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Portable CD Players Gain In Popularity, Though Not All Work While Jogging

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Portable CD players always seem to be a popular gift for the holidays.

They could be even more appealing as gift purchases this year because of lower prices and more choices than before.

Consumer Reports

did a recent study on which CDs work best.

Although listening to music while jogging seems to make jogging easier for a lot of people,

Consumer Reports

found that portable CD players don't always withstand that activity. Some will either skips or just shut off, if they happen to be held too tightly.

Consumer Reports tried out 15 portable players, including ones from Sony, Panasonic, and RCA. Testers evaluated regular CD players, as well as those play CDs you make with MP3 music. They're more expensive, and batteries don't last as long, but they give you a lot more music.

"MP3 files are compressed," said Evon Beckford of

Consumer Reports

. "That means you can get about 10 hours on one CD."

First, testers checked sound quality. Most players received an excellent rating.

Then, testers used a device to check "bump immunity." The device simulated the rough treatment a portable player can be up against.

The top-rated MP3-capable CD player is from Sony. It costs $130.

But if all you need is a regular player, an excellent one costs half as much. There's one from Panasonic for $60.

If you like to listen to CDs on the run, they both work well for jogging.

There is a safety warning.

Consumer Reports

advises consumers, while they're jogging, to be sure to keep the volume down so they can be aware of what's happening around them.

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