This is the Creative Nomad Jukebox from the year 2000. It may have been shaped like a CD player to mentally ease technophobes, but it actually had a 6GB hard drive on board. And boy did we love it.
That's not to say that this thing was great—because it wasn't; not by today's standards. It had only a USB 1.1 connection, so uploading all 6GB worth of music took hours and hours. Imagine filling up a 1TB hard drive over a USB 2 connection today, if that gives you any idea of how long the process was. Oh, and it cost $420.
But you know what? It actually a pretty decent player for the year 2000. The 6GB is adequate even now (the lowest iPod Nano today has 8GB), and that 8GB of 5-minute skip protection was good enough for continuous music most of the time, except when you were off-roading or running away from cougars.
Hell, because it was so early in the MP3 player era, it even had extraneous features that were eventually ditched for cost cutting reasons because only a small portion of people used it. There was the stereo line input for recording, dual stereo output for 4-point surround sound as well as WAV and WMA support. Creative did do a good job with firmware support after the thing was released, actually adding functionality to the player when they could have just released a new hardware revision.
So yes, the Creative Nomad Jukebox was heavy, and lost in every way to any Android, Windows Mobile or Apple smartphone today in both price and feature set, but it was pretty damn good in the year 2000. [Product Page (Price dropped to $300 by 2001)]
Decades: where we revisit gadgets we loved from the start of the decade and see how they compare to what we use today.