Electronics: Attack of the Anti-iPods

WITH FLASH AND FANCY FEATURES, NEW DIGITAL-MUSIC PLAYERS ARE TRYING TO PARE APPLE

Sure, sure, you're hopelessly, helplessly in love with your iPod. That doesn't mean your precious doesn't have pimples. What about iPod's notorious lack of endurance between recharges, the sealed case that means you may have to scrap the thing if the internal battery dies, and the proprietary digital-music format that joins you at the hip to Apple's iTunes online store? Apple may hold more than 60% of the market for hard drive--based digital-music players, but even iPod devotees may have wandering eyes--and competitors are crying "Pick me!" by delivering fetching new digital-music players that adopt some of the benchmark's strengths while...

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