Mp3 players are everywhere you look now, and it seems like everyone's got one. People on tv, in movies, at school, on the bus, or even walking or running down the street. And the selections are endless. But with so many options it's almost impossible to find the right mp3 player to suit your needs, especially if you don't know what you're needs are!
Do you know what kind of mp3 player you want?
This is where choosing the best mp3 player starts. You have to know what you'll be using this mp3 player for. Do you want to workout with it at the gym? Use it for running laps? Do you want to be able to put your whole music collection on it? Or maybe you want to use it to hook up to your stereo system and play all your music without ever putting in a cd. Do you need something to pass the time for your work commute? Is something that can display pictures or play video files important to you? Do you want one of the flat out best mp3 players on the market? Or is price a factor in your purchase?
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that weigh into your decision to purchase an mp3 player. I'll try to go over some of the basic ones here.
Flash vs. Hard Drive
Most mp3 players can be split into two categories. Flash mp3 players or hard drive mp3 players. Flash mp3 players tend to be smaller, lighter, and cheaper. They also store less music, but make up for it by being able to handle more activity. Running, biking over rough terrain...and things of that sort are where flash mp3 players really outshine hard drive players. Flash mp3 players are most useful while working out or when buying an mp3 player on a budget. They are also upgradeable. You can swap out the memory card for a larger one to store more music if you decide you want a bigger player down the road.
Hard drive mp3 players are mostly known as "jukeboxes". Hard drive mp3 players are good for storing large music collections or as backup drives to store larger files(or with recent technological advancements...displaying pictures or playing videos). Hard drive players are great for taking away on extended trips or vacations. But hard drive mp3 players are pricey, and the more features they have, the more expensive they are. Though you are getting your based price per gig, the larger you go.
Mp3 players have a variety of different features. From sound and audio options, to various play options. All mp3 players will also have different included software for downloading and managing music files, with some software packages being better than others. Things like battery life and included accessories may be important to you also, so make sure to check the specs of an mp3 player before purchasing it. Read some reviews and see if anyone has any negative things to say about it.
Some mp3 players will even allow you to rip CDs directly from an audio player to your mp3 player, no computer required. Players will also have different navigation types. Some using buttons, others using touch pads or click wheels. Some mp3 players come standard with an FM tuner, as well as digital voice and FM recording. Then there are players made specifically for sports use that come with lap timers and stopwatches and things of that nature. If any particlular feature is important to you, make sure the mp3 player you want has it(or can at least be bought as an accessory for it).
If you're looking to purchase an mp3 player for under $100 or so, flash mp3 players are going to be your best bet. Very few hard drive or larger file capacity mp3 players are available at that kind of price. But there is good news. With competition the way it is in the mp3 player market, older model mp3 players are always being made available at huge discounted prices, allowing you to save anywhere from $20 to $70 on some of the best mp3 players out there.
There are a lot of competing companies out there making mp3 players. Weeding out the top quality ones from the lesser ones isn't always easy. Some of my favorites are Apple, Creative Labs, Sandisk, Rio, iRiver and Archos. There are others, such as Nike or iAudio and more, but these are the main contenders. The Apple iPod is by far the most popular, most pervasive, coolest, and also most expensive mp3 player brand out there. Whether the price of the iPod is worth it, is your choice. Just make sure you get a good sense of what other mp3 player brands are out there, and what each of them are like.
Finding the right mp3 player can be difficult sometimes. Knowing the answers to many of the questions asked in this article will make that search, and subsequent decision, easier for you. But don't despair if this intro to mp3 players wasn't enough for you. There are sites out there dedicated to helping you choose the right mp3 player. Happy hunting!
Gregory Nirshberg owns and operates Mp3 Player Buyer Guide. A website dedicated to helping people find and choose the best mp3 players. A comprehensive buying guide and resource for mp3 player reviews. Also contains up to date clearance and rebate deals.
For more detailed information visit http://www.mp3-player-buyer-guide.com.
March 13, 2006
by Gregory Nirshberg