I have never understood the appeal of an MP3 Player/Ipod. In the past, I have owned a CD player that plays mp3 and a smaller capacity (128mb) player, but, it never took off for me.
The Sansa E280R is an 8GB MP3 Player that uses the Rhapsody Music service in much the same way that IPods use ITunes. One big difference is that if I wanted to use Urge, I could.
However, I have found myself really liking Rhapsody because of Rhapsody channels. I imagined that my first weekend of ownership would involve burning my CD collection to a hard-drive and then loading up the player. With Rhapsody, I did not have to do that. I could go and find an album that I own and add it to my library. By default, Rhapsody saves nothing to your hard drive, but, I found an option that will tell Rhapsody to download the track in WMA format. Once downloaded, I can use my media-player extender and send the music to my Xbox, which is conveniently hooked up to my sound system.
Another feature of Rhapsody that I really like is "Rhapsody Channels." This feature allows you to pick a style of music (Soundtracks, 80's, 70's etc) and it will load your Sansa with songs. The other day at Starbucks, I secured a big comfy chair, listened to a Classic Rock Channel enjoyed my Starbucks, Blue Berry Coffee Cake and my copy of "Prank the Monkey." It was at that moment that I realized, I really love my birthday gift.