Guide to MP3 Players
Several types of MP3 players exist and each has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Broadly speaking, MP3 players fall into three types: memory flash players, hard-drive players and finally multimedia players. Depending on specific requirements, an MP3 player with integrated memory might be better suited than a hard-drive MP3 player and vice-versa. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the best MP3 player for you!
Beginner – memory flash players
This type of players includes those with integrated memory, separate memory and USB drive players respectively. These players are the most affordable and also the smallest in size. And with relatively few moving parts, they are hardly affected if used while sporting.
Typically speaking, these MP3 players can store between 20 to 120 tracks of CD quality audio. New players vary from 64M up to about 1GB in capacity. They’re also extremely easy to use and you can transfer files to and from your PC and the player without difficulty.
As such these players are ideal for everyday listening, for use in the gym or even as an affordable introduction to MP3 players. Styles do also vary, from discrete, tiny devices to more elegant and futuristic designs.
Intermediate – Hard drive players
This type of MP3 player is ideal if you want to carry your whole music library around. Hard drive MP3 players store between 1,000 to 20,000 tracks depending on their capacity, varying from about 2GB to over 80GB. These devices are normally pocket sized and usually equipped with the very same basic functions as their simpler integrated memory counterparts. The biggest selling point of these hard driver players is of course their large storage capacity.
Hard disk MP3 players usually have small screens to display track and artist details, and user friendly menu systems for easy navigation between tunes. Higher end colour screen models can display stored images. Some players can even download photos onto their hard drive from digital camera memory cards for viewing pleasure, without the need to use a computer as an intermediary.
These devices are a true portable MP3 jukebox capable of storing multiple tunes and albums in a single and compact player. Quite a few users link their players up to compatible car radios or buy an add-on speaker which then transforms them into mobile hi-fi systems.
Advanced – Multimedia Players
Multimedia MP3 players use larger hard drives and as a result are physically heavier and bigger than other MP3 players. This extra capacity and size is there to accommodate a larger colour screen for the viewing of photos and their video playback capabilities. Such a feature makes viewing your favourite films, the latest MVs or your holiday video a possibility. Music, photos and videos are all accessible from a single device.
More advanced models have a similar feature set to a pocket PC or PDA thanks to their compatible operating system as well as application support. Others have integrated video inputs and even support real time encoding, which makes them a potential VHS recorder replacement. These media players are in fact more than just an MP3 player.
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