Digital Media Players
Today’s devices can do so much more!
Digital media players these days have come a long way from the days when all they allowed you to do was listen to music. Now, we can watch TV, share music with friends, view images, and do tons of other great things – there’s a whole range of different models out there, too, which can make buying one a bit of a tricky decision. What’s important is to consider the features and qualities that are most important for you, so read on and discover what’s best for you.
Naturally, because we want our digital media player to be portable, the size is a big factor. Generally, most people prefer thinner and lighter models, so they can be easily stashed in a pocket and forgotten about. Another factor you might want to consider though, is the screen size. If you intend to watch any video media, then you’ll need a big enough screen so that you can make out the various details on-screen.
Digital media players either have buttons, a touchscreen, or sometimes a combination of the two. Digital media players with a standard button configuration enable you to control most of the basics, such as power, volume, file navigation, skip forward and skip back, yet for more advanced controls a touchscreen is much more suitable. However, bear in mind that touchscreen models do cost more.
The life of the battery is a very big deal – don’t forget that digital media players are supposed to be portable, and therefore it’s only right you want it to be able to last all day while you’re out and about. Most portable media players actually have two battery ratings: audio and video. Ideally, we would recommend a minimum of five hours video battery life, for those long flights and bus journeys.
Generally, we have a choice of storage options with newer digital media players. Hard drive, flash memory, and also removable flash memory are the standard options. Hard drives offer the most storage space, but are also the most likely to get damaged. Flash memory is safer as it has no moving parts in it, so it’s harder to break, but on the downside it doesn’t have as much space per dollar. Devices that come with flash memory cards are the cheapest and allow you to easily swap media from one device to the next, but these are easy to lose.
It’s hard to beat the feature-packed Apple iPod Touch 2010 ($288), which comes with 32 GB of storage and offers an incredible array of options – email, internet browsing, movies, music, apps and more besides, it runs rings around its competitors.
Just as expensive, retailing at $289.97 is the Zune HD, which offers the absolute best media experience that money can buy, although it does lack the options of some of its rivals.
For a cheaper option, there’s always the older Apple iPod Nano 2010, priced at $129, although it has far fewer options than iPod Touch.
If you really have a tight budget and don’t mind only having the basic music and video features, then it’s hard to beat the incredible value offered by the SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip, available for just $49.99 and boasting 4 GB memory.
Where to buy
When it comes to buying iPods and MP3s, we found that Walmart was one of the best places to shop. It offers some unbeatable prices, not to mention a huge range of the most popular devices.