MP3 players are small machines that allow you to record files (generally audio files) on to the on-board memory of the player so that you can listen to music as you are out and about.
MP3 technology enables this process because an audio file that is compressed into an MP3 format will be an awful lot smaller than a standard audio file. So, these files can be loaded on to MP3 players in large numbers depending on the type of memory that you have on your player.
MP3 players come in all shapes and sizes although most nowadays are incredibly small. The size of player you get here may be decided by the memory it has on board. In basic terms the more memory you get with an MP3 player, the more music tracks you can fit on to it.
There are basically three types of MP3 player to choose from:
- Flash - these players use Flash technology as their memory store. They are often used by people who want some music that they can carry round with them but who don't need to store thousands of tracks.
- Hard drive - hard drive MP3 players can be much bigger in terms of memory capacity than flash players. These models can store thousands of tracks and albums at once.
- MP3 CDs - these players are standard portable CD players that can also play MP3 discs.
Many people will download MP3 tracks from the Internet and/or transfer them from their computers or CDs into an MP3 format that can loaded on to their player.