So you’ve decided that you want a portable MP3 player to take your music collection with you. You hop online and search for MP3 players and discover that choosing an MP3 player is going to be more difficult than you thought. There are a myriad of options out there. First, the iPod which is the most popular option, second, the other brands of mp3 players that compete with the iPod (some well, some not), and then there’s phones and PDA’s that play mp3s. If you feel like you’ve gotten in over your head choosing an mp3 player, relax. I will give you 5 great tips to make choosing an mp3 player easy.
The first thing to consider when choosing an MP3 player is the type of memory you need. Hard drive players store files on small hard disks just like your computer. The advantage to getting a hard drive player is the capacity is very large. MP3 players with 20, 30, 80, or 160 gigabytes (GB) can be had that store up to 25,000 songs! The disadvantage when choosing a hard drive MP3 player is that the hard drive has moving parts, whereas flash memory does not. These hard drives will war out faster than flash players (although hard drives will still last you several years), and they will skip if you bounce the player when using the player during jogging or other physical activities.
Flash memory players, as mentioned, do not have moving parts so are safe for workouts. They have smaller capacities than hard drive MP3 players, but they can be had cheaply with 1 GB of memory which can easily hold about 250 songs. The flash memory is also more compact than a hard drive, so flash players can be made much more compact and thinner than a hard drive player. When your choosing an MP3 player, consider size, amount of memory, and durability before you buy.
Choosing an MP3 Player Tip 2: Music Options
When you are choosing an MP3 player, you need to determine how you are going to get music on to your player. There are 4 major ways to get music onto your MP3 player:
1. Music software that comes with your player, including iTunes or the Zune Marketplace. You can buy songs online and add them to your player all in one convenient software package.
2. Independent music stores such as Amazon.com. You can buy songs at these stores and download them to your computer, where they can be added to your MP3 player.
3. Subscription music such as Rhapsody or Napster. For a low monthly fee, you can have unlimited music downloads. Some players do not support this, so make sure yours does.
4. Rip music off of CDs you already own.
When choosing an MP3 player, make sure your preferred method of getting music is supported.
Choosing an MP3 Player Tip 3: Photo and Video Options
If you want to watch movies or view photos on your player, consider choosing an MP3 player with a large color screen. Even a small increase in screen size on a compact device can make it alot easier to view photos or videos on your player. Also, if you like movies, choose a hard drive MP3 player because movie files are very large.
It is very important to take a look at the user interface when you are choosing an MP3 player. Try to pick up the player and navigate the menus to get a feel for how easy it is to find your songs or media. If you are buying online, try to read some thorough reviews to get a feel for how easy the player is to operate. This is a major source of customer dissatisfaction, so don’t overlook it.
MP3 players also come with many extra features, such as Wi-Fi syncing or FM radio. When you are choosing an MP3 player, shop around to get a feel of what types of features are offered.
Choosing an MP3 Player Tip 5: Integrated Devices
Some phones, PDA’s, satellite radios, and even GPS units can play MP3 files. Playing music is not their primary purpose so you will have to make some compromises if you choose to go this route. The advantage is you only have to carry one device.
Choosing an MP3 player doesn’t have to be complicated. Just remember these five tips an be sure to shop around for a player that meets your needs in your price range.