The Invasion of the Mp3 Music Player

Mp3 music players are everywhere. Turn on your television and they are on your favorite soap operas, in the news and most definitely in the commercials. Go to your local mall and nearly every teenager has one clipped to their belt or purse. They are invading our homes and changing the way we listen to media.

Planning for the attack

The mp3 technology was first engineered by the Fraunhofer Institute. The institute is located in Germany and was founded in 1949 with only three employees. It has now grown to be a leading research facility in Europe.

What in the world is an mp3?

Mp3 is the accepted abbreviation for a type of media formatting. The entire term is MPEG audio layer 3. Any audio media that is converted to mp3 format is compressed down to a very small file. Even a very large file now only needs minimal storage space on a hard drive or other storage media.

If you are shopping for a media storage device, such as a computer, mp3 music player or flash drive, you will quickly learn that you must pay dearly for that storage real estate. Mp3 formatting allows you to get more for your money by increasing the amount of media that you can store on that new computer or mp3 player.

The invasion begins

On September 9, 1995 the wimplay3 software was released and enabled users to listen to mp3 files on their personal computers. The invasion took off with the notarity of Napster and Winamp which featured peer to peer sharing of mp3 files via the internet. The first player on the scene to utilize this technology was the Eiger Labs MPMan F10 in 1998. Featuring a storage capacity of 32 MB, it did not take off as the company had hoped.

The next mp3 music player to hit the market was the Rio PMP300 from Diamond Multimedia and was popular with consumers. The lawsuits soon began to fly as companies struggled to gain sole rights to the technology and the profits that mp3 music players were sure to generate.

The first giant arrives

In 2001, Apple, Inc. arrived on the scene with the iPod. If you haven't heard of Apple's ipod you are the minority. It has quickly grown to a marketing monster and overtaken the mp3 music player market. Other companies scramble for priority in the pecking order

There are some other mp3 music players that have grown in popularity partly due to compatibility issues with Apple's MAC software verses the PC's Windows software. These players have held their own in the highly competitive market of mp3 music players but as of date, the iPod still dominates the market

Some of the more popular mp3 music players are: Microsoft's Zune, Creative Labs' Zen Vision M, and the iRiver Clix. Many of these players offer varied features and come in all shapes and sizes to help draw attention to the products.

Making peace

Have you decided to join the invasion yet? It can be a daunting task to choose an mp3 music player but the good news is there's help.

There are many reviews and product comparisons available on the internet and your local electronics store salesperson would love to fill you in on the ins and outs of mp3 music players. Then again, you could always find a teenager to ask. They have grown up with the technology and may surprise you with their knowledge of the product. They may even let you try out their mp3 player to get a feel for it.