open up a whole new experience and give your device a new lease of life. There are literally thousands of MP3 player accessories -- ranging from earphones all the way up to complete audio/visual solutions. Discover what the coolest accessories are for your MP3 player in this top picks guide.

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Portable Media Players For Less Than $200

Image © SanDisk Corporation

If you're looking for a cheap portable player that does more than just play music (MP3 players), then you need a portable media player (PMP). This type of portable device is suitable for digital audio, photos, and video.