An MP3 player is a personal device mostly used to play digital music files. It is a small and portable piece of equipment, of less size than a CD player. There are various styles and brands of MP3 players available, ranging in price from as low as $20 to $500, as of 2010. MP3 players work in conjunction with personal computers, by which songs may be downloaded onto the devices. For many people, MP3 players are, according to Gadgetheaven.co.uk, "must have gadgets."
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The main benefit of an MP3 player is that personal music collections can be stored on it. MP3 files are digital files that take up less space than a CD's audio files. Instead of having to replace a disc or discs in a CD player, an entire music library can fit on one MP3 player. Unlike CDs, MP3 players never skip.
An MP3 can be taken anywhere, since the player is so small it can easily fit inside a pocket. Some models, like the iPod Shuffle, are no bigger than a person's thumb.
MP3 players do not have to be plugged in to be played. They may be listened to at any time, even while the user is exercising or in transit. They also do not require changing CDs, as does a CD walkman.
The batteries of MP3 players are rechargeable. Most MP3 players are charged when plugged into a computer using a USB port, but there are also external chargers that plug into the wall. A fully charged MP3 player will last approximately 10 hours. When not in use, they may be shut off to conserve battery power.
Some MP3 players have display screens that reveal the names of tracks, option lists, and volume. There are even MP3 players that are capable of playing digital video files in full color.
All portable MP3 players come with a headphone jack allowing private listening. Listeners may use any headphones they want, from small earbuds to large headset speakers. This is the primary means of listening to an MP3 player, since they do not have external speakers.
MP3 players have advanced in design every year since their emergence. Larger storage capacities, more built-in features, and sleeker designs continue to make the MP3 player one of the top selling electronics items of the 21st century.
The smallest MP3 players store about 1GB of data, but that is still enough to store about 10 full length albums. The larger MP3 players can store nearly 100 GB, which may match a personal computer's entire music library.
When not in use, an MP3 player is very easy to store away in any small area. It may be kept in a desk drawer or other compact spot.
In addition to storing multimedia files, some MP3 players may also be used for transferring other types of digital data like pictures or documents.