by Paul Sanders
Digital music used to be all that MP3 players were used for. Music players were seen as a convenient replacement for portable CD players. Now these music players are adding new features to become full-fledged portable media players. As you search for new portable MP3 players, watch for some of these advanced features.
Digital audio recording: Certain portable MP3 players will allow you to record voice memos and music through a built-in microphone or an external mic through a line-in connection port. You can then transfer your digital audio recordings from the MP3 player to your computer for storage, editing or e-mail.
Wireless and Bluetooth: Wi-Fi enabled MP3 players can allow you to connect to the Internet in order to download music and video. Certain media players include full Web-browsing capabilities. MP3 players with Bluetooth give you many options for connecting with other Bluetooth devices, including your laptop and wireless headphones.
HDMI out: Now that you can store HD movies and TV shows on MP3 players, you might want to take advantage of that detail by watching on a larger screen. With an HDMI-out port, your MP3 player can act as the video source for your HDTV.
Apps and games: If your MP3 player allows it, you can download apps from online music and software libraries. Play games, find useful programs and connect to social-networking sites through your media player using app functions.
File compatibility: Every MP3 player supports at least a few digital audio file formats. Advanced MP3 players will support even more audio and video formats, in addition to text, PDF and HTML files. With a sizeable display, you can read certain e-book formats on some MP3 players.
Touch screen: You won't find a touch screen on all MP3 players, but more advanced features can be more easily accessed through touch displays. Wide touch-screen MP3 players also allow you to watch video comfortably.
More ports: A 3.5-mm headphone jack is pretty standard for all MP3 players. Look for HDMI, USB and memory card ports for added functionality and improved compatibility between your MP3 player and other devices.