Some Thoughts on Choosing a Flash MP3 Player
Flash mp3 players come with an exciting array of features, and can be used for more than playing music while you cycle at the gym. Here are some things to think about when purchasing a flash mp3 player, which might make the difference between your choice becoming an indispensable tool, or just another gadget.
The first consideration in choosing a flash mp3 player is the type of port through which the memory will flow. High-speed USB ports (USB 2) are by far the fastest, transmitting 480 Mbps. Firewire, a serial data bus port used in Apple products such as the iPod mp3 player, can transmit 400 MBps. Beyond these two systems, the speed of memory transfer systems available to portable mp3 players drops off dramatically.
USB 2 has pretty much become the industry standard in flash mp3 players, but it might not be the standard on your personal computer, which you will be using to download the music into the flash mp3 player's memory. Be sure you're your PC has been upgraded. Additionally, if the flash mp3 player comes with software, you need to be sure it is compatible with the platform you are using.
With flash mp3 players, the memory is usually built in, so you are stuck with however much you buy. You should decide how much memory is necessary before the initial purchase, in order to avoid having to make an upgrade before the mp3 player has reached the limit of its product life. Cheap models are available for under $50, with about 128MB of memory. This is enough for about four hours of music. Remember that the less music your flash mp3 player can store, the more often you will have to return to your personal computer to change it.
The maximum memory available in most flash mp3 players is 1GB, which is enough to store fifty albums. If it were not for the fifteen-hour batter life on most mp3 players, these dynamos could literally play for days without repeating a song.
Because of the battery life, do not forget to consider the battery options when choosing a flash mp3 player. Many models require two AA batters. Others, like the iPod Shuffle, come with a rechargeable lithium battery, and a cable that recharges it through a USB port. Some brands also have AC converters and car jacks are available.
There are many other features available in flash mp3 players, such as voice recording and radio recording. Once you have your basic needs covered, the port and storage, adding on these options is a matter of taste and budget.
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