Earlier form of music players required moving parts to read enclosed data on a tape or CD whereas MP3 players use solid state memory. An MP3 player is more of a data storage device with an embedded software application that enables users to transfer MP3 files to that player. MP3 players include some utilities to copy music from CD or websites and then organize them and create custom list of songs in the order you want to hear them. Such list of songs is called a “play list”.
The MP3 player is the combination of various technologies and its components are not only revolutionary but also prove to be a great consumer product. If you wish to store music as well allow the user to hear the songs played and for this the player first pulls the song from its memory, then decompresses the MP3 encoding, runs the decompressed bytes through a digital to analog converter and amplifies the analog signal allowing the song to be heard.
There are different stuffs or components but these could vary as the basic parts of a typical MP3 player. This includes data port, memory, microprocessor, digital signal processor, display, playback controls, audio port, amplifier and power supply.
The player is plugged into the port of your computer or a parallel port to transfer data. Port based players transfer data much faster than those using the parallel port. Memory types include internal flash memory, compact flash cards, smart media cards, memory stick and internal micro drive.
Except the last one, all the above mentioned players are of solid state memory and the advantage of solid state memory is that there are no moving parts that mean better reliability and music without any skips. Mp3 players also contain tiny hard disk drives that could store 10 to 150times more than flash memory devices.
The microprocessor is the brain of any player and monitors user input through the playback controls and displays information about the current song on the LCD panel and then sends directions to the chip that informs exactly how the audio is processed. It pulls the song data from memory and apply any special effects and streams to the amplifier. It runs a decompression algorithm that compresses MP3 files and then turns back the bytes into sound waves.
The amplifier also boosts the strength of the signal and then sends it to the audio port whereby you can attach the pair of headphones. Most of the MP3 players are powered by battery.