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Which MP3 Player - MP3 Player Options Explained

For those in the market for a new portable music player, deciding on which MP3 player to buy can seem like a daunting task. There are so many options available, it can be really hard to pick. Thankfully, the task gets easier as you narrow it down by size, available options and your own personal needs. For instance, if you plan on using your MP3 player during your morning run, a flash memory player might be the best option for you; however, if you are a media fanatic, you might prefer a hard drive player.

Our Advice

The perfect pairing: Don't overspend on the music device and forget what actually delivers the sound to your ears. Get the best headphones available to go with your music player -you won't regret it.

So what is an mp3 player with a hard drive? The answer to this question is very simple: a hard drive mp3 player has an internal mechanism that is similar to what can be found in a laptop computer. Unlike other types of players, the internal mechanism of a hard drive player has moving parts, which, unfortunately, makes it slightly more prone to skipping. Although skipping can be a major disadvantage, one of the major advantages of this type of player is that it can hold a large amount of files. They can range in capacity from 4 gigabytes to 160 gigabytes, and can hold between 1,000 to 40,000 average-sized MP3s. Since hard drive players tend to increase in physical size with the increase of storage capacity, those seeking a more compact option may prefer a mini-hard drive player. Similar to their larger counterparts, mini-hard drive players contain moving parts; however, they are significantly lighter, and can hold up to about eight gigabytes of files.

Becoming increasingly popular is the flash memory MP3 player. One of the lightest MP3 players on the market, the flash memory player is a favorite among those who want portable music without a lot of hassle. Unlike hard drive varieties, flash-based players run on solid-state memory, which means no moving parts and no skipping. Unfortunately, this also means that the storage capacity in these small players is limited. Capacity sizes can range from 512 megabytes to about eight 8 gigabytes, holding between 120 and 2000 songs.

Though it is becoming less common, for those who still enjoy using CDs, there is an alternative to hard disk and flash memory players. MP3 CD players work a lot like regular CD players, but unlike many regular CD-based devices, this type plays CD-R and CD-RW discs, which are made specifically for MP3 files.

Although standalone MP3 players are still very popular, many people are turning to players that can multi-task. One of the most recognizable forms of this is the cellphone , but other forms include PDAs, DVD players and even satellite radio devices. Additionally, MP3 players are being integrated in more unique ways. For instance, they can now be found nestled into sunglasses and swim goggles, making them more accessible to those that lead an active or sporty lifestyle.
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