Wie wil concurreren met de iPod moet kattensprongen maken. Zo ook Microsoft. Enige tijd geleden kwam Microsoft al met het initiatief ‘Plays for sure!’ waarbij Microsoft als consumentenbond lijkt te willen optreden om consumenten te behoeden voor malafide online muziekwinkels (lees: iTunes Music Store) en al even verfoeide MP3 spelers (lees: iPod).
Om de consument nog verder van dienst te zijn, heeft Microsoft nu een lijstje opgesteld van eisen waar een op flash gebaseerde MP3 player aan zou moeten voldoen. Het zal je niet verbazen dat ’s werelds meest verkochte MP3-speler niet aan deze eisen voldoet. Lees verder voor een goed stukje advies.
1. Understand the basics.
For the active person, a player that uses flash memory to store music has distinct advantages over a player that uses a hard disk. Simply put, flash memory players have no moving parts, meaning that you can take them jogging and your music won’t skip.
2. Make sure you’re getting all the goodies.
Many portable music players can do more than just play music. Some players have a built-in voice recorder, FM recorder, or stopwatch. And some come with extra accessories like high-quality headphones, a belt clip, or an armband. Because most of these features are included at no additional cost, make sure the device you choose is filled with these fun extras.
3. You’ll want a display.
When you have hundreds of songs on your player, you really need an easy way to select your music by artist, album, or genre. This is critical if you want to find that one song or artist you really want to hear. A display also comes in handy when you’re looking for your favorite radio station.
4. Let a professional make your next playlist.
Having an FM radio lets you put your player on autopilot as you mountain bike, cycle, or rollerblade. And when you’re sweating it out on the stationary bike at your health club, you can listen to the program airing on the club’s TV. You want to have something that is fun, lightweight, and flexible. And FM radio is a key feature that many players offer at no extra cost, even for less than $100.
5. Pick the right size for you.
The price of a player will depend on its storage capacity—the more megabytes (MB) of storage it has, the more music it can hold and the more it will cost. If you’re ripping your own CDs, using a player with Windows Media Audio (WMA) support as well as MP3 support gives you the most music per megabyte. Here are some quick rules of thumb for how much music per megabyte you get, depending on the quality of the compression.
6. Don’t get locked into one online store.
Have you ever been on the hunt for a particular song? Some obscure indie rock tune or rare jazz performance you heard on the radio? You might have to shop at more than one store before you find the song you’re looking for. Having the flexibility to choose from over 1 million tracks of music from multiple online music stores such as MSN Music, Napster, MusicMatch, and Wal-Mart can be the key to getting the music you want. Several stores even offer subscription services so you can download all the songs you want for about the cost of a CD each month.