Monday, November 20, 2006

The Future Of MP3 Players by Adam O'Connor

What will tomorrow bring for MP3 players and other portable media players? No doubt digital players have enjoyed tremendous success to date. They've quickly replaced portable CD players and regular radios as the perfect traveling companions. But will MP3 players continue to sell or will they be replaced just as quickly by new technology? Consider 5 possible trends of the future.
1.The MP3 Player Market Will Grow
A technology research firm by the name of DC recently released a market prediction that the MP3 player market will grow steadily until 2009, perhaps by improving sales some 4 times over%. Flash player technology is also expected to advance and grow in total gigabyte storing capacity.
2.Units Will Grow More User Friendly And Energy Efficient
Older models, not to mention small and simplistic devices, will be discontinued, though many have been axed already. The latest design to beat is a full-featured MP3 player with video capabilities that's as small as a regular MP3 player (IPOD anyone?). (Ideal size, smaller than a common PC mouse) Large bulky systems are out and so are internal iPod batteries that you can't replace without professional help.
3. Wireless Technology
Digital players now face a serious threat from cell phones provider, which are now incorporating MP3 playback into their products. Therefore, in order to keep up with the competition, expect many MP3 players to soon utilize wireless technology and feature a Wi-Fi connection for quick and easy Internet downloads.
4. Portable Media Players
MP3 Players are also being scrutinized for value when compared to similarly priced products such as Pocket PCs, Ultra Mobile PCs and even portable game consoles. The Nintendo DS and Sony PSP use wireless technology to provide users with more multimedia entertainment beyond games, including DVD and MP3 playback. Pocket PCs cannot only play MP3 files; they can also open word processors and spreadsheets, check email and browse the web. In order not to be replaced by more efficient and similarly priced gadgets, MP3 players will have to truly become media players--that is, incorporate image viewing, audio and video recording, and more into their systems.
5. Prices Will Drop

Going along with that prediction, a realistic belief is that in the coming years multimedia players and especially MP3 players will drastically fall in price. Pocket PCs and Ultra Mobile PCs are expected to be reduced as technology improves and the market changes. People certainly won't mind buying a media playing device with limited features--but they won't want to pay the same price for it that they would a complete portable PC for $400.00-$500.00.

MP3 player manufacturers like Creative Zen, iRiver, Dell Hewlett Packard and Apple iPod are certainly banking on the present--namely that MP3 players are relatively novel. Whether or not they bank on the future, however, remains to be seen.Article By Adam O'Connor, MP3 Player Reviews

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