Everywhere, there are people going normally about their business with wires emerging from their ears and disappearing into a pocket. The wires are generally earphones, connected to a digital music player, which lies securely in the pockets. Hooked up to the device, they can listen to any song they want, all day.
Digital music players have come a long way since the first MPMan F10, by Korean company Saehan. This mp3 player was capable of storing only a few songs encoded at 128 kb/s. It had a flash drive with space of only 32MB. That was ten years ago, and it may surprise many to know that the technology is even that old.
Digital music players are different from previous types of music players in several ways. For one thing, they are far more portable. Unlike the stereo, portable radio and portable CD players, the digital music players are far smaller and can be carried around much more easily. They can be charged and do not require batteries. People can carry their music wherever they go simply by slipping it into a pocket or a bag.
Another big advantage digital music players have is the tremendous amount of storage space they contain, often capable of accommodating thousands of songs. Instead of having to shelve a stack of cassettes or CDs, people can store their entire music library in a small, non-cumbersome device, on which they can listen whenever they want. It only takes a few flicks of the fingers to find the song they are looking for, which is much better than having to hunt down the cd and then place it in a separate player.
Digital music players also allow people to customize their playlists. In CD players, people had to listen only to the tracks on the CD. Digital music players allow people to organize, categorize and mix their music collection in any way they like, creating their own playlists.
The initial mp3 players used to have a small amount of memory; something around 250 megabytes, using flash based storage. Once the space was filled up, people would have to constantly delete previous songs to make way for new ones. That changed with the advent of the Personal Jukebox, the first mp3 player to use hard disk based storage, and later with the iPod.
The iPod used hard drive based storage – the very first iPod had about five gigabytes of space, and the distinctive ClickWheel which made it one of the most user-friendly portable music players ever. There are several types of iPods to suit the music needs of different types of people. The iPod Nano has 8 to 16 gigabytes of space and is designed for portability, being very small and thin. The iPod Shuffle, once called the world’s smallest mp3 player, is also designed on the same lines of portability. It can be clipped onto a shirt collar, or even in the hair, while jogging.
Most digital music players nowadays do more than just playing music – they can play and record videos, take and store pictures, and some even have games on them. Touchscreens and touchpads have been incorporated into the devices (such as Microsoft’s Zune and Apple’s IPod Touch). They can connect to the internet and download music, videos and podcasts, and send them to each other. Even cell phones have become digital music players, capable of storing and playing a large array of tracks.
Having all your music available at the touch of a button is not an experience to miss out on. Getting a cutting edge digital music player – with a terrific earphone and good storage, it is well worth the expense.