Unfortunately, most of us have graduated from straight Mp3 players. Since our phones can store and stream an unlimited amount of music, people just don’t carry around a separate Mp3 player anymore. Many kids don’t have their own phone, leaving parents looking for options for a kids mp3 player.
As much as I bag on Apple, I admit that back in the day the iPod was where it was at. Suddenly we were able to carry a whole case of CD’s with us and listen to them wherever we were! This isn’t to say that the iPod was the first Mp3 player because it wasn’t. It was just the first to make it really simple to use with its iTunes interface on the computer.
These days it’s a little harder to find a kids mp3 player that will ONLY play music. The iPod Touch is literally just an iPhone without the service, which many parents aren’t ready to hand over to their kids. Especially since iOS is harder to manage for parents anyway.
Never fear though! There ARE options for you to get your kids an Mp3 player!
Stand-alone Music Player
I still think Jooki the best music player for kids since you can program the playlists ahead of time and your child can just switch out the toy based on which playlist they want to listen to! The device can even connect with Spotify to allow you to play songs you don’t have the files for (check the end of the post for how to get Mp3’s).
If you do go the Spotify route, I recommend signing up for a Spotify Family account. This allows you to create a separate account for your child so it’s not tied to your own account. Don’t ask me how I know… let’s just say a certain child might have been woken up by some Metallica at 10 PM one night. If you sign up for Spotify now you will also be eligible to get a free Google Home Mini!
Without Spotify, you will need to transfer the Mp3’s to your phone to set up your playlists.
Another option for kids Mp3 players is an alarm clock. Similar to the Jooki, the Alarm clock doesn’t need to be connected to anything in order to play the music. You can load up your Mp3’s on an SD card or a USB drive and play the songs straight from there. You wouldn’t be able to set different playlists using this method.
Most of the alarm clocks also have Bluetooth capabilities, so you could connect a phone to it even if it isn’t the child’s phone. They can use a parent’s device or family device to connect.
This particular alarm clock includes a nightlight, making it a great option for a kid’s room.
Many families are now using smart speakers to play music for kids. In our home, there is some sort of Google Smart Speaker in every room. The kid’s rooms both have Google Home Mini’s, my room has the Lenovo Smart Clock, and our kitchen has a Lenovo Smart Display.
If you connect your Google Play Music or Spotify account to the Google Home devices, your child can just ask Google to play the particular playlist they want to hear. With Google Play you can upload your own files to the service, so even if the music isn’t available on the platform you can still listen.
This also works with Amazon’s Echo devices.
Portable Kids Mp3 Player
Many people don’t know that straight-up MP3 Players still exist! Sony even still has a Walkman! The cost spans from about $20 – $250, depending on the brand and features. Your best bet is to stick with well-known brands like Sony or Sandisk, but if you are really just looking for something affordable anything will do.
If you do get something off-brand, don’t expect it to last a long time, and set your expectations low for sound quality. It also could be difficult to create playlists and transfer music depending on the platform it’s using. Most kids probably wouldn’t even notice the difference though.
Another option is a new device called the Mighty. It looks similar to an iPod shuffle from back in the day. Very small and able to clip on to clothes or a bag. The difference is you can add your Spotify playlists or podcasts to the device and listen to them without your phone.
Finally, you can get a smartwatch that you can download songs. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music allows you to save songs to the watch, and connect headphones directly to it. So you can listen to music, without connecting to a phone, right from your watch.
There are a few others that will do the same thing, so look around and see if there is a watch for your kid. This is probably the most expensive out of all the options so definitely decide if your child is old enough to take care of an expensive device.
How do you get Mp3’s?
Now that you’ve decided which option you will buy for your kids mp3 player, the next question I KNOW is coming, is how do you GET Mp3’s? Now that Napster is gone, how does one acquire those fun little files of music? Well, there are a few different methods.
The first thing you can do is put the CD that you still own in your computer’s disc drive and “rip” the songs from the disc. In Windows, you can do this in the native Windows Media Player program. It is pre-installed on most Windows computers.
You simply insert the disc and click the “rip” tab that will appear. You can usually select what format you want to rip the songs in, and there you would choose Mp3.
If you have iTunes, it is similar.
- Launch iTunes. …
- Choose iTunes, then select “Preferences”.
- Click the “Import Settings” button.
- Choose “MP3” Encoder from the” Import Using” pop-up menu.
- Choose “High Quality” (160 kbps) from the “Setting” pop-up menu. …
- Load an audio CD into your computer.
- Click the “Import CD” button.
If you don’t have the CD’s, you may be able to borrow the CD, or some Mp3’s from your friends. I have a ton of Mp3’s stored on an external NAS device in my house. They can put the files on a USB drive so you can use them on your new mp3 device.
The last way, that I DO NOT RECOMMEND, is to illegally download the Mp3’s as we did back in the day. Oh, how I miss Napster. These days, many of the sites you will find will be filled with malware, adware, and other junk you do NOT want on your computer.
The other illegal way is to convert a YouTube video of the song to Mp3 using an online video converter. See issues above with malware for reasons not to do this one either.
Now that you have all your files and your handy dandy new device… Rock out, friend!
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com