Portable Multimedia Players

These days, portable media players are everywhere. Devices such Apple's iPhone manage to pack video and picture playback into common everyday devices, whereas units such as the Creative Zen Vision W offer a more dedicated media playback solution.

These days, portable media players are everywhere. Devices such Apple's iPhone manage to pack video and picture playback into common everyday devices, whereas units such as the Creative Zen Vision W offer a more dedicated media playback solution.

It isn't really surprising. After digital music took off it was only a matter of time before people began to demand more than just audio files while on the move. Fortunately companies have responded in kind and these days there are a host of feature sets, supported formats, screen sizes and control schemes to choose from.

Whatever your needs, there is a device on the market for you, the hard part is finding the right one. This Buying Guide will help you quickly come to terms with what you really need to know: what's available, what features are worth looking out for, and which player is right for you. So, let's investigate...

Types of Portable Media Players

The Portable Media Players (PMPs) you've most likely come across usually rest in two hands and although they include must-have features like built-in speakers and batteries, it's the screen that's the centrepiece. These displays are usually about 2-3.5in, but are also available up to a massive 8in widescreen - requiring deep pockets both figuratively and literally.

Most of the bigger PMPs use various mini hard disks that store 15-100GB or more of information, and/or they might rely on media cards to provide or expand storage.

As a rough guide, a 30GB PMP has enough capacity for about 6500 songs, 120 hours of video or 300,000 photos.

Additionally, most will support Windows XP and even earlier versions of Windows. If you're a Mac or Linux user, you'll need to double-check support, but in many instances you should be fine.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

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.

GoodGearGuide Staff

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

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

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

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

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?