What Is an MP3 Player?

What Is an MP3 Player?

An MP3 player is a wonderful piece of technology that’s taken over the world of personal music players — the next generation of the LP, the cassette, and the CD. An MP3 Player is a device that plays files called “mp3” files.

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What Is an MP3 File?

An MP3 is a form of digital audio file that is compressed into a portable and easy-to-handle size using a specific audio recording standard. These standards are defined by the Motion Pictures Experts Group, known as MPEG. Where does the name come from? These files are technically called “MPEG-1, Layer 3”, hence the shortened version, “MP3”. These files use only about 10% of the storage requirements of the popular CD format, meaning you can squeeze more music onto a smaller space using MP3 files.

MP3 Player Specifics

MP3 players come in all different sizes, colors, shapes, and capabilities. The smallest and highest-end MP3 players use a specific kind of memory known as “flash” — unlike conventional memory you might have on your desktop or laptop computer, “flash” memory does not lose stored information when the power source is removed or turned off.

Flash memory is crucial to these devices — it takes up little space, uses little power, and lets designers of MP3 devices create really small devices that have extended battery lives. Both important features when designing a personalized music playing system.

What Is an MP3 Player?

The major benefit of an MP3 player is that a consumer can hold a huge chunk of their music collection in their hand rather than lugging around bulky boxes or cases of CDs. Also, MP3 users can create endless amounts of personalized music lists and carry thousands of songs, videos, and even mini games in their pocket wherever they go.

All of that stored music and the MP3 player itself fit into a device that, in some cases, weighs less than one ounce. Portability is a large factor in the popularity of the MP3, considering the ease of transportation in comparison to a CD player and CD storage case. In addition, some devices provide additional technology, like video and photo viewing, alarm and calendar functions, and even cell phone and Internet service.

Downside of MP3 Players

The major case against flash memory based MP3 players is their limited storage capacity. If you have a huge music collection, you’re never going to get everything onto a flash based MP3 player — you’ll need a hard drive backup or a larger hard disk based MP3 device. Some of the larger MP3 devices can store tens of thousands of songs (some companies claiming storage of over 100,000 songs) but you lose the small size and portability features of the flash-based MP3 players. The cost is different as well — flash-based MP3 players are cheaper.

If you are a music fan and you don’t own an MP3 player, you are behind the curve. You shouldn’t upgrade to an MP3 player system just because it is the hot new technology — do it because CDs are on the way out, and all music could one day exist digitally, rather than on a hard disc.

Where to Find Cheap MP3 Players and Accessories

Finding cheap Mp3 players and accessories involves shopping around. You might be able to find an inexpensive MP3 player on Craigslist or eBay. But keep in mind that buying a used MP3 player carries a certain amount of risk with it; when you buy one new, you get a warranty and a customer service department to deal with. If you keep a close eye on Amazon, they run sales and specials from time to time. Amazon is the best place to buy cheap MP3 players and accessories.

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