On March 11, 2007, I asked the gadget gurus of the BootsnAll message boards for some feedback on how much “cool” gear is too much for long term travel.
One of the suggestions I got back was the $20 Empress MP3 player. Basically, you store your MP3's on an SD flash memory card, and the player reads the music off of it. The appeal is the low investment, and lack of attention it would draw from would-be theives. The downside is you wouldn't be able to organize music in folders, or have some of the advanced functionality other players offer. I'm leaning toward a slightly fancier, 4 gig player, however it's nice to know you have options.
Another suggestion was to get a card reader which basically allows you to forego the USB cable which comes with your digital camera. I just bought a Kingston TravelLite SD/MMC Reader (with 2 gb SD card) from Amazon.com for $24.99 (plus shipping). For some reason, I thought a 2 gig flash memory card would be three times more expensive. Just goes to show how little attention I've been paying to tech stuff lately. The reader and memory arrived in the mail today. It's definetly light, as the name implies. Now I know why it was so inexpensive ($10 by itself), it's just a piece of cheap plastic that connects the memory to a USB plug. I'm fairly certain I could chuck it across the room and not be too concerned with it breaking.
Note: I've started to update my Amazon.com Travel Store with new books and gear I'm either purchasing for my trip, or believe other travelers may find useful.