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SOUND ON THE MOVE

Most people will tell you not to buy a portable music player. You can use your phone for the same they will say. And for most people and their needs – they will be right. Yet, a standalone portable music player has many advantages that go unnoticed. Here are the real facts.


Phone V/s Standalone

If you’re a music purist, if you have a lot of music in a digitized format, if you play music from large speakers, if your phone feels sluggish when you hit a long playlist, if your phone can’t handle any other format but an MP3, if you get sound that isn’t very good from your phone and if your phone battery seems in the middle of the day when ever your listening to music – you need a standalone music player.


Formats

A lot of portable music players can handle far more than plain old MP3. Look at all the formats it can handle and look for a player that can handle high definition music like Flac and others, your ears will thank you.


Size

Lets be honest here. You don't want an standalone music player that is as big as your smartphone. Make sure you have a device that easily slips inside your pocket.


Storage

Most players are broadly categorized in two: hard-drive, and flash drive. Those with hard drive offer a lot of space but are bigger and battery life isn’t all that great. The flash drive are smaller, faster in operation but won’t give you oodles of storage. Look at the size of your music collection and take this call.


Interface

Critical on something that you need to interact with it on the move and on a regular basis. If it has too many deep level menus, if it makes simple things like getting to a playlist a complex task, if it has regular features hidden deep and if it has hard buttons on the front that make no sense – then this isn’t a player for you. A good portable music player will make life simpler for you and make sure that the interface and button placement is easy and idiot proof. Some players can show you a full list of tracks. Then there are those without any display-just navigation controls. You’ll have to use your memory to guide you through your collection. Not a great idea as it’s not a memory test game you’re investing in


Matters of the Ear

Just because its a stand alone doesn’t guarantee that it will play beautiful music. This will need a little bit of an effort. Take along a few piece of your own music, music that you love and music that you identify with. Listen to it on the various players that you are thinking of testing. Look for passages that you are very familiar with. Is the sound just right, is it dull and muffled, does the player seem like its adding artificial bass? Also, the last mile is critical. Most players will come with cheap and horrible headphones. Audio that makes it to your ear is as good as the headphones you use. Invest in a good pair of headphones.


Video

The word 'Video Support’ is thrown around a lot, especially in those with a bigger screen. It's more like a bonus feature, but dont base your purchase around it.


Free Stuff

Don'€™t forget the free stuff! It can range from a good pair of headphones to a belt clip, FM recorder, voice recorder and so on. Free is always good!