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MP3 players and a guide to compressed music formats.

Advanced MP3 Players
- MP3 players, plus accessories including headphones and accessories such as a car cassette adaptor, with free next day delivery. They offer a best UK price policy.


How do I create MP3 files to put on an MP3 player?

You will need software known as "ripping" software, to take the files from an audio cd and convert them to MP3 format. Rippers can generally be downloaded free of charge over the internet - just do a search on "free audio ripper" on one of the main search engines and you will be spoilt for choice. Alternatively, many MP3 players come bundled with ripping software as part of the package.

What are MP3, WMA and OGG files?

MP3, WMA and OGG formats are all ways of compressing audio files. It is important to note that MP3 is currently the defacto standard. Not all MP3 players play WMA files, even less play OGG files and those that do tend to be more expensive.

MP3

MP3 is a compression format for audio files that allows them to be compressed to about 10% of their original size. This means that you can fit about 10 hours worth of music onto one cd-r. It also means the files are quick to download over the internet - indeed they originally became popular when downloaded from the illegal file sharing network Napster. (Note - the Napster that exists today is a totally legal service that is subscription driven).

WMA - Windows Media Audio

WMA is a music compression format bundled with Microsoft's Windows Media Audio player, part of the Windows operating system. WMA is increasing in popularity because it compresses files to half the size of the MP3 - so you could squeeze about 20 hours worth of music onto a cd-r.

OGG

OGG is a compression format similar to MP3, with the same or better quality to MP3 files encoded at the same bit rate. However, the difference with OGG is that the code used for OGG compression is "open source". This means that it can be used by any manufacturer for its product at no cost. Few audio players currently support the OGG format, but this is likely to change in the future.

 

Apple Ipod
- Buy the Apple Ipod and accessories including the Dock, Cables, Headset, Charger and Speakers from AppleStore.
Bose
- Bose is a hifi company well known for its wave music systems including the Acoustic Wave Music System, the Wave Radio/CD and the Wave Radio.

Comet
- A huge range of personal mp3 players supported by Comet's price guarantee.