If you’ve been looking around for an mp3 player, chances are you’re very confused with all the different specifications and the vast array of models out there. You’ve read that you can get your entire music collection on to one mp3 player and that’s true – but not every mp3 player. You have also been told that you can throw them around, go jogging with them, climb a mountain with one and all this is true – but again, not every mp3 player will withstand this treatment.
Basically, if you want to get physical with your mp3 player then you need one with no moving parts. In this case, the iPod is not what you want. You would be looking for a machine which saves it’s music to memory. Some of the most popular mp3 players which fall into this category are in the Creative MuVo range.
There are basically three types of mp3 player. Hard drive based, memory based and mp3 CD player based. The hard drive mp3 players allow you to store thousands of tunes whilst the memory based version sacrifices music volume for freedom of movement. You can even get waterproof mp3 players! The mp3 CD players read the mp3 music from a CD which you have pre-burned.
So now you have enough information to know what type of mp3 player you should be looking for. Now what about capacity? How much music can you get on the various players out there? Let’s take a look ….
If you want your music to sound good you want to be using at least CD quality mp3s. One minute of CD quality mp3 takes up around 1Mb. The memory based mp3 players have a top limit of around 500Mb meaning you can get roughly 120 average length tunes on there. But the top end hard drive versions go up to as much as 60Gb which is a whole lot of music – an anorak’s dream
Another consideration is battery life. The hard drive mp3 players plough through the batteries at a rate of knots since the disk has to physically turn. The memory based option uses a lot less battery power. Many of the memory based mp3 players use the AAA size battery which is very convenient since you don’t need a re-charger and you don’t need to search for hard to find battery types. You’ll find that most hard drive versions use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and if you use your mp3 player a lot, your re-charger will be in regular use. Many people simply leave the power lead plugged in when they are at home.
An important factor in your decision should be the size of the unit. If you want to use your player at the gym or while you’re out jogging then you’ll want the smallest player possible. There are some really tiny models on the market these days. You will usually have to sacrifice some storage with a very small mp3 players but you can usually get enough music on there to have a good long workout.
If you want to use your mp3 player more at home then size will not be such a great consideration. The iPod is still a very compact unit and most people will be held to fit their entire collection on there. Of course the iPod is not your only option and there are many excellent manufacturers out there. Just be careful of some of the cheap imports you see on ebay, often there is no support for these players.
As a replacement for the home hi fi system, the mp3 player is becoming more and more popular. High fidelity purists obviously will never be swayed but to most of us the quality of the mp3 is perfectly adequate for our everyday listening purposes.
In fact many modern players coming on to the market have been designed with both portability and versatility in mind. What better way to entertain your dinner party guests than to have your mp3 player randomly selecting music from over ten thousand of your favourite tracks? No more fumbling around in your CD rack trying to find the disk that lost its cover.