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MP3 & Digital Media Players Price Check

Shopping guide on where to buy bargain MP3 & Digital Media Players online from top high street stores and online shops with fast delivery and check prices on MP3 & Digital Media Players stockists to help guide you to cheap MP3 & Digital Media Players prices for the best value.

MP3 & Digital Media Players Guide

MP3 Players Buyers Guide

Information on MP3 Players and How To Buy the Best Digital Media Players.

Which MP3 & Digital Media Players?

Discover which MP3 & Digital Media Players are best and which MP3 & Digital Media Players are right for you.

What MP3 & Digital Media Players

Learn about what MP3 & Digital Media Players can do, the key features of MP3 & Digital Media Players and what to look for when buying MP3 & Digital Media Players.

Best MP3 & Digital Media Players

Find the best MP3 & Digital Media Players by popularity, price and functionality -- browse by the most popular brands and featured stores for MP3 & Digital Media Players.

Introduction - MP3 & Digital Media Players

Whether its an iPod or an MP3 player, it serves to make your video and music library portable, offering you the convenience to enjoy your favorite media anywhere. MP3’s and iPod’s are the future of digital media and they are already here for us to enjoy and take full advantage of.

However, when it comes to buying one, it’s not always so easy to decide from the seemingly hundreds of different models available. This MP3 and Digital Media Players buying guide will attempt to steer you through the maze of different add ons and accessories, features and options, and help you come to the best decision as to which is the right Media Player for you.

MP3 & Digital Media Players Guide - Table of Contents

MP3 & Digital Media Players Product Types

Flash Memory Players

Flash Memory Players

By far the smallest and lightest kind of MP3 player on the market today, these can be as small as a pack of chewing gum, weighing in at around just 3 ounces. Flash players feature a solid-state memory instead of the usual hard drive found in most iPods, for example. With storage space ranging from 512MB to an incredible 64GB, it’s a sure thing that if you spend enough money, you’ll have room for every song and movie that you could ever want. Additionally, a few of the more recent flash memory players feature memory card slots that can add even more capacity to your player. Most of these take Secure Digital Cards, although most of the Sony models use a MemoryStick instead. Prices for flash memory players range from £25 up to £300.

Hard Disc Players

Hard Disc Players

The hard disc range of MP3 player starts with the handy palm-sized units that feature a microdrive, and weigh in at about ¼ of a pound. Generally these smaller models offer 4 GB of storage, that’s around 1000 songs. However, this is an all-encompassing category that also includes the brick-like models that weigh over a pound, featuring massive 164GB hard drives that can store up to an incredible 40,000 different songs.

MP3 & Digital Media Players Key Features

Standard MP3 features usually encompass playing music and videos, and viewing photographs. If you want more features though, it’s possible to pay more and get MP3’s or iPods that are capable of surfing the net, sending and receiving emails and even playing games. When you come to choose an MP3 player, just look for the features that matter to you.

Software
Controls
Software Controls

It’s worth paying attention to what software an MP3 player has. Most models will come with the ability to covert CD’s to audio playback format so that you can store all of your music on your MP3 player. You should also be able to organize your music, sorting your songs into categories such as genre, artist and album. Another useful feature is the ability to create playlists for different occasions or moods.

Many MP3 players will have an inbuilt song management system which you can access by genre, artist or album. As well as this, an MP3 that lets you organize playlists rather than doing it on your computer can also be useful.

A graphic equalizer allows you to adjust the audio tone in several different ways. For best results, look for a custom setting with separate treble and bass controls, or else adjust able equalizers also offer you a good degree of control over the tone.

Additional Features
Additional Features

This will depend on individual preference, but there is a great deal of other possible features available. Some MP3 players function just as external hard drives do, meaning you can use it to transfer files of any kind from computer to computer. There are also MP3’s available that let you access the internet, download and view PDF files, photos and videos.

Other conveniences include such features as an FM radio tuner, microphones for recording purposes and an output line so you can hook up the MP3 to your car’s music player. Finally, there are MP3’s that feature Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to share music and other files wirelessly. All of these features are additional benefits and you’ll need to consider if they are really necessary to you.

MP3 & Digital Media Players Product Advice

The most important things to consider when you are shopping for an MP3 or digital media player are the features you think you will need, and the player’s compatibility with media files and other hardware.

Hardware Compatibility

Hardware Compatibility

The very first things you should check before buying an MP3 player are the operating system compatibility and the hardware requirements. If your computer doesn’t meet the requirements then you will not be able to use it to upload files on to your MP3. Most digital media players are Windows-compatible but not all of them are compatible with Apple Mac systems and very few are able to run with a Linux operating system.

As well as the kind of operating system requirements, they can also be specific to certain versions. For example, and MP3 player may only be compatible with Windows XP if it’s been updated to Service Pack 2.

Software Compatibility

Software Compatibility

The key with this is music file compatibility. There are many kinds of music file around and not all of them are compatible with every type of MP3 player. You’ll need to check before you buy that the model you are interested in is compatible with the kinds of files and formats that you have at home.

  • Common music files include WMA, MP3 and AAC files
  • Common video files include AVI, WMV, MOV and MPEG
  • Note that MPEG’s are available in many different formats and not all of these are compatible with every MP3, so you will need to check this as well
  • Common photo files include JPG, GIF and BMP
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

One final thing to consider is how easy your MP3 is to use. While there are plenty of awesome looking models out there that feature every kind of gadget you could think of, if the navigation system isn’t simple enough for the average Joe to work around, these models are suddenly not nearly as good as they should be. If possible, see if you can play around with it in store, or if not then look for a demo video on Youtube or some similar website to get an idea of its simplicity.



MP3 & Digital Media Players Buying Tips

  • Size vs Capacity – It’s worth considering buying a flash-memory model if you are not expecting to be uploading thousands upon thousands of songs. Flash-memory players are cheaper, smaller, weigh less and have long playback times, at the expense of song capacity. Meanwhile, if you intend on keeping a huge music collection with you, then a hard disc player is probably the one for you
  • Ergonomics and Design – No matter what model you eventually decide upon, one of the biggest considerations is that it has an easy-to-read display and is easy to use, ideally with controls that can be manipulated with one hand.
  • Battery and Power Consumption – Another important consideration is the battery life. How many hours of power does it provide and how long do the batteries actually last? These can be big factors when deciding which type of player to buy.

Popular MP3 & Digital Media Players Brands

Apple MP3 Players - While MP3’s have been around since before the turn of the decade, it wasn’t until 2001 and the launch of the Apple iPod that the things really took off. IPod’s are now the most popular portable music players in the world, with a 70% market share. IPod’s are easily one of the best kinds of MP3 player available today, with their iTunes store having the biggest library of any online music shop. Apple Logo
Creative Labs MP3 Players - One of the first ever makers of MP3 players, Creative Labs continue to produce a range of top-end MP3 players under the Zen label that include video, audio and photo capabilities. Creative Labs Logo
Intenso MP3 Players - One of the best low cost MP3 brands available, Intenso offer a range of cheap players that come with or without video capabilities. Intenso Logo
Philips MP3 Players - Philips offers the widest range of models as far as any European manufacturer is concerned, with both flash-memory and hard disc players in their range. They offer some good low cost MP3 players with just basic features, while their best models offer a range of different capabilities and fall into the mid price range category. Philips Logo
Sony MP3 Players - Sony were the original inventors of portable music players, dating back to the days of the Sony Walkman in the 1980’s. Ever since then they have kept pace with the latest offerings that their rivals can muster, offering models that are both Wi-Fi capable and feature volume-limiter software to protect user’s ears. Sony Logo
Samsung MP3 Players - The Japanese powerhouse offers a line of flash-memory MP3 players that feature some of the best cutting-edge technology available, for example the ability to receive phone calls via Bluetooth technology. Samsung Logo
SanDisk MP3 Players - SanDisk are now number two in MP3 sales, behind the giants Apple and their iPod range. Unsurprisingly for a brand that started out just manufacturing memory cards, all of their models come with memory card slots for storage expansion. SanDisk Logo

MP3 & Digital Media Players Glossary

AMS - This stands for Automated Music Search, and allows the user to jump forward or backward by a chosen number of tracks.
Digital/Analog Tuner - A digital tuner is far superior, simply touch a button and the device will scan frequencies for you, while an analog tuner requires the user to turn a dial or thumbwheel.
Mega Bass, XBS or DSL - Each of these circuits can boost the bass level artificially to provide more throb through the headphones. The idea is that because most headphones do not respond well to base, the circuit compensates for this.
NiCD, NiMH and Li batteries - The most common kind of battery is the NiCD. Unable to store power as well as the other kinds, it needs frequent recharging. NiMH is a much superior alternative, lasting much longer and also deteriorates far slower. However, the NiMH costs almost twice as much as an NiCD. The most advanced battery of all is the Li battery, which lasts much longer than either of its competitors, is smaller and lighter and can also hold a charge for much longer. However, the downside is that Li batteries can be as much as ten times the cost of an NiCD battery.
 

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