7 Features to Look for in MP3 Players

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7 Features to Look for in MP3 Players

The MP3 player revolutionised the way people listen to music by making music collections more portable. The initial appeal of the MP3 player was that the device made it easy for people to bring their libraries of music along on a run, in the car, or to a party. Whereas carrying a music collection previously meant lugging a case of CDs, the introduction of the MP3 player helped people fit a music collection into a single pocket.

The popularity of the MP3 player has created a great deal of competition amongst manufacturers. As a result, MP3 players offer a range of features beyond storage capacity. Being aware of the features can help the consumer find the MP3 player that fits his or her lifestyle. Although MP3 players are easily available at conventional retailers, one can access a great selection online via eBay.

Storage and Battery Features to Look for in MP3 Players

Many consumers first look at storage capacity and battery power when choosing an MP3 player. These features are important because they determine how much music and other media an MP3 player can hold and how long the MP3 player runs on a charged battery.

1. Storage Capacity

One of the major appeals of MP3 players when they first came to market was their ability to function as self-contained music libraries. Consumers could load thousands of songs onto the device, forgoing the need to carry around CDs or tape cassettes. A hard drive within the MP3 player made the storage of vast amounts of music possible, and storage capacity remains one of the primary selling points of these devices. There are a few storage options available for MP3 players, and the table below lists them.

Storage Type


Hard Disk Drive

Enclosed disc contains all files; laser copies and reads digital information; comes in a smaller form factor than drives for computers

Flash Drive

Holds files on memory chip; no moving parts; smaller capacity than hard disk drive, but quicker and lighter; chip often built into player

Secure Digital Card

Card containing memory chip; can be swapped between different MP3 players with SD slot; storage capacity depends on card

Hard-disk drives have typically offered greater storage capacity than flash drives and SD cards. However, in recent years, flash drives and SD cards have gained ground and can hold many gigabytes of memory, making them suitable for storing a consumer's music library.

The amount of songs that a user can fit onto a storage device also depends on the amount of memory that each song uses. An MP3 is a compressed version of a larger file. It removes sound elements that most people cannot hear, though quality still depends on how much the file is compressed. A higher compression rate actually compresses the file less, removing fewer elements of sound and leaving a higher-quality, larger MP3 file. A compression rate below 128 kilobytes per second audibly distorts the MP3 file.

2. Battery Power

After storage capacity, many consumers next look at an MP3 player's battery power. Most MP3 players feature a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The amount of milliamp hours (mAh) for a battery generally indicates its ability to hold a charge. The more mAh specified for a battery, the longer it lasts, all other factors being equal. An MP3 player's lithium-ion battery generally lasts for a few years before the user must purchase a replacement battery. Consumers should keep in mind that some functions on an MP3 player drain the battery more quickly than other functions do.

Usability Features to Look for in MP3 Players

Although playing digital audio files is the core function of an MP3 player, this type of device is capable of doing much more. Features such as a touch screen, video playback, an FM radio, a digital camera, and a volume leveller increase an MP3 player's versatility.

3. Touch Screen

Numerous MP3 players, such as the iPod Touch, now include a touch screen. Consumers can operate many of the controls simply by touching the screen. The main advantage of this is that it increases the available space that an MP3 player can dedicate to the screen, allowing for a bigger screen for viewing videos and pictures on the MP3 player.

4. Video Playback

The MP3 format is for audio files, but many MP3 players also have the ability to play video files. MP4 is a popular format that contains both audio and video, and many video-capable MP3 players can play this video format. A video file generally requires more memory than a music-only file. Video files are compressible just as audio files are, but a video file still needs at least one gigabyte for every two hours of video.

5. FM Radio

The advent of MP3 players initially contributed to the declining popularity of the radio, but many MP3 players now encourage tuning in by inclusion of an FM radio in the device. Many consumers tire of their music library no matter how large it is, and the option to switch over to FM radio gives listeners the chance to hear something new again. With an FM tuner present on an MP3 player, listeners are no longer forced to choose between two music sources.

6. Digital Camera

Some MP3 players can both display and capture videos and pictures. An MP3 player with a digital camera is capable of shooting pictures and, in some cases, video. This is a handy feature for those who like multifunctional devices. The camera can take a picture and save it to the MP3 player's storage unit for immediate viewing and easy sharing.

7. Volume Leveller

MP3 files have no standard for volume, so loudness tends to vary from one file to the next. As a result, a file containing music at a higher volume level can jar the listener when it comes on after a file containing music at a lower volume level. To avoid this, consumers can purchase an MP3 with a volume leveller. This feature sets a maximum volume level for the music on the device in order to protect the listener's ears.

How to Buy MP3 Players on eBay

You can buy an MP3 player at a local or online shop that sells consumer electronics. eBay also offers a large selection of these devices. You can search for the MP3 player you want from any page on eBay with the search bar. Enter a general term, such as "MP3 player", if you want to browse the selection available on the website. You may also choose a more specific term, such as "iPod", if you have a particular MP3 player in mind. When eBay returns the results, choose the category related to MP3 players, and you can then use the website's filtering options to get listings of MP3 players with the features you want.

You may be able to save money by checking the eBay Deals page for discounts on Electronics.


Big storage capacity was the original appeal of the MP3 player when it first hit the market. This remains one of the main features that consumers look at when deciding on MP3 players. However, the newer MP3 players include a number of other useful features. Battery power determines how long an MP3 player can run before requiring a recharge, a touch screen increases the space available for the device's screen, and video playback enables users to watch video. Additionally, an FM radio on the MP3 player enables the consumer to listen to FM stations, a digital camera makes taking pictures easy, and a volume leveller eliminates unpleasant volume spikes when a new song comes on.

Being aware of these features helps consumers know what to look for in an MP3 player. Potential buyers can find MP3 players on eBay, and they can save money on these devices by knowing how to shop on the website.

MP3 Player|SD Card|iPod|Used MP3 Player|Portable Electronics

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