Players either have a hard disk or a flash drive. Hard disks can hold more files but are relatively easy to break, flash drives have no moving parts.
The number of hours of audio a player can hold depends not just on how much memory it has, but the format used to encode the files, how compressed they are, and whether they are mono or stereo.
According to Apple, a 160GB iPod can hold 40,000 4-minute songs, which means you could listen 24 hours a day for almost a month without any repetitions (if you could afford to buy that many songs).
A 30-minute podcast is likely to require 14MB or 30MB of disk space, depending on how much it was compressed. An 8GB drive should therefore hold at least 200 half-hour podcasts.
|128 Kbps||14:1||compact disk|
|64 Kbps||22:1||FM radio|
|32 Kbps||24:1||AM radio|
These may be built-in or removable. Built-ins may be charged while connected to a computer or a special transformer. A good player should be able to play 24 hours of music on a single charge. But some players seem to use more juice for podcasts, even though they are more compressed than music, and they may only hold a charge for as little as four hours.
This should be visible in normal light and large enough to read easily. Longer titles will be cut off but should scroll automatically as you select them.
Fast-forward and fast-reverse let you repeat things you missed or skip the dull parts.
If you are a Mac user, make sure the player is Mac-compatible.
An excellent source of music or information.
Equalizers make it possible to raise or lower parts of the sound (frequencies) to correct the sound, enhance different types of music, or fit the user’s tastes. Presets such as jazz or Latin shift the frequencies to optimal levels for specific types of music. Others, like bass booster, enable listeners to speed up the process of becoming deaf.
Bad design can make it absurdly difficult to find what you are looking for or to adjust things like volume. If you can’t try out a player, at least look at the customer reviews on the player’s Amazon page.
Some players can be adjusted to play at a higher or a lower speed.
These tend to be of average quality, but they may be useful at times. They can take time to access, and the event—or idea—that you wanted to record may have disappeared by the time the app is ready.
Photos don’t look good on tiny screens, but text is usually readable, and can be useful for grocery lists and other things you always seem to forget to take with you.
Leave the cursor over an image to see the name of the player.
(Selected to show variety. None of these are necessarily recommended—and most no longer exist.)