MP3 Player Buying Guide

Can't live without your music? Then bring it with you! iPod Nike Plus product and relationship. Our guide will save you from any monkey business.

MP3 Player Types

* '''Hard Drive Models''' ** These models have storage capacity starting at 10 GB and up. The 60GB Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra can hold around 17,000 songs. ** Hold many forms of data from your computer, such as photos and videos. ** Generally come with extensive features and larger screens for easy photo and video viewing. ** Built around a 1.8-inch hard drive, these players are larger and heavier than other slimmer designs. ** The hard drives have moving parts, making these players unsuitable for strenuous physical activity. ** Many models use rechargeable batteries which can only be replaced by the manufacturer. After a few years, look to pay for a new model or pay to get the battery replaced. ** The '''iPod Classic''' is an example of a hard drive model. * '''Micro/Mini Hard Drive/Flash memory''' ** The new 32GB iPod Touch version *** the iPod Touch has WiFi 802.11g built in for using the Safari browser as well as email *** The touch also supports cover flow, and several of the applets that are on the iPhone as well ** Smaller and lighter models hold up to 8 GB of music or other data. ** The Samsung S3 holds up to 4 GB of data and has a FM tuner/recorder. **Meizu miniPlayer. *** Super light and very portable. *** Very sturdy no moving parts means that there is nothing to skip or break. ** Max capacity is 8 GB and keeps creeping up as flash technology improves. ** The '''iPod shuffle''' both use flash memory. The iPod shuffle doesn't have a display like the rest of the iPod series, which makes it a very affordable iPod. ** Samsung has come out with a U5 model to compete with Apples nano and shuffle. The Samsung U5 features a 1 inch display screen, FM radio and recorder,  The most popular line of MP3 players by far is the iPod line from Apple. With 90% of the hard drive player market and 70% of the MP3 player market, iPods are everywhere. There are lots of alternatives, though, if iPods aren't your style.

MP3 Alternatives

Think iPods are too expensive?  Don't like the latest designs?  There are plenty of quality MP3 player alternatives out there.  !

Buying Tips

* You can listen to more than just music with MP3 players. You can download some recorded books, comedy and radio shows as well. For iPods, Podcasts have become an increasingly interesting medium, as they often carry up to date information. Urban commuters often report that they listen to these podcasts on their way to work. One thing to consider when shopping for an MP3 player is its ability to play other audio file formats, such as WMA. * Many MP3 players have AM/FM radio tuners builtRadio'>Griffin iFM Radio, Remote, and Recorder for iPods. * Most of today's models come with a color screen. Some even have video playback capability for watching TV shows, music videos, and films. * Look for models that have easy to use interfaces, a display that you can read easily and all the features you want. Apple has continuously been praised for the simplicity of its user interface while remaining extremely effective.  Samsung has a very intuitive 16 GB flash memory MP3 player called the Q2.  The 2.5" LCD screen is easy easy to navigate. * Some models include the base station, but sometimes it is sold separately. Be sure you know what comes bundled with the player before you buy. * There are MP3 players that let you connect to the device like a hard drive (mass storage device), and players that connect to the device using a special program that might not always be as usable, but may offer features like instant recompression, automatic synchronization of playlists and more. Some find hard drive like behavior more flexible, others find specially designed tools easier to use.

MP3 CD Players

*CD players with the same size, format and weight. The only difference is that they can read both CDs and CDs of MP3 files. * These are good options for people who have lots of burned CDs and who don't own an mp3 player. * Some wellskip players include: ** iRiver SlimX iMP ** The square Philips Nike PSA

Digital Music Retailers

Many people believe that Apple's iTunes is the "be all, end all" of digital music retailers.  Not so, many retailers have sprung up offering vastly different services and features.  Here are just a few: * * * *

Subscription Versus PayDownload

In addition to offering individual songs available for download for a one-time fee, many retailers offer a subscription based service where, for a monthly fee, users can download a prearranged or unlimited amount of music.  However once your subscription runs out some services will not allow you access to the music you had previously downloaded.

DRM - Digital Rights Management

Some services like iTunes encode their music in proprietary formats like FairPlay, in Apple's case, or WMA which is a format for use with Microsoft's Windows Media Player.  The benefit to these formats is that they offer security to record labels concerned with piracy and digital copies.   DRM will sometimes not allow you to copy your music onto unapproved devices or copy music from one computer to another. Each format has it's own set of rules.  The drawback is, of course, that you may not have a choice as to which device you enjoy you media on.


Many retailers like Yahoo! Music are experimenting with DRM free music in the form of encryption-free mp3 files which can be played on any media device.  Some music labels and retailers are opposed to this idea, though. External Links * a desktop music application capable of playing multiple proprietary formats like that of iTunes, Yahoo!, and Napster * iTunes Authorization FAQ * eMusic Terms * Napster FAQ * Yahoo! Music FAQ

International Resources

For this resource in your home country, please see: ! NL: MP3 Speler Shopgids
DE: MP3 Player