Portable Media Player

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A portable device is any device that can easily be carried. It is a small form factor of a computing device that is designed to be held and used in the hands. Portable devices are becoming an increasingly important part of personal computing as the capabilities of devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones continue to improve.

Internet sites like YouTube and Hulu offer extensive media libraries. One thing lacking on many portable media players used to access such sites is the ability to download and use video files without first reformatting and resizing them. Some players with that capability have been called "MP5" players, a term that may have been coined in China or by importers. Such players often offer other features that may be useful.

MP3 and MP4 players get their names from the file formats they are designed to use. There's no such thing as an MP5 file format. An MP5 player is essentially an MP4 player with the ability to play a large number of downloaded video file types. Other portable media players require preconversion of the file to a format that is compatible with the player. Most video formats are compatible with MP5 players. This feature is termed Download and Play (DNP) by manufacturers of MP5 players.

Like cellphones, most MP5 players have internal cameras that can capture both stills and video. Because these players have a large viewing screen, it's easy to frame your shot and get the images you want. However, resolution on these players is less than a megapixel, and good lighting is needed to avoid fuzzy images.

MP5 players will also often have an internal speaker. It's nothing to write home about but it does the job in a small room. Just unplug your headphones to turn on the speaker.

No one wants to watch movies on a tiny screen when better options are available so MP5 players come with a video output. You just connect a cable to your TV, and press play.

We all know that video and audio takes a lot of memory. Just 20 movies and some music use 20 gigabytes of space. That's why external memory is a must-have feature. MP5 manufacturers include a card-expansion slot for extra storage when internal memory is full. MP5 players typically support flash memory up to 16 gigabytes, but many go to 32 and even beyond.

What is an example of a portable device?
Examples include portable USB or 'flash' keys, memory cards, smartphones, tablets, laptops, notebooks, personal digital assistants, MP3 players, iPods, rewritable CDs, e-readers and any other device with inbuilt accessible storage. PSDs are becoming ubiquitous in the workplace.

Portable Media Devices