The MP3 player, also known as a digital audio player (DAP), is a consumer device with the primary function of playing and storing audio files. This portable audio device has more functionality than its predecessors - the portable CD player or tape deck. The general idea is really quite simple -- upload the tunes from a computer to your MP3 player. Without getting too much into the technical know-how, digital audio files are converted (compressed) into an MP3-friendly format and suddenly your audio files are portable. (We should note that audio files do not just refer to music, but can entail audiobooks or podcasts as well.)The most prominent MP3 player happens to to be iPod -- and related Mac products -- but they are not the end-all, be-all of MP3 players. It is a pretty eclectic type of product. When it comes to picking an MP3 player, "the one size fits all" approach isn''t going to get you far though. There is a wide array of features, some of which, like FM radio capability or Wireless capability, appeal to every type of consumer. There are also a series of senior-specific features, ranging from an MP3 player''s interface to weight, that aging adults should look out for. Hopefully our guide will cue curious seniors in on certain features to look for:What Seniors Should Look for in an MP3 Player I. Large Display Screen
Nearly all MP3 players come with a display screen of sorts, which at the very least mentions the name of the song presently being played. It can range from a one or two lines of basic information to a full-blown screen which can show videos or photos. For seniors who have trouble reading small text, a large display screen will be an ideal option, as they will have an easier time reading and understanding the present information. We suggest you look for an MP3 player with a screen that measures at least two inches, diagonally. Zune HD (32GB - platinum)The Zune HD display measures 3.3 inches, diagonally. Equipped with vibrant 480x272-pixel resolution the display enables bright bold images; those with less-than-sufficient eyesight will be able to verify the name of the current song without squinting.II. Simple Interface
Why is it important for an MP3 to have a simple to use, easy and intuitive interface? You want to be able to navigate between songs in the quickest, most efficient way possible. The way in which menus and organized make all of the difference in order to get to a certain audio track as soon as possible.SanDisk Sansa Clip+ (4GB)The SansaDisk Clip is quite easy to use. The main menu is very simple: FM radio, voice, radio, and music comprise the options. An accessible music menu provides you with instant access to artists, songs,albums, genres, playlists podcasts, and audiobooks.III. Ergonomically Friendly
The way in which your body interacts with the MP3 is crucial for aging adults. You want your hand and fingers to be able to wrap themselves around the unit in a way that enables them to naturally press certain keys and buttons. Hand grips are also useful in order to make sure the unit doesn''t slip out of your possession.Walkman Bean™ MP3 PlayerThis Sony model is ergonomically designed for both right handed and left handed users. Designed in a bean shape (hence the name), the hand grip enables you to naturally grasp the unit. IV. Lightweight
An MP3 player doesn''t need to be particularly heavy or bulky. You want a lightweight MP3 for the purposes of mobility, particularly if you plan to use it in the midst of a workout. Especially for seniors with diminished muscle mass, it might be difficult to lift heavier objects. In this case, we suggest an MP3 player that no heavier than 12 ounces (3/4th of a pound). Creative Zen Stone PlusCreative Zen Stone Plus Creative Zen Stone Plus weighs under half a pound, which makes it quite easy to take along on any sort of journey. The unit is light enough to throw in your pocket or put in a day bag without feeling like you are carrying a bag of bricks around. V. Volume Adjuster
Volume adjuster enable us to change the unit''s volume. On one hand, this is an essential safety feature for seniors so the volume doesn''t get too loud and we hear noises ringing in our ears after we stop using the MP3 player. On the other hand, we can adjust the volume and make the track a bit louder if need be. The fact of the matter is that seniors have sensitive ears and both external and internal factors need to be recognized; having a volume adjuster enables that sort of flexibility. The classic iPod changed the way in which music fans listened and collected music. We should note that that the quintessential MP3 also comes with volume controls, which can be adjusted via the scroll wheel. You can also lock and unlock the volume settings with a tab on the top of the unit, which prevents unplanned volume changes.