In the modern days, most people use MP3 players instead of a traditional CD Player. MP3 players are better devices in terms of storage and relibility compared to CD players. Even the ones that claim it's "Skip Free", it does not entirely prevent skips, but does help reduce skips on CDs.
1. Choose a MP3 player that suits your budget.
There are lots of MP3 Players out there that have different price ranges. Usually the generic versions of MP3 players are a bargin if you don't plan to spend $100 or more. But if you want quality instead of savings, go search on the Creative Lab MP3 players. They have great sound quality and they have been making MP3 players before Apple debuted their iPods.
2. Choose the largest capicity you can afford.
If you plan to spend $10 dollars or less, you can find high quality MP3 players on ebay that have a capicity of up to 128MB. If you want to spend about more than $25 dollars, you can might as well look for players in the 256MB range. If you are going to say, I'll buy the player that has the largest capicity, then start looking for iPods. Currently iPods have the highest capicity avalible on the market.
3. See how many formats your selected MP3 player can play.
Most MP3 players out there can play MP3 files, WMA and WAV, but again some players can play other formats like the protected version of WMA (Also known as WMA-DRM). Always look for a player that can play the most number of formats. Most mainstream MP3 players that can play WMA-DRM will usually bear a PlaysForSure logo from Microsoft. An example of the PlaysForSure logo is shown below:
When your MP3 player bears this logo, you can play music downloaded from most online-download services out on the Internet. Unfortunately, songs downloaded from Apple's iTunes music store will not play on these playsforsure players. The songs are in AAC format which is a proprietary format based on MPEG-4.
4. Flash or Hard Drive based?
Usually, you would select a Flash Based MP3 player if you intend to take it out for a jog and listen to it. Hard Drive based MP3 players are well suited for people who does care about the device and knows the risk about Hard Drives. I would personally reccomend Flash Based MP3 players instead of Hard Drive based players because Hard Drive Versions are prone to failure because of the delicate head and platters inside the hard drive.
Brands is usually not an issue for people who want to carry music with them. If you really want to go with the branding stuff, I would reccomend Creative Labs. Creative's players are very good in quality and they have been making portable digital music players longer than Apple has been making their iPods. Also their sound resonance is very good compared in terms with iPods.
6. Check to see if you can upgrade your Players's Firmware
Most of the MP3 players out there are usually software upgradable with a simple firmware update. Firmware updates are usually updates that add functionality to your MP3 player, fix issues regarding to your player or in some cases improving audio quality. Regularly check with your manufactuer of the player for these frimware updates.
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