Best Portable MP3 Player - Hard Drive MP3 Player - Flash Memory MP3 Player

Due to the ever increasing popularity of MP3 players, there are now literally hundreds of different models to choose from. With all of those models also comes a number of different options which can be very confusing to the average buyer looking for the best portable MP3 player. The main feature that distinguishes portable MP3 players are those models with flash memory and those with hard drives.

Depending on how many songs you want to store on your MP3 player will determine whether you go for a flash memory MP3 player or a hard drive MP3 player. Hard drives normally have several times the storage capacity of flash memory so if your MP3 music collection numbers in the thousands of music files, then the hard drive version would be your best option.

Unfortunately, there is a major drawback with hard drive MP3 players in as much that they are subject to skipping and audio dropouts. The problem is not as bad as is the case with portable CD drives, and the technology is improving all the time to minimize the problem. However, the fact still remains that if you use your hard drive MP3 player while you are jogging or doing other vigorous activity, you are likely to experience dropouts.

MP3 players with Flash memory are totally stable even under the most demanding circumstances. That is because there are no mechanical moving parts as is the case with a hard drive.

Both flash and hard drive MP3 players can be utilised as data storage devices as well as for audio playback. Say you wanted to transfer some computer data from one computer to another, you could use your MP3 player to do just that. If this is a feature that you are likely use on a regular basis, you would be better off with the additional capacity of a hard drive MP3 player as opposed to one with flash memory.

Currently, the maximum storage capacity of flash players is about 4 GB, while hard drive MP3 players can have up to 100 GB capacity.

As well as being able to play MP3 files, most portable audio players are also capable of playing both Windows Media Audio (WMA) files and the Apple iPod Advance Audio Coding (AAC) format. Both WMA and AAC offer higher sound quality and smaller file sizes than MP3.

It is possible to convert audio files from one format to another, but this can be a little complicated for most people.

The type of navigation system on any MP3 player is an important buying consideration. It should be easy to find certain files, especially on a hard drive which may have thousands of songs. An easy to read screen and clear controls will let you to find songs efficiently.

Many portable audio players possess extra features such as FM radio, a built-in microphone for voice recording, outputs for connecting the portable player to a home stereo system, and color displays for viewing photos or album art. Many of the current generation of players support video playback.

Consider carefully which features you are liable to require. This will assist you in narrowing down your selection and make it easier to find the best portable MP3 player.

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