How the audio world has evolved in recent years. The mobile phone has taken over from dedicated portable audio devices which came down in price from the previous dizzy expensive heights. Many homes and offices now use Alexa and other wireless speakers or devices to interact and listen to music which is likely using wifi or caan be used on the phone.
As devices developed phones became more reliable, faster, and larger memory it was possible to do more than one thing on the device. We take for granted now the boom in Podcasts and online services allowing us to listern or watch on our devices whilst we doing other things at the same time.
MP3 Players or portable devices were a big deal and blew peoples minds that hundreds of albums not just songs could fit on a single device, no need to burn CDs and hit the limit of 80minutes or less audio. Back in the day MP3 Players were used just about everywhere, they were great no need to carry a few CDs instead carry hundreds or more of your favourite music which fits easily into your hand, or connect to your car.
Portable Audio player market used to be dominated by the Apple iPod and Creative Zen Range but now there are a huge variety of colours, shapes and sizes. Most mobile phones now come with MP3 playback so you can always have you music, podcasts or audio books with you. Capacities typical range back in (2008) ranged from 1GB-16GB for Flash memory based, to 200GB for hard disk based products.
The average MP3 file is around 4MB, so it is easy to see the attraction of having your favourite tracks available or to store a whole catalogue of music and to create play lists of your favourite music or soundtracks.
Cheaper USB sticks based systems start at a few pounds £10+. Hard drive based devices used to cost over £100+ with an average starting point of IPods at £130. Cheaper Flash and Hard Drive storage will mean prices will lower and capacities continue to increase as more people look to play not only MP3s but audiobooks and long podcasts.
Early devices also allowed you to play back video clips the formats can vary from Youtube avi,flv others also allow you to play downloaded films and movie trailers which you can download legally from the usual suspects. Now people download whole Series of TV or films to take on holiday or the commute with them, at far higher quality than before, this was before the days of HD and 4k.
I would still reccomend a cheaper device if you run or exercise alot and dont want to risk your pricey phone from damage, but of course many of these may include fitness tracking so if your using those features its a risk you need to take. For running or just listening a cheap but decent dedicated player is still has its place.
Way back many people seemed to find their first MP3 player was too small or feature limiting so you should check how much stuff are you actually going to want? 2GB is plenty for most unless you wish to use it to carry documents/pdfs or to store and play video files.
Wow 2GB it was crazy wth early memory devices SD and similar 16,32,64MB etc not GB, now most phones in 2018 have 64-128GB with some Samsungs now trying to be top with 1TB of storage.