Personal Electronic Media Players

For many, personal audio electronic devices such as iPods and other MP3 Players play a pivotal role in our individual entertainment lives. Many of us couldn’t imagine a walk to work or treadmill jog without one.

Topics to Explore


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What are MP3 files and how do they work?

We can transform musical sounds into numbers and record them digitally, although the files can be very large and take over your storage space. That's where the MP3 format comes in. Learn what MP3 files are and how they work.

How is my radio able to display the stations call letters?

If you have a car radio that shows FM station call signs on the display panel, then you have the Radio Data System feature. Find out how they work!

What is low-power FM LPFM?

In January 2000, the FCC adopted rules creating a new, low-power, non-commercial FM radio (LPFM) service. Learn how a school or individual can start one of these radio stations.

Do certain radio wave frequencies (like those used by cell phones) pose health risks?

Do certain radio wave frequencies pose health risks? If so, is it safe to live within a quarter mile of a cellular phone tower or a radio antenna?

How does an EPIRB distress radio work?

EPIRB is meant to help rescuers locate you in an emergency situation, and these radios have saved many lives since their creation in the 1970s. Find out who they've helped the most.

Why do you hear some radio stations better at night than in the day?

Have you ever noticed a difference in the quality of radio signals depending on the time of day? Why do you hear some radio stations better at night than in the day?

How Radio Scanners Work

The air around you is bursting with radio waves -- and you can tap into them with minimal effort. With a simple radio scanner, all sorts of transmissions are within your earshot. Find out how radio scanners let you listen in on everything from police to astronaut transmissions.

How the Radio Spectrum Works

AM radio, FM radio, CB radio, short wave radio, VHF, UHF -- what's it all mean? These are all different chunks of the radio spectrum. Find out all about the thousands of different uses for radio waves.

How Ham Radio Works

Ham radio lets people talk across the globe, wirelessly and inexpensively. It's a subculture in its own right. See what amateur radio is all about and how you can become an operator.