If you were to look down the aisles of the local consumer electronics shop these days you would notice that there are a number of MP3 players that are seemingly poised to overtake the age old CD player in the consumer electronics market. Yes, it would definitely seem that after close to two decades of dominance the CD player is fading away and the MP3 player is replacing it. In order to understand why this is so, one needs to look at the differences between CD players and MP3 players as well as their own historical evolution in the marketplace. A CD Player is a device that plays Compact Disks which are audio disks that contain a finite amount of information digitally recorded onto them. Although compact disks had been around since the mid-1980's they did not start to really take off in sales until the early 1990's and their effect on the consumer electronics world was nothing short of staggering. When compact discs came along it was not only the end of the record album but it was also the end of cassette tape as well.
While a great deal of the reason for this was due to the fact that CDS possessed significantly better sound quality thanks to their digital recording (Albums cassettes and 8-Track tapes were recording on the old analogue systems and were loaded with "hiss") one could never dismiss the portability of the CD. You could listen to a CD on your car's CD player. You could listen to a CD on your Sony Walkman. You basically had a number of portability options that a record album could not provide.
Now, a cassette tape could provide these but the sound quality was lacking. As such, CD players greatly overtook cassettes in the marketplace. In time, there came the notion that it was not necessary to record digital data onto a disk but rather encode the data into a file that could be compressed into a player's memory. This is, in essence, what an MP3 player is. The "true" name of an MP3 player is a "digital audio player" and its primary purpose is to play audio files.not disks.
In fact, some MP3 players can also play video files which CD players can not. Audio files can be stored either directly on the hard drive memory of the MP3 player or they can be stored on a removable flash card that is only a mere fraction of the size of a compact disk. This is clearly the biggest difference between MP3 players and CD players. This connects to the main benefit to an MP3 player over a CD player: convenience. This is rooted in the fact that you download MP3 files onto the player as opposed to inserting a CD. This is a TREMENDOUS benefit because you can store upwards of 500 songs on an MP3 player's memory and tuck the player in your pocket.
(Because there is no need to house a compact disk or cassette tape portable MP3 players are significantly smaller than CD players) If you were to try and carry 500 songs around with you on a CD player you would need to figure out a way to conceal 50 compact disks on your person. Ok, sure, you could carry them around in a back pack too but that is no bargain! So, much like what the CD player did to record albums and audio cassettes many years ago it would seem that the MP3 player is poised to overtake the CD player in the consumer market. No, CD players will not disappear overnight but they will eventually give way to the progress represented by MP3 Players. That is just the way the wheels of consumer electronics progress spin.
RIchard Adams is the founder of some of the most popular mp3 information sites online. His latest venture is Discount MP3 Players