Shopping Advice on MP3 Players: buying guide

Dec 9 08:49 2006 Subhash Print This Article

A MP3 player is becoming one of the inevitable accessories to a music Lover’s life and many of the youngsters of today cannot live without one. We have many varieties of MP3 Players in various ranges and prices to suit everyone’s specific requirements.

Several types of MP3 player exist each having distinct advantages and drawbacks. MP3 players fall largely into 3 types: mp3 flash players,Guest Posting hard drive players and multimedia players. Depending on your requirements, an integrated memory mp3 player may be better suited than a hard drive mp3 player, or vice-versa.

Types of MP3 player:

• Hard drive based MP3 players

• Micro hard drive based MP3 players

• Flash based MP3 players

Key features of MP3 Player

Weight and size:There are huge differences between mp3 players in terms of size and weight. Players range in weight from around 40 grams for small integrated memory players to over 300 grams for a large multimedia player. As a general rule the greater the capacity of the player the larger the size and the heavier the weight. However improvements in storage technology are constantly reducing the size and weight of successive mp3 player generations.

Compatible audio formats:Although the MP3 music format is the most widespread, the majority of online music stores use other formats such as WMA or AAC. The latter are more recent formats than MP3 and can offer better audio quality at the same size. These formats also provide a royalties protection system which makes them very successful within musical spheres. If you are thinking of using one of these services or if your music library contains formats other than the MP3 one, you need to check the compatibility of the player. Other audio formats include Ogg Vorbis and the proprietary Sony format ATRAC.

Memory size:This is the amount of data that the MP3 player can hold. The larger the capacity, the greater the number of songs you will be able to store on your player. The memory size is usually stated in Megabytes (MB) for multimedia card mp3 players and secure digital mp3 players and in Gigabytes (1 GB = 1024 MB) for hard drive players. On average, a song is around 4 megabytes (MB) in size, i.e. approximately 60 MB for a whole album. The exact size of a track depends on the quality with which it was encoded this is expressed as a bit rate value (kbps). The higher the mp3 bit rate the better the quality, but this extra quality results in a larger file size. Bit rates can vary but around 128 to 192kbps is a good compromise between quality and size.

Battery life:The battery for most flash memory mp3 players is generally integrated and non-interchangeable, making it important to check their battery life. Battery life can vary between several hours for a power hungry multimedia player, to over 40 hours for some memory integrated MP3 players. Some smaller players can be draw power from their connection to your computer (USB) and do not require a separate charger or batteries. Charging times also vary depending on the player and the type of battery used.

PC Interface:This is the connection interface between your music player and your computer. Most mp3 players use the common USB connection. USB 2.0 or FireWire connections however are considerably faster than standard USB making players combatable with these interfaces are more desirable. This is especially relevant for hard drive and multimedia players where the amounts of data transferred are quite considerable.

Remote control:A remote control offers usability advantages, especially for hard drive and multimedia players which are usually impractical to take in and out of your pocket. The remote controls for MP3 players can either be compact and limited to just the essential functions, or feature rich and equipped with a small LCD screen displaying track information.The most common auxiliary functions on MP3 players are an FM radio tuner and a hand-held Dictaphone recording function allowing you to record short memos. On some players the radio function can even be used to record your favourite station in MP3 format.

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