MP3 Players - Buying Guideline
The articles describes the main types of MP3 player and some guiding points of choosing an MP3 player: which are the main features of an MP3 player, what should one pay attention to when choosing a player and other issues.
MP3 is today one of the most popular acronyms, the complete name of which not many know. At the same time it is the most popular audio formats for the time of traveling. Many, many people buy new MP3 players and get rid of their old CD MP3 players. Why does this happen? Because the new players, based on flash cards, mini hard disks or had disks are more 'portable' and in most cases are able storing more information, i.e. more music and more hours listening to your favorite tracks.
So what should one pay attention to, when buying an MP3 player? There's actually not much to know about, but there are some key moments everyone should mind.
There are three main types of MP3 players, which are distinguished by the type of storage they have:
A Flash-based MP3 player means the gadget has an integrated flash memory with a fixed amount of memory. However, some devices are equipped with a slot for additional flash cards of a certain type, whether SD (Secure Digital), MMC (MultiMedia Card) or any other multimedia flash cards, compatible with MP3 players.
The storage of such gadgets starts with 128 megabytes (this is not the minimum of a flash card, but having less megabytes is absolutely useless for an MP3 player). This is however very little for today and it is a rarity. You can only store about 20-30 files (depending on the quality and length of the tracks). Maximum storage is limited only to what the manufacturer of the player limits it to. On the other hand the storage is limited to the capacity the gadget is able to read. For example today many manufacturers start producing 8 GB and more Secure Digital flash cards, which would not be read by every device. So when buying any device with flash cards slot, be aware of what is the storage limit of the gadget.
Such a device would be perfect for working out, as there are no movable parts within and the player doesn't need any buffering, as the old CD players did.
An MP3 player with a Micro Drive will store, in most of the cases, more files, i.e. up to 6-10 gigabytes, but the ability to store files is more convenient, and it would be rather enough to have all the favorite tunes at hand.
HDD-based MP3 players are able storing a great amount of files, which is actually not that necessary. A person can hardly have so much favorite music: such a gadget can store from 20 to 60 gigabytes. This is rather much for a media player, which is able to play only audio files. Yet there are players, like iPods, which can playback video files and show them on the small screen. This function of the media player is rather useful for traveling long distances.
Since the HDD and the Micro Drive based players are actually based on hard drives, it is strongly not advisable to use them during workouts, as there are movable parts inside the hard drives and they could be damaged when shaken.
All the MP3 players, whatever their storage is, have a USB compatibility with the PC, as there should be a place to copy music from. However, some players are able downloading music from the internet via a wireless connection.
It should be also taken into consideration the power supply of the gadget: the flash-based devices will be delivered with disposable batteries, mainly AAA or AA (but a pair of rechargeable batteries can be always found), whereas the other two types of players would be delivered mostly with a rechargeable battery, compatible only with this particular model.
Modern MP3 players are not limited only to playback of MP3 files, as some can also playback WMA files, audio tracks from WMV files, AAC files, and other formats. So be sure to find out he exact list of formats the player you chose can playback.
Be careful to choose a gadget, which suits your lifestyle. For example if you like to travel a lot, then a micro drive player (or even one with a HDD) is the one for you, because so you can store all your important files near you. But if you often work out and music is an important part of the exercise, the flash MP3s are right for you.
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