Buying guide: MP3 players

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

Jargon Busters: MP3 Players

Battery life: How long the player will run before it needs to be recharged.

Flash memory: This is the memory inside some MP3 players that is used to store the music files. Flash memory has no moving parts at all, so it is harder to damage than a hard disk, and another benefit is that it tends to use less power.

Hard disk: A small drive inside some MP3 players that is used to hold the music. Hard disks have moving parts and tend to use more power than flash memory storage. They are also more likely to get damaged if you are rough with the MP3 player.

Headphone jack: The place where you plug in your headphones on the MP3 player.

MP3: A compressed audio file created on a computer. MP3 files are small for the amount of audio they hold, making them great for large music collections. Note you will lose some audio quality as a trade-off for the small file size.

Plug-and-play: If a player is plug and play, it means you can connect it to your computer with a cable and simply copy your music straight across. Some other players need special software to do this, so plug-and-play models are much easier to use.

Storage capacity: Is measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). This allows you to compare the amount of songs and content that can be stored on the player.

Supported file format: The type of files that the player can play, such as MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, etc. MP3 is the industry standard audio file type.

Touchscreen: Instead of accessing the MP3 functions using buttons or a scroll wheel, some MP3 players have a display that you touch in order to navigate through menus and options.

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is a popular shorthand term for wireless networking. Wi-Fi enabled MP3 players connect to your Internet connection or computer without being plugged in, so you can wirelessly download music, video content or access Web pages from your MP3 device.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags ipodsSony Walkmanmp3 playersWalkman

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?