How to Choose the Best Portable Music Device for You

The truth is that these days, most people rely on their smartphones to listen to music. However, if you are a true audiophile, you will have realized that while your trusty phone is good for a lot of things, it isn’t too great of a music player.

To really be able to enjoy your tunes, you need a dedicated music device. These are solely built for your listening pleasure and can offer a better experience than your phone. Of course, since it has probably been quite a while since you’ve even picked up a portable music device, you may be a bit rusty on how to choose one. Well, there is no need to be concerned because this article details all of the factors that you need to understand when selecting the right music player for you:

What Type is Right for You?

Before you go any further, you will first have to determine what type of music player is suitable for you. After all, there are several to choose from – the most common versions are mp3 players, mp4 players, and mp5 players. It should be noted, however, that as these devices get more and more advanced, the differences between them do become smaller.

To start with, let’s discuss one of the older music devices on the market – the mp3 player. Even with all the technological progressions, these devices still tend to dominate the market. Now, there are a few reasons for this – for one thing, these devices are incredibly compact and lightweight making them easy to carry around with you. Also, since most music files are already downloaded in mp3 format, there is very little hassle involved in transferring music to your device.

Last but certainly not least, these devices also tend to be the most affordable. Of course, it should be noted that to enjoy all these advantages, you should choose the top devices in the market. Most of these devices only play audio files but there are some exceptions where the devices can also run video.

Then, there are mp4 players. As the name suggests, the main format of these players is mp4 files. However, there are some devices that will also accept AVI, WAV, and WMA. The main advantage with these players is that they allow you to listen to music and watch videos as well. So, they offer more entertainment than traditional mp3 players. Of course, to accommodate the video function, these devices are a bit larger – they also cost more.

Finally, there are the mp5 players. As with the mp4 players, these devices also support both audio and video files. What sets these devices apart from the rest, however, is that you don’t need to convert your files from formats such as RM, RMVB, Divx, and more. Instead, you can simply transfer them onto this player and then watch the video without any problem.

Sound Quality

Once you have gone through the types of music players available to you, it is time to think about the sound quality. Now, most devices tend to compress audio and video files so that they take up less storage space on the players. What you need to understand, however, is that each form of compression differs in terms of final quality.

Most of the affordable music players will rely on what is known as lossy compression. Here, when the size of the file is being reduced, a small portion of data is actually removed. While the length of the song remains the same, the quality does suffer a little bit. The alternative to this is lossless compression where the original data from a song or a video can be perfectly reconstructed. Thus, there is no loss of quality.

It should be noted, though, that lossless compression is unable to compress the files as well as lossy compression. So, while you do get a higher quality of entertainment, these files take up more space. As a result, you may find that you aren’t able to store as many songs or videos on the player.

Of course, a lot of people can’t actually tell the difference between lossless and lossy compression, so it may not be all that important. On the other hand, if you are an audiophile and have invested in high-quality headphones, then the lossless compression may be worth it. You should also know that there are specially-designed portable music devices that support high music quality. So, if the quality is rather important to you, then you will find that such devices are the best option for your listening experience.

Storage Capacity

Most music players these days have incredible storage capacities and even those with higher storage are actually rather affordable. In fact, it is quite unusual to see a player that offers up anything less than 2GB. Many of the devices have between 5GB and 16GB of space.

So, what does this mean for you and which should you choose? Let’s assume, for the sake of calculations, that the average song is around 4 minutes long and therefore, will take up around 4MB of space. Based on this deduction alone, you can estimate that a player with 1GB storage capacity can store up to 250 songs.

Videos, as you can imagine, take up a lot more space. The average HD video monopolizes around 180MB of space per minute. A typical move may require around 1.5GB of space, depending on the quality. So, if you are planning on storing both audio and video on your player, you are going to need one with a much greater capacity.

Battery Life

If you have a long commute and don’t want to have to keep charging your music player all the time, then battery life becomes rather important. Now, you should keep in mind that the way you use your music player will cause the battery to drain either faster or slower. For instance, if you watch a lot of videos or listen to music at a high volume, then the battery will drain rather quickly.

On average, though, you should look for a music player that allows you at least 10 hours of playback time, without needing to be recharged. It can also help to keep an eye on the recharge time as well. Focus on players that can be recharged within two hours so that you don’t have to wait too long to listen to your music again.

The Display

The display is actually quite important for all music players, even if you are just using the device to listen to music. Understand, there are some mp3 players that don’t have any display at all. Instead, they rely on various buttons and dials to move through the songs. These devices are great if you are looking for a low-weight and compact model but can also be rather tricky to use. For one thing, it can be rather tiresome to skip back or ahead to the song that you want to listen to.

If you are going for a display, there are three main things to think about. These are the size, type, and resolution. In case you are planning on watching videos on your player or simply want a screen that is easier to maneuver, you should consider getting a larger screen. As for type, you will have to choose between traditional screens and touchscreens. There is no denying that touchscreens make it easier to use your device but they can also be less durable than traditional screens as well.

Once again, if you want a music player that also plays video, the resolution becomes a rather significant factor. Consider high-resolution screens that are able to support HD formats. Otherwise, you may find that your viewing experience is compromised quite a bit.

Additional Features

Modern music players do so much more than just play music and videos. Although this can certainly be an advantage, it can also make sorting through all the different makes and models a little more tricky. The main thing to keep in mind here is to only opt for features that you actually need.

For example, if you are someone who uses their music player while working out, it can be useful to have a Bluetooth feature. This way, you can play music off of Bluetooth headphones or even external speakers. You will also find it rather helpful if you want to play your music at parties or around gatherings.

Now, if you are someone who wants a mix of music, then a radio function is an excellent option. This way, you can program your favorite radio channels and listen to them while you are on the go. If you prefer to make voice recordings, then look for a model that is able to pick up and record external audio.

These are some of the main points to consider when you are trying to figure out which portable music device is right for you. By having the proper information on hand, you will be able to make a much more informed decision. This also increases your chance of choosing a music player device that is perfectly compatible with your musical needs.

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