Full disclosure: Any roundup of MP3 or portable media players that claims to be a definitive "best of" collection isn't a roundup you should be reading. The truth is that there's simply far too much product variety in this category for any one critic - or legion of critics - to authoritatively rate them all, especially given the subjective way in which different features connect with different types of user. So instead, we offer the following - a showcase of ten key players that, by virtue of simplicity, sophistication, innovation or cost, clearly warrant any audio or video enthusiast's attention. Some selections are tried and true and available now, while others offer so much promise that we felt you needed to know about them in advance. And yes, amongst all the perfection, you will find one or two contenders that we just felt were kind of cool, if only for their unique but potentially appealing design.