I was looking for a decent portable CD player to replace my old Sony Discman D-F411. Coupled with a pair of decent headphones like the Sennheiser PX 200, the sound quality was pretty good.
I use the portable CD player to sample CDs and to compare CD sound quality to digitally compressed audio (MP3s, AACs). I still love the sound of the CD, but I hope they improve the quality of compressed audio while reducing file size (there must be a limit to that, given that you throw away information to get to a certain file size). Lossless formats would be ideal if it were not for disk space and bandwidth limitations (imagine iTunes selling lossless music files many times larger than AAC files).
Some of the major manufacturers of portable CD players have only a few left. Panasonic doesn’t even have one featured on their web site. Philips just has one model of portable CD player, but, if it were like my Philips portable CD player, it doesn’t support gap-less playback of contiguous gap-less tracks (something you would encounter often with classical music CDs, for example).
I am saddened by the demise of the portable CD player. Sure, I do have two iPods, but portable CD players are something I’d like to bring around the house if I want to listen to a CD. I hope that either the CD format remains or that a new type of media capable of storing uncompressed music emerges. Perhaps, we’ll have one of those cube-like thingies that you see in sci-fi films…….