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Portability-power to you
Size does matter
By Russell Kibbee
(more articles from this author)
2001-01-07
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Beside the incredible benefits in finding, storing and creating digital music, the area that can be most beneficial for you is the amazing power of portability. In this section, you will be introduced to the benefits of portable audio hardware, ideas for utilizing the player, and finally, the different models of portable players that are available.

Step 1: MP3 players vs. Walkman
The first thing you will notice about the latest generation of portable MP3 players is how small they are (about the size of a deck of cards, while some are even the size of matchboxes). A Cassette player like a Walkman can be pretty big in relation to the amount of music it can play (about the size of a small paperback book).

Step 2: Play lots of music
Do not let the small size fool you. The amount of music capable of being carried on a portable mp3 player rivals that of cassette tapes. You can get a minimum of 1 hour of music with 32 Megs of memory.

Step 3: Built for expansion
Most of the players will have slots for additional memory. The current generation of memory cards has 64 Megs with 96 Megs set for wider distribution later this year. Using this extra memory will allow you to have up to 7 hours of music available for playback.

Step 4: Built not to Shake and rattle
The big advantage of the portable players is that there are no moving parts. This means that there can be no skipping (as with portable CDs) or wow/flutter (as in portable cassette players).

Step 5: Combining it all together
When you combine the small size and no skip ability of these players, it is easy to see why they are quickly becoming standard equipment for snowboarders, in-line skaters, and gym enthusiasts. The cost of the memory might be prohibitive for some, but if you value having your music while being active, it is money well spent.


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