Digital Media Players, such as Apple’s iPod, are now the most popular way to enjoy music. Although Apple is currently the market leader a number of devices are available from other manufacturers, including Microsoft and Creative.
Early digital media players could only be used to play audio file, generally in MP3 format. Modern devices can also play video files. Music and video files can be bought and downloaded from sites such as Amazon and iTunes.
Raw audio files are very large and need to be compressed for storage and playback on Media Players. The compression techniques used, such as MP3, are lossy, meaning there is some loss of quality during the compression process. As storage capacities increase, more use is being made of lossless compression techniques, such as FLAC.
E-book readers, such as the Amazon Kindle, or the Barnes and Noble Nook can be regarded as a specialised type of media player. E-books for these devices are now outselling traditional paper books.
Other devices, such as Tablet Computers and Smartphones offer many of the same features as Media Players.
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