Choosing an MP3 player used to be a much easier shopping decision than it is today. Just a couple of years ago, only MP3 players played MP3 music. Nowadays, every man and his dog that has a mobile phone, laptop or memory storage device can play MP3 music. Now that there are a few more things to take into consideration, it is wise to think about a few issues before splashing out some serious money (or trying to save some serious money).
Part I – Do you need an MP3 player?
Probably the most important question you need to ask yourself. Why do you want one? Does your mobile phone already come with an MP3 player? What about your laptop? Why would you need one if you’ve already got one? The only reason MP3 players exist in their own right is because a mobile phone is a much better device for making phone calls on the go, and an MP3 player, well, it is a much better device for playing MP3 music. When there is a comprise in function, there is a comprise in function (i.e. quality and performance).
Part II – Do you need a good MP3 player?
Probably the second most important question you need to ask yourself. It does sound like a rhetorical question. Of course you want a good MP3 player, but please provide a definition for „good“. Do you want something that looks good, plays good (well is probably a better word) or sounds good (or all three perhaps). Remember that these days people will buy things for the image (looks/sounds good), performance (plays good) and quality (lasts good). All three come at a cost (though not necessarily equal in weighting), and usually you’ll find that two out of three ain’t bad. Sometimes big name brands not only looks good (the Japanese designers are experts at this), sounds good (for example, hey look, I’ve got a Sony -insert model here- !), but they might actually have good performance or quality as well (Some say the iPod belongs in that category, but I don’t want to start another online forum about it). But most of the time, practical people start with performance or quality, and just hope that it’s something they can hide in their designer label clothing’s MP3 pocket.