6 Factors to Consider when Choosing an MP3 Player

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6 Factors to Consider when Choosing an MP3 Player

MP3 players, along with mobile phones, have quickly become some of the most ubiquitous objects on the planet. There are a huge variety of MP3 players available, many of which are quite complex. The sheer quantity of MP3 players out there means that buying one is often made to be an overwhelming process. This is more complicated when it is understood that people want MP3 players for different purposes.

Some want something that they ultimately strap to their bodies while they exercise. Others want something that they plug into their car as they drive instead. Some just want something to listen to as they ride to work on a bus. When buying an MP3 player, whether it be in an electronics store or online via eBay, there are a few factors to take into consideration that helps make the buying process much easier. With the right information, buyers then make an informed purchasing decision about their MP3 player.

Factor 1: Interface

Every MP3 player has an interface, or a means for the user to control volume, select new songs, or access other features. However, there are a number of different types of interfaces that make a difference in how easy it is for the user to control the device.

Touch Screen

Many MP3 players make use of a touch screen. Touch screens have a number of advantages, primarily in that new menus and options appear quickly and easily. Touch screen interfaces usually offer more options and control than those on other devices. They also usually glow, so that users access their device in a darkened room or at night. Touch screens also usually offer users the ability to watch video as well. The primary drawback to a touch screen interface is that the device is usually much larger than other MP3 players and it is difficult to control them when they are not visible, as in a situation where it is strapped to the user's arm during exercise.

Physical Buttons

Many MP3 players make use of physical buttons. While this may seem a step backward in terms of technology, such devices are quite useful. Using buttons means that the device itself is often made to be much smaller, a handy feature for many users. Having buttons on the device also makes it much easier for users to adjust volume and other settings when the MP3 player is in a pocket or otherwise not visible.

Factor 2: Audio Format

Music comes in a number of formats. While MP3 players ostensibly play only MP3s, many of them play other audio formats as well. It is also true that some purchased music that is thought to be in MP3 format is in another format entirely. An example is the Apple iPod, which plays MP3s, but any music purchased from the iTunes store is the in the proprietary AAC format. Buyers who wish to use their MP3 players to access their iTunes playlist may find that this is not possible.

Audio File Format





Used mainly on Windows PCs; large files

Free Lossless Audio Codec


No audio quality is lost; open source

Advanced Audio Coding


Comparable in size to MP3s; some audio quality is lost.

Windows Media Audio


Mainly used with Windows Media Player; many compatibility issues

MPEG Layer-3


Most common format; good sound quality

Many MP3 players should play music and other audio in formats other than MP3. It is important to look at the specifications for any device before making a purchase.

Factor 3: Storage

The ability to store music files is extremely important in an MP3 player. Most devices come with varying storage capacity. Older devices may not have as much storage capacity as newer devices. For most buyers, however, the choice is between a device with removable storage and one without it. For example, the Apple iPod, while popular does not have any removable storage. This means that once the storage is full, users must delete files before there is space for new songs.

Devices with removable storage have a slot for either a memory card or a flash drive. Memory cards vary in storage capacity, but newer cards have many times the storage capacity of older ones. One of the benefits of using memory cards is that once one is filled up, it may be swapped with another with a minimum of effort.

Factor 4: Connectivity

The first MP3 players usually required the user to connect them physically to a computer in order to transfer files. Many newer models allow for wireless connectivity, which means that a physical connection is not necessary. Some MP3 players even allow the user to purchase music and audiobooks as long as they are connected to a wireless connection. If this feature is appealing, potential buyers should make certain to look for a device with wireless connectivity.

Factor 5: Battery Life

It is important to know how long an MP3 player's battery might last before buying one. Some less expensive devices feature relatively low battery life, while others play for hours on end. Some MP3 players even lack rechargeable batteries, which means that new batteries need to be purchased periodically. It is also important to note that devices with a touch screen or those that have large, illuminated displays, tend to have a shorter battery life than those without this feature. Devices that play video also tend to lose battery power very quickly.

Factor 6: Recording Ability

Some MP3 players offer users the ability to record audio. This is particularly useful for students or others who want to record lectures or seminars in order to listen to them later. Most of these devices allow these recordings to be transferred to a computer, or storage card, in order to edit them or keep them from taking up valuable space.

How to Buy an MP3 player on eBay

MP3 players may be losing ground to mobile phones, but there are many of them available on eBay. Many of these devices are brand new, and may be less expensive than they were just a few years ago. When looking for the perfect MP3 player for an individual, the ideal place to start is in the search bar found on every eBay web page or deals page.

Here, potential buyers simply enter a term, such as 'MP3 player' into the search bar. If they are looking for a specific device by make or model, those details are typically entered into the search bar as well. Most items sold on eBay have a product description accompanying them. A good product description details a product's history and makes mention of any problems or issues. Carefully reading the product description is highly recommended.


MP3 players are incredibly useful devices for music fans or those who wish to listen to audio books. Many people make their MP3 players a big part of their lives, whether it be for a morning commute, or to ease the tedium at work. MP3 players come in many varieties and are made by many different companies. When buying an MP3 player, knowing a little about them helps make the process much easier. Factors to consider include the device interface, which ultimately affects the size of the MP3 player.

It is also important to keep in mind the file formats that are supported along with what kind of storage capacity an individual device has. Other features, like connectivity, battery life, and the ability to record external audio, are also important considerations. Understanding everything possible about a potential purchase goes a long way toward reducing stress and worry.

MP3 Player|iPod|Portable Electronics|Used MP3 Player|Wireless MP3 Player

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