How to Buy an MP4 Player

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One community member wrote in to say: “Over the last few years I have come full circle when it comes to MP4 players. So here are the 5 steps to choosing the right player for you.”

  • What do you need it for? If you want your MP4 player for listening to music and taking your favorite video clips with you to watch when you have a minute, you’ll probably be looking for a small screen player with 2 – 8 GB storage. Or if you’re looking for a device to use on the train to watch that TV show you missed last night or on an airplane to watch a movie or two, you’ll be looking for a larger screen player so you don’t strain your eyes with between 10 and 120 GB of storage.
  • Choose Your Brand! I’m sure I’m not the first to notice this but whenever Apple comes out with a new iPod, Creative will come out with something a month or so later that does just the same thing, looks a lot uglier but costs a lot less too. So if you’re a big apple fan with no budget, go for the iPod. If you’re not bothered either way, save some money and take the creative. Alternatively, if you’re just going to use it for watching videos, get an Archos.
  • Chose Your Model! With each different model you get a different screen size. If you’d rather have a small player, you’ll be looking at the new iPod nano with its sleek design and versatile storage, the new Creative Zen MP4 player with between 4 and 16 GB of storage, or the new Archos 105. If you prefer the larger player, you’ll be looking at the Apple iPod Classic, iPod Touch or the iPhone, the Creative Zen Vision M or W or the Archos 406, 506 or 706.
  • Protection. As with all small consumer electronic products, you’d be a fool not to buy a case. The Archos is the only device that comes with a half decent case. The others just come with those pouches to keep away dust and scratches. These are no good if you knock or drop the product so invest in a hard wearing case. It might also be worth looking into extended warranties and accidental damage cover. These things are expensive don’t forget.
  • Get the most out of your product! Now that you know what you want, look into the extra features and see how they will benefit you. You’d be surprised what features are on these devices. Wifi and internet browsers, card readers, AV input/output ports, docking stations, TV recording features… There’s a lot more than meets the eye to these players and most people don’t realize it!


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29 thoughts on “How to Buy an MP4 Player”

  1. Pingback: Technobabble
  2. can someone tell me which media(video) player that will play WMV videos from my computer without having to convert any help would be appreciated thank you

  3. ipod touch now comes in 32GB and iphone 16GB. i have an ipod touch 16GB and its great; a “must have” player. i watch movies on trips and when im doing some boring jobs. Archos has very short battery life. Sony Mylo 2 is gr8; not much reviews on it though

  4. I have had two archos’s and both have had battery problems. One had its battery replaced (which is relatively expensive) and is already down to 10 to 20 minutes of battery life. My other, newer doesn’t even have enough battery to turn on without tying even after charging for several hours (i’ve even tried days). The iPod has a much better battery life

  5. chris agreed the creative staff suck on so many levels they got funny with me 2 when i rang them as there software reckd my my comp it crashd windows and had 2 then pay out to fix my comp and they got nasty ova the phone so im with you on the fact they suck and i got a psp slim white after watchin your vids on hear so thanks for helpfull info im gunna spred the word bout you 2 my friends

  6. i haven’t never had a problem with itunes. one program that you don’t want to mess with chris is the zune program. i had a zune from april to december. and i switched back to the ipod at december after the firmware update messed up my library, my zune would freeze up, and since i like my music very organized the zune software didn’t allow edit the metadata. it was just unbelievable the original software that came with it was a lot better then the new one erased the ability to edit song info.

  7. I will always choose Apple. They make Great quality products. it might be a little pricey but its worth it. Would you tell your friend you had an iPod or some other CHEAP off brand? Hmm?? What would you say “It costs less, for the same stuff” Your friend will call you cheap for a few months. Coming from expirence. =P

  8. The PSP is agood media player. up to gb memeory stick(i have a 2 and a 4 and carry both with me). it plays mp3 wma mp4 and of couse serveral popular photo formats. not to mention its ahs some amazing games. wifi. internet radio, internet browser. a huge screen. customizable themes and if you really want. a usb camera or even sat nav. yes sat nav for ur psp. a stand to install it in ur car and a little reciever for the top. and only 200euro. i love psp.

  9. the psp slim is’nt too bad. it slides into your pocket nice. especially an inside jacket pocket. but trousers work too. better than the size of archos mp4’s. i don’t know how people carry them around.i would try the touch but i cant waste 400 euro just to try out

  10. I don’t like iTunes either. I rather buy my music by going to an artist website, magnatune, the PMN, or cd baby. I don’t like getting my media from a proprietary program. I like VLC. Its small and works with all media.

  11. One thing you forgot to mention is the formats available. For instance…as a seller of these devices…I have players using the AVI & AMV format. If you have the chance to purchase a player…look at the amount of money you want to spend. AMV format = anywhere from a 1.5-2.4 inch screen with jerky motion & resolution of 160X128 for most of these players. The cost is low for these…as well as being able to play non-DRM MP3/WMA music.

    The AVI players may cost you about twice as much money…but will be a much nicer player with a larger screen/resolution. As for music/audio use…these can also play non-DRM MP3/WMA music.

    Something you will always want to consider is the battery on these players. Many of the AVI players will have batteries which provide the close to the same output as a rechargeable battery you use for flashlights & other consumer items. The AMV players will have a fraction of this power output for its battery. Because of this…you will have some of the more costlier players you can use for several hours longer than many AMV players.

    Personally…my favorite player is a touchscreen AVI player with a 2.8 inch screen. Since it has a mini-SD slot ($12 card from Amazon)…I put all my tunes into WMA format & keep them on a memory card. Plus…since I can read TXT based books from Project Gutenberg on the player & they are readable…have over 300 MB of the classics I can read on the go.

    If you have any questions…I have found this site very informative:

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