Players | Download Services | Bass performance of players
Some of the Best and Most Popular Digital Music Players.
Note: This list is for devices which who's primary function is to play music. Other devices, e.g. Mobil phones and PDA (Personal Digital Assistants) e.g. Palm are also comming equiped to play music, but usually with lower capacity memory.
|HARD DRIVE (20-60 GB) PLAYERS|
|Model ||Capa- |
|Format ||Features * ||Cost ||Rating
|Apple iPod ||60G ||MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF ||FS, PIM ||$335-419 ||8.3/4.5
|Apple iPod Photo ||20-60G ||MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF, Audible, JPEG ||FS, PIM, 2" 220x176 color LCD ||$400-450 ||4.0
|Apple iPod U2 ||20G ||MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF, Audible, JPEG ||FS, PIM ||$329 ||4.0
|Sony Network Walkman NW-HD3 ||20G ||MP3, ATRAC3 ||FS ||$250-300 ||7.7/
|iRiver H320 ||40G ||ASF, JPEG, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WMA ||VR, FM, and photo viewing, 2" color LCD ||$340 ||4
|Rio Karma ||20G ||MP3, WMA, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC || ||$200 ||7.0/4
|PORTABLE VIDEO PLAYERS (PVP)|
|Archos Gmini 400 ||20G ||MP3, WAV, WMA, MPEG4-SP AVI ||FS, VR, LI, photo/video viewer, AV Out, FS, 2.2" 320x240 color LCD, CompactFlash™ reader ||$270-430 ||8.0/4.5
|Archos AV420 Pocket Video ||20G ||MP3, WMA, JPG, or BMP, MPEG4-SP AVI ||VR, AV recorder, photo viewer, FS ||$400-615 ||/3.5
|Archos PMA430 Pocket Video ||30G ||MP3, WAV, WMA, JPEG, MPEG4-SP AVI ||VR, LI, AV recorder, photo viewer, FS, PDA, WI-Fi, Opera browser, USB Host port, IrDA port, Linux OS, 3.6-inch/ 320x240 pixel screen ||$630-720 ||/4.5
|Archos AV700 Mobil DVR ||100G ||MP3, WMA, JPG, or BMP, MPEG4-SP, DivX, AVI, WMV ||VR, AV recorder, photo viewer, FS, 480x234 LCD ||$800 ||
|MICRODRIVE (4 TO 6 GB) PLAYERS|
|Apple iPod Mini ||6G ||MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF, Audible ||FS, PIM, 8 hr. battery ||$180-200 ||8.0/4.5
|Rio Carbon Pearl ||5G ||MP3, WMA, Audible ||VR, LI, FS, 20 hr battery ||175-220 ||8.0/4.5
|Creative Zen Micro ||5G ||MP3, WAV, WMA ||VR, FM, FS, PIM syncs with Outlook, 160x104 LCD, 12 hr battery ||$180-230 ||8.0/4.5
|Gateway MP3 Photo Jukebox ||6G ||MP3, WAV, WMA, JPEG ||128x128 Color LCD (can't pan or zoom) ||$250 ||/4.5
|Dell Pocket DJ ||5G ||MP3, ||1.6" LCD, 10 hr. battery ||$149 ||/4
|iRiver H10 ||5G ||MP3, WAV, WMA and AA, JPEG ||VR, FM, picture viewer, 1.5" 128x128 LCD ||$190-270 ||/4
|Palm One LifeDrive ||4G ||MP3, ||PIM, photo viewer, Wi-FI, Bluetooth, 3.7" 320x480 LCD ||$500 ||
|FLASH-MEMORY PLAYERS (256 MB - 1G)|
|iRiver iFP-799 ||1G ||MP3, WMA, OGG, ASF ||FS, LCD ||$190 ||7.7/4
|Creative Labs MuVo TX FM ||512 M ||MP3, WMA ||FS, FM, VR, LCD doesn't list tracks ||$115 ||8/4
|Samsung Yepp YP-T5 V ||256 M ||MP3, WAV, WMA ||FS, FM, VR, LCD ||$80-150 ||/4.5
|Apple iPod Shuffle ||1G ||MP3, AAC, WAV, Audible ||FS ||$129 ||6.7/4
one of Bill Machrone's (see below) favorites.
FS - file store - Acts as an external hard disk to store files from your PC
VR - Voice Recording
FM - FM Radio
LI - Recording Line In
ID3 tag a 128 byte at the end of MP3 audio tracks identifying the title, album, ...
IrDA - Infrared
PIM - Personal Information Manager (e.g. address book/contacts, calendar)
USB Host - Acts like a computer; you can plug in a USB keyboard, camera and download pictures, etc.
Small Hard Disk (5-6G) players:
The Apple iPod has the best user interface, although a few people don't like the navigation wheel. It is the most popular and has a large after market selection of add-ons (speakers, cases, ...)
The Creative Zen Micro has more features and better sound than the others but a more difficult user interface.
The Rio Carbon Pearl has more features and better sound than the iPod and looks slicker than the Creative Zen Micro.
File Transfer With
WMP - Windows Media Player
|Model ||Napst ||iTun ||Real ||Music |
|WMP ||Win Amp
|iPod mini || ||X ||X || ||X ||X
|Zen Micro ||X || || ||X ||X ||
|RIO Carbon || || || ||X ||X ||X
Music Downloads Compatibility:
Download Services (legal)
Early Peer-to-Peer (P2P) services like the original version of Napster and Kazaa, Morpheus, iMesh, Grokster, and Blubster got in trouble with the music industry for violating copyrights. Since then legal services selling songs for about $1/song have emerged.
Music Services at mp3.com
PC Magazine: Music Download, Music Sites, services
Digital Music Services
Guide to Internet Music Services at montevallo.edu
Bass performance or Players:
Most digital audio players have weak bass performance because of the limited power in their amplifiers and the more power required for bass.
Some "in-canal" ear phones lower the impedance to increase sensitivity, but this futher loads the amplifier and reduces the bass response.
A headphone amplifier will fix this. Commercial versions run about $250, but you can get a variety of good homemade amplifiers on eBay based on the Chu Moy (cMoy) design for about $50 ($75 for the xMoy 2 amp version). (They may come with an Altoids can case, but they work.)
See articles at: DansData.com
See Bill Machrone's article at his SpA site.
Pocket Headphone Amp at fixup.net.
See Also:last updated 1 Aug 2005
Audio Formats in Audio-Video under technology
MP3 in technology
MP3 Player Reviews at cNet
MP3 and Digital Music player Reviews at PC Magazine
Bill Machrone's SpA: Serious Personal Audio (Bill is a PC Magazine reviwer)
Top 10 players at SpinFree News
Top Players at at mp3.com
Consumer Reports Magazine