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MP3 Player Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy an MP3 Player.

Getting Started

MP3 is an audio file format that compresses music files. The compressed audio files can be stored on your computer and transferred to a portable MP3 player for listening to on the go. MP3 players have come a long way since first being introduced. When they were first launched they could barely hold 20 to 30 songs. Today MP3 players are able to hold up to 40,000 songs--that's over 2,000 hours of continuous music!
MP3 players, depending on the brand and model you choose, do not have many differences. The main differences will be the features offered. When choosing which MP3 player is right for you, read on for help understanding the different terms and for more information on which features are available.


Storage Size (GBs)

Much like an actual computer, MP3 players support an internal storage that lets you keep music, photos and files. Storage capacity can range from 2GB to 256GB.

Battery Life

The battery life explains the amount of hours that the battery will last for. Most MP3 players offer battery lives that last from 15 hours to 30 hours.

Display Type

Currently there are a few different display types available. Some of the available types include: Touch Screen, Multi-Touch Retina Display; Color Displays. Touch screen displays let you make selections with just the touch of a finger. Multi-Touch Retina Displays are the next level of touch screen displays; they also allow you to make selections with the touch of a finger. What makes them stand out is that these displays have been made to be read by human eyes, which means that they are clearer and more defined compared to standard touch screen displays. Color Displays, as the name suggests, are displays that feature colors. Color displays are more basic and cannot be controlled with a finger. Typically MP3 players that have Color Displays have a set of buttons on them that allow you to navigate through the device.

Features Available

Depending on the brand and model of MP3 player, there are a variety of features available. Typically the more features you would like your MP3 player to have, the more expensive it becomes. Read on to see the available features some MP3 players offer.


All MP3 players offer music capabilities. The size of the MP3 player will decide how much music can be stored. The larger the size of the device the more music you will be able to store.


Displaying photos is a newer addition to MP3 players. By having an MP3 player that offers photo display features, you will be able to view your photos wherever you are.


Videos, like photos, are a newer addition to MP3 players. With a video feature, you will be able to upload movies, shows, and home videos onto your MP3 players. Once the videos are added, you will be able to watch them whenever you would like to. Keep in mind not all videos can be stored on all devices, be sure to check the technical specifications of the MP3 player you are interested in for detailed information.


A camera is less common, and typically can only be found on pricier MP3 players. The camera will allow you to take photos and videos right from your player.

Wi-Fi (Internet Capability)

If you are interested in accessing websites, such as social networks, YouTube, and more, you may want to look for Wi-Fi capabilities. If the MP3 player you are interested in has Wi-Fi capabilities, you will need to connect to a wireless network in order to access any online content.


Apps are a variety of programs that ranges from games to stores and everything in between. Not all MP3 players allow you to install different apps, so be sure to check the technical specifications of the player you are interested in for information about available apps. Apple devices let you access any apps on the App Store, while Android devices will give you access to Google's Google Play store.

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