Buying guide: MP3 players

Shopping for an iPod, Sony Walkman or other MP3 player? We've got you covered

Shopping Checklist: MP3 Players

• Included memory

This is the primary concern when buying an MP3 player, as there is no point buying one that holds less music than you need. Use our rule of thumb of 4MB per song/track to ascertain how many songs the device can hold.

• Battery life

This is important so you know how long you can go without recharging the MP3 player.

• Memory type

Make sure to ask if the player uses a hard disk or flash memory. Flash players tend to be smaller, lighter and tougher than hard drive players, so this is important if you plan to be a little rough with your player.

• Player size

Size is important, as different sized players suit different needs. Some players can be hung around your neck or attached to your clothes, while others must be carried in your pocket.

• Video playback

If you want to use your player to view content as well as listen to music then be sure to find out if it supports video playback.

• Picture viewer

If you have a digital camera and want to view your pictures on your MP3 player, then ask whether it has a picture viewer.

• Screen size

If you want to watch video files on your player, then you will want to know how big the screen is.

• Software requirements

Find out whether the player supports drag-and-drop file transfers in Windows or if it requires special software.

• File types supported

If you have your music in file types other than MP3 — such as WMA, WAV, FLAC or MP4 — you need to find out if the player can play them.

• Features

Some players offer voice recorders, video recording, digital radio and FM radio, which may be of interest to some users.

• Headphone jack

Most headphones use a standard 3.5mm jack. This is important if you want to use different headphones than those that come with your MP3 player.

• Wi-Fi connectivity If you want an MP3 player that can download music or access Web pages without being directly connected to a PC or laptop, then wireless connectivity is a useful feature.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ipodsSony Walkmanmp3 playersWalkman

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

PC World Staff

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >


Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?