There was a time (not too long ago) when mp3 players were on the cutting edge of technology. Nowadays, pretty much every smartphone has the capability to play mp3s. Technology is fascinating when you just take a moment and step back to think about just how far we’ve come in such a short period of time.
On the surface, mp3s are nothing short of amazing. Your typical 3 minute song of CD quality music weighs in at a hefty 30 megabytes of data. Compression technology is able to bring that 30MB file down to a mere 3MB without losing much in audio quality. It really is quite amazing that a song can be compressed by a factor of 10 or 12 and the human ear does not notice much of a difference in quality. The other crazy thing is that mp3s can be expanded back to its original size and recorded on a writable CD that can be played on a CD player.
By reducing the size of audio files using mp3 compression, thousands of songs can be stored in the same amount of space that would only hold a few hundred or so. This portability allows you to take your entire music library with you no matter where you are.
Enough about mp3s, let’s cut to the chase and discuss two of the players that are available.
Apple’s iPod Touch is unquestionably the epitome of mp3 players. Ever since its introduction over 5 years ago, the iPod Touch has offered features unmatched and at a price that rivals cannot compete with. The base model starts at a mere $199 and includes an 8 megapixel iSight camera with auto image stabilization and a 1.2 megapixel FaceTime camera for video conferencing. Audio playback is up to 40 hours and the iPod Touch also has built-in WiFi capability.
The iPod Touch is incredibly thin. Frankly, it’s quite amazing that Apple was able to pack all the technology that it did inside the case. Apps, books, email, games, maps, and videos, just to mention a few, are available at your fingertips.
The iTunes store allows you to have access to hundreds of thousands of songs, apps, and videos. Plus, the iPod Touch supports nearly every major music service such as Amazon, Pandora, Rhapsody, and Spotify just to mention a few.
SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip
The Clip Zip is easily the most affordable mp3 player for those who want a basic mp3 player with a few other built in gadgets. The player is able to clip on, making it easy to work out with. It is lightweight and would be a good choice for those who prefer to work out with a less expensive mp3 player just in case the unexpected happens.
The Clip Zip has a color screen, FM radio, a voice recorder, and stopwatch. At $40, the Sansa is not going to break the bank should it turn up missing.
- Probably the best thing to do when researching mp3 players is to take a look at older models. After an initial ramp up in technology, innovation has been fairly slow of the last several years. An older model can be had at a price discount.
- Pay attention to the format of your mp3 collection. iTunes files are not actually mp3s, but rather AAC files. Thankfully, there are quite a few mp3 players that support AAC files.
- Spoil yourself and pony up for some quality Bluetooth-enabled headphones. You’ll be glad that you did. Actually, your ears will thank you.