|Bookmark this page! |
Portable MP3 Players
The most recent development in portable music players is the personal MP3 player. From a somewhat rarefied and high end device only a few years ago, it has evolved into the only way to play music when outand about, and in many cases, at home as well.
In its earliest incarnation, the MP3 player was a relatively large brick-like thing, with a hard drive, whose memory was measured in megabytes. It was heavier than today's models, with less storage space, carrying only a few hundred songs, no photos or videos, but was still an exciting new development in portable music. Up until this development, one's only options for carrying music other than radio were CD players, which are larger and limited to the discs that you carry with you, or cassette players which were already fairly obsolete.
While one major computer company led in the development of a functional consumer level MP3 player that interfaced well enough with computer software for almost anyone to use it, most consumer electronics companies have gotten in on the development of portable music players with varying degrees of success or affordability. Some companies leading in the portable market have been audio specialists all along, but this isn't the case with all developers of functional portable media players. Some companies who had a long history in the area of portable music players managed to fail to develop a popular music player due to poorly developed software, which shows where computer companies tended to have an edge in the development of these devices.
The portable music player itself has evolved from a rather heavy, and relatively large device that holds a few hundred audio files, to a range of devices; some that can store and play full length movies on a good sized screen, or small flash memory devices that can hold thousands of songs, to smart phones that can surf the internet and perform a variety of tasks in addition to storing and playing music. Many can communicate wirelessly with other devices.
With the latest developments in memory and storage, memory is small and lightweight, and measured in gigabytes, rather than megabytes. These newer devices are also less likely to fail due to moving parts in the hard drive. Prices of fairly advanced devices have gotten lower as memory prices get lower, as well, so some devices that were a relative luxury a few years ago have become more accessible to more people. In addition, there are more ways to play MP3 files over portable speakers, and most newer automobiles will have an input for direct connection of an MP3 player.