Q: I have a question about the new Walkman or really any MP3 player. How do I know the Walkman or the Creative Zen will work with iTunes? The rest of my family already have iPods, and I want something different but my concern is all the music I have tied up in iTunes, how do I know what MP3 players will work with that music?--Marty, via e-mail
A: The short answer is: it depends. First off, if we're taking about working with iTunes the software, the answer is no...unless you want to use a "hack" such as iTunes agent. Now, when it comes to iTunes, the music store, things get a bit more complicated. If the music was purchased in iTunes at 99 cents a pop before the DRM restrictions lifted (which happened on April 7 of this year), then it will only be compatible with the iPod, since that is the only MP3 player that supports protected AAC. However, if the files are unprotected AAC--purchased after the date above or as AAC+ tracks at $1.29 per--they will play on the most recent Walkmans and the most recent Zens (as well as other players, such as the Sansa Clip).