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MP3 Player Buying Guide

Aug 5, 2008
With so many MP3 Players available on the market, it is quite a challenge on deciding which one is right for you. Apple's iPod models are currently the most popular MP3 players today, though there are many other options that are giving the iPod fierce competition.

Below you will find a few things that our product specialists recommend our customers to consider before purchasing an MP3 Player.

Memory Capacity: It's important that you think about how many songs you plan to have on your MP3 player before making a purchasing decision. If you want to have your whole music collection with you everywhere you go, then it makes sense for you to get an MP3 Player with more than 20 gigabytes of storage space. On the other hand if you only plan to have your favorites on the player, than you should be fine with less than 10 gigabytes.

On average, you should be able to fit about 250 songs in the MP3 format for every gigabyte. So for a 10 gigabyte MP3 Player, you will be able to store about 2500 songs. This figure is just an average; actual results may be more or less depending on the length of the individual songs you store.

Size: If you plan on using your MP3 player for entertainment while you exercise, you might want to consider the much smaller MP3 player models available. The drawback is that usually the smaller the player, the less music it can hold. Though as technology has advanced, sometimes even the smallest MP3 players can hold hundreds if not thousands of songs.

Format Compatibility: The phrase MP3 Player is commonly used to describe any type of digital audio player. Though almost all of these players are compatible with the MP3 file format, they can usually play many other types of file formats as well. When it comes down to format compatibility, it truly depends on where you will be getting your music. If you plan to "rip" your music straight from your CD's then you should be fine with just about any type of MP3 player, as you will usually have the option to "rip" the files in the MP3 format. If you plan on downloading your songs from iTunes, then your files will most likely be in the AAC format. Unfortunately, this file format is usually only compatible with iPods. Be sure to check an MP3 player is compatible with the file format the site you plan to download from currently offers before you make a purchasing decision.

Photos and Videos: If you will be relying on your MP3 Player to keep you entertained while away from home consider one that can display photos and videos. Many sites on the Internet are offering movies, shows, and other videos for consumers to view on their MP3 players. If you plan on only using your MP3 Player for listening to music, for example while you worked out, then an MP3 player without the photo and video capabilities will be just fine for you. Keep in mind that watching videos on an MP3 Player drains the battery out much faster than only listening to music.

Radio Tuners: Many MP3 Players on the market have FM tuners, which allow you to listen to the radio. This is perfect when you're tired of listening to your own songs and want to hear something new. Some players even have an FM Recording function, so you can record a song you like straight off the radio.

Games: If you plan on using your MP3 Player to keep you entertained while on the go, than you might want a player that has games that you can play. This added feature can make a difference in the level of entertainment you get from your digital audio player.

Voice Recording: You can find a lot of MP3 Players that have a voice-recording function. These players have a built-in microphone, which can be perfect for students who want to record lectures in the classroom.

Battery Life: Check to see how long the battery life of a particular MP3 Player is. If the battery life isn't as long as you plan to use it on a single charge, than it is best you look for something else. There's no point to having an MP3 player that requires you to constantly charge it for it to work.

Definitions:

AAC Format: A file format developed by the MPEG group and similar in nature to mp3, though not as widely used. The AAC format is the format used by Apple's iTunes music download service.

Gigabytes: A unit of storage measurement consisting of one billion bytes (one thousand megabytes).
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