What Are You Looking For In A Cheap MP3 Player?
By Vince Capocci
Are you stymied by the vast offerings in cheap mp3 players? Don't know which features best suit your needs? Here are some suggestions based upon product reviews by mp3 player owners.
The first thing you must consider is how you plan to
use your mp3 player. Do you want a cheap mp3 player for your car to listen to books while you commute? Or are you planning to use it with earphones while jogging? Will your mp3 player sit on your desk all day, or get jostled around while you run errands or work out at the gym?
If you plan to be active while listening to your mp3 player, or use it in a car, one that uses Flash Memory, with no moving parts, would be the best option. There are cheap mp3 players available with Flash Memory, but they tend to be more expensive than other options. If you wish to keep the price down, you will probably end up sacrificing on some of the data storage. If you are planning to keep your mp3 player immobile, a cheap option is to buy one with a microdrive, or one built into a cheap CD player. Both will have problems with skip if jostled, but each of these two options will give you many times the memory for far less. Also, manufacturers build buffers into mp3 players to smooth out the skip, although users report that they do not always work well.
How much memory you need in your mp3 player is something only you can decide. Cheap mp3 players, with 128MB of Flash Memory, can hold about four hours worth of music. If you are not using your mp3 player as a music storage machine, but just as a cheap device to play music throughout your day, you might consider this to be enough. Spoken word requires far less memory than music, so a cheap mp3 player with only 64MB of memory may be big enough if you only plan to listen to books through your mp3 player.
One of the most important features in cheap mp3 players, which users find lacking in some of the cheaper machines, is the user interface.
This can end up being a daily hassle if you find the menus unintuitive. Even if you buy a cheap mp3 player from an online retailer, take the time to go to a store where you can handle them, and see for yourself how easy or difficult they are to use.
Next consider battery life. This varies from player to player, but expect to get about twelve to fifteen hours from a charge. The type of battery is also a consideration in cheap mp3 players. Having an mp3 player that charges through your USB port, like the iPod Shuffle, may seem like a plus until you go out of town and are nowhere near a computer.
Lastly, be sure that the cheap mp3 player you want to buy is compatible with your personal computer. Players with built-in Flash Memory will require file transfer software, and a USB 2 port to download the files to the mp3 player. Some brands only support Apple/Mac products, while many others are only compatible with Windows.
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