MP3 players have revolutionized how we listen to music. You can ditch your entire CD collection and swap it for a tiny MP3 player. With a built-in rechargeable battery it will play for hours – and you can listen through headphones or wire it up to your stereo to play your music loud.
MP3 players store your music either on built-in memory, or on a built-in disk. Some also have a slot for a standard memory card (like you’d use in a camera), allowing you to expand the space available for music.
The music itself is usually stored in the highly-efficient MP3 format. Hundreds of MP3 tracks can fit into the space taken up by one album on CD.
In fact, although ‘MP3 player’ is what people call this kind of equipment, the music can actually be stored in a number of different formats. MP3 is the most common, but people also use WMA, AAC and OGG files.
Not all MP3 players can handle all types of file. If your music is already stored digitally, make sure it will work with your chosen MP3 player.
Capacity and capabilities
Most MP3 players come with software for your computer. This will convert your CDs into MP3 format (or a similar format) and copy the music onto your MP3 player.
MP3 players can vary in size quite a bit, so if it’s important that your fits nicely into your pocket, check the measurements before you buy.
The capacity of MP3 players is measured in gigabytes (GB). You can fit around 250 four-minute songs into each GB. Many MP3 players also have color screens and can play back video. You can load up TV shows or movies, although these take up lots more space than music.
Before you know it, you’ll be able to listen to music – almost anywhere.
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