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How MP3 Players Work


Accessorizing Your MP3 Player
Apple iPods dominate the MP3 player market, resulting in myriad accessories.
Apple iPods dominate the MP3 player market, resulting in myriad accessories.
Photo courtesy Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

As with any popular consumer product, there is an entire industry devoted to selling MP3 player accessories. Users looking to personalize their digital music players can find myriad options to fit any lifestyle.

MP3 enthusiasts can choose from a variety of bags, belt clips and armbands to carry their music with them. These users may also have a need for battery packs to extend playback time. Battery packs can extend playtime up to 10 hours.

For music fans using their computers at home or at the office, the Radio Shark allows a user to record directly from their favorite AM or FM radio program, with the ability to schedule a recording. Additionally, the user can pause a show and return to it at that exact point hours later, just as a digital video recorder can be used to record and pause TV shows. The device works with any Mac or PC computer.

For iPod users looking to expand their video-watching options, there's Myvu Video Goggles. According the company, the lightweight goggles provide a "hands-free, big-screen viewing experience" by connecting to the iPod and projecting sound and "floating video images." The back-pack battery can be used for up to eight hours of viewing.

Docking stations can transform some portable players into a stereo system. A docking station or base includes speakers, and once the player is added, the volume can be controlled through the base. Some include a battery charger. In some cases, MP3 players and docking stations are replacing stereo components in home entertainment systems. There's even a George Forman grill that incorporates a docking station and allows the chef to listen to tunes while grilling.

In addition, the Instant Music Audio Capture device converts old analog records and cassettes into digital files that you can burn on your MP3 player.

And for those in transit, an FM transmitter uses FM radio frequency to broadcast MP3 player music through the car stereo, using either batteries or the cigarette lighter as a power source.