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I always look for older Ipod shuffles on my local classifieds. I can usually pick them up for $15 or $20 each. Which is cheap for a quality player.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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I'm not sure how useful or hackable this is but it's definitely cheap. Mp3 Player.
The reviews are pretty hit or miss, which surprises me since Sansa has been my go to brand for personal MP3 players for most of the last decade.

I will say that at the price point on that site, I can afford to buy a few to experiment with - take them apart, figure out how to wire up a pressure pad or other trigger mechanism to it can be used as audio for props. Only down side is 2 GB card are getting more and more difficult to find.
 

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I ordered this mp3 player and this speaker. The mp3 player is ok, not sure how well I like the controls but it works great for what I need Halloween wise. Plus it's an easy USB into the computer to transfer files. But, it didn't come with any instructions I had to play with it to figure out how it worked (turn on by holding the play/pause button, move through the menu with mode switch, press the mode switch IN to select from the menu). The little speaker is fantastic and I'm really glad I picked this one, it has good sound and volume and even pretty good bass.
 

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If you have a Big Lots nearby, check their electronics section. I bought a Trio player there last year for Jazz Age music in my cemetery. This Sunday is "Friends & Family" Day, so you can get 20% off with the coupon. (IM me if you need one & I'll send it to you.)
 
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