Buying guide: MP3 players

Shopping for an iPod, Sony Walkman or other MP3 player? We've got you covered

Shopping Checklist: MP3 Players

• Included memory

This is the primary concern when buying an MP3 player, as there is no point buying one that holds less music than you need. Use our rule of thumb of 4MB per song/track to ascertain how many songs the device can hold.

• Battery life

This is important so you know how long you can go without recharging the MP3 player.

• Memory type

Make sure to ask if the player uses a hard disk or flash memory. Flash players tend to be smaller, lighter and tougher than hard drive players, so this is important if you plan to be a little rough with your player.

• Player size

Size is important, as different sized players suit different needs. Some players can be hung around your neck or attached to your clothes, while others must be carried in your pocket.

• Video playback

If you want to use your player to view content as well as listen to music then be sure to find out if it supports video playback.

• Picture viewer

If you have a digital camera and want to view your pictures on your MP3 player, then ask whether it has a picture viewer.

• Screen size

If you want to watch video files on your player, then you will want to know how big the screen is.

• Software requirements

Find out whether the player supports drag-and-drop file transfers in Windows or if it requires special software.

• File types supported

If you have your music in file types other than MP3 — such as WMA, WAV, FLAC or MP4 — you need to find out if the player can play them.

• Features

Some players offer voice recorders, video recording, digital radio and FM radio, which may be of interest to some users.

• Headphone jack

Most headphones use a standard 3.5mm jack. This is important if you want to use different headphones than those that come with your MP3 player.

• Wi-Fi connectivity If you want an MP3 player that can download music or access Web pages without being directly connected to a PC or laptop, then wireless connectivity is a useful feature.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ipodsSony Walkmanmp3 playersWalkman

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

PC World Staff

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?