Music, Running and MP-3 Compilations

The New Year is here and once again I have resolved to lose weight by running. I know that MP-3 is an evil concept for this forum, but I haven't yet figured out how to fit my Audio Research amps and WATT Puppies in a backpack when jogging. Under these less than ideal circumstances, could someone please advise me on an MP-3 player that might sound half way decent? All else being equal, smaller would be better but I don't mind carrying a slightly bigger unit if the sound, user interface etc. is better. I have a pair of Grado SR 60 headphones which I hope I can use with the player. I am really clueless on this so thank you very much and happy new year.
I purchased a Sony (NW-MS7) for my kids (really) for Christmas, and ended up returning it and purchasing a Nike (manufactured by RIO). The Sony I returned was ONLY compatible with Win98 (computer manufacturer pre-installed at that), and I am currently using Win2K as my OS. So my first bit of advice is to look to manufacturers that offer players with software that is compatible with your present and future computer needs. Second, the Sony did not store .mp3 files on the player. Sony has developed their own file compression scheme, ATRAC3, and files must be converted from .mp3 (or .wav) to be stored and played back on the player. Proprietary electronic storage is not my idea of offering flexibility, and I really don’t care to find out who wins any .mp3/ATRAC3 wars, so this was a checkmark in the negative column as well. (I believe there are reasons why Sony went this route and sound quality may be one of them, but while conjecture, it may be for copyright protection of music as the number of copies of a particular song appeared to limited. I was not able to try it out, as I couldn’t load the software and I may be 100% wrong on the last.) Some players offer a better method for securing the player to your person while performing exercise. The Nike, while it was larger than the Sony, came supplied with a belt hook, as well as wrist/arm band straps, and a detachable intermediate control module/cord for those times that you don’t need to search for songs. Another point is battery life. Some players offer rechargeable batteries, while others use standard storage batteries. The battery life of the rechargeable units between charges is only on the order 2 or so hours. The Nike, using AA batteries had a life of 12 or so hours. And then there’s price. The Sony was about $100.00 more than the Nike, and others are still cheaper.

My opinion, for what it’s worth.
Massvm: So if I understand correctly you are not a fan of Sony? Great post on New Year's resolutions! I hate exercise and would like to try this too. Do any players sound better? Has anyone tried Nomad?
Lawrence.cohen, that is not really the case vis-a’-vis not being a Sony fan. I have and still own Sony equipment, and Sony certainly has (rightfully so, IMHO) a large market share in HiFi. I made a comparison to highlight some of the features that might be of interest to Thomas_hardigan323. However, for some of the reasons stated I do not think that their NW-MS7 player is the best buy. But then I'm not sure if I would purchase one for my own use anyway. I agree with your (unstated) point that it would be interesting to read/hear comparisons of different manufacturers players from a sound quality standpoint, but the curiosity simply arises from some form of audio OCD.

My opinion, for what it's worth.