Digital audio has been one of the most fascinating aspects of modern technology.
Music lovers have ridden the wave with 8-track, Vinyl Long Play, cassettes, and compact discs. Each format had a season before it was replaced by something else with greater quality.
The MP3, however, is a format that has remained popular since its conception. A large part of this is because the format is so versatile. MP3 stands for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, and it is one of the most common digital audio formats. There are other digital audio formats like FLAC, WMA, and WAV files, but MP3 is used a lot more often. This is usually what iPod and MP3 player owners load onto their devices.
Versatility as the key feature of MP3 format
The format is versatile because most audio player software recognizes it. The Vinyl LP is still being sold along with CDs, but profit margins on their sales are declining. Consumers are leaving the physical stores behind as they flock to cyberspace. Digital albums are often sold and downloaded in this format.
There are a variety of sites that post MP3 downloads because it takes a lot less space on a host server. Other formats such as FLAC are described as lossless audio formats. This means that there is no compression of the files. This translates to better quality, but it also equates to much larger file formats. The answer to a lot of this was the small, quicker MP3 formatting.
Music lovers that utilize MP3 formats are able to store lots of music on flash drives or portable hard drives. The average music listener does not even feel a huge amount of loss in the compressed file. This increased storage space can truly be realized when someone burns an MP3 data disk.
An audio CD that is burned can hold a little less than 80 minutes of music. An MP3 CD, on the other hand, can hold hours of music. Anyone that loves music will appreciate how much space and time they can save by turning their music collection into a digital one.
Technology has advanced greatly over the years. Consumers upload music to their computers, iPods, smartphones, and Tablet PCs. A lot has changed with the devices that are used to listen to music, but the format has remained the same. The MP3 audio format has continued to reign as one of the most popular formats for music lovers.
Features of mp3 players
When they first came into the market, MP3 players were very rudimentary gadgets. The only file format they could support was the MP3 format, in keeping with their name. They were mostly audio gadgets, that is, the only output you could typically expect from them was sound – either through a speaker, or more commonly through earphones. Here are some of the features you can spot in modern day mp3 players:
One of the top features in the modern MP3-players is multi-file format support. As mentioned earlier, the best you could expect from the early MP3 player was support for the MP3 format – after all, weren’t you looking for an MP3 player that could play audios for you?
The array of file formats supported by modern MP3 players, however, is truly amazing – from the MP3 format itself, of course, to Microsoft’s Wav format, to the MIDI and even truly ‘amazing’ file formats, like FLAC for codecs. Indeed, the modern MP3-player plays pretty much everything presented to it in a digitized format.
The second top feature to find in the modern MP3-players is USB functionality – which effectively makes them compatible with all other modern digital gadgets. If your memory serves you well, you will recall that the early MP3-players used to be more or less ‘stand-alone devices’ so that the only way you could load music into them was, for instance, by buying those so-called ‘MP3s.’
Thanks to the USB functionality, however, there is a very great variety of places from which you can get music for the modern MP3 players – from the Internet, to other people’s MP3-players and even from some radio receiver sets.
Some MP3-players have ports through which they can take in USB devices, such as flash disks and memory cards, whereas some even have features which allow them to function as flash disks themselves (so that other devices like computers can recognize them as such).
The third great feature that you will find in modern MP3-players is video capability. This ability has effectively transformed them from just being audio gadgets, into being audio-visual gadgets.
In most modern MP3 players, you not only get to listen to your music, but even see the music videos behind it, on the MP3 player screens. The screens on these modern MP3 players can be anything from LCD based to TFT based, to make way for quality viewing.
Good storage capacity
The fourth and perhaps most liked feature in modern MP3-players is a lot of storage space. Today, we have MP3 players coming with as much as 20 GB of storage space – more space than some older computers could ever offer even with extensions. This storage space effectively converts the MP3 from just the file playing devices there were initially, to being file storage devices as well.
Most mp3 players feature an internal battery that stores charge for a couple of hours. The player with the best battery life will provide a longer listening experience than those with less battery life.
Besides all the mentioned features, some players do come with excellent abilities such as a touchscreen interface, noise cancellation (ideal for travelers) and sporting features for sportsmen and women like pedometer and calorie counter.
So before shelling out money for an mp3 player, you need to observe it carefully and check if it has all the features you desire. Reading a few articles or customer reviews on a certain mp3 player will always help you make the best buying decision.