A digital audio player is known sometimes also as an MP3 player. It is a consumer electronics gadget that stores and organizes audio files and plays them back. Portal media players are also digital audio players (DAPs). But they also, in addition, image-viewing and may also support video-playing. MPMan player launched by SaeHan Information Systems in 1997 was the first mass produced DAP. Compaq launched the first hard drive based DAP with 4.8 GB capacity in 1998. Apple went ahead and unveiled the first generation 5 GB hard drive iPod in the year 2001. The next year saw the launch of its second generation update. The iPod series with the inclusion of microdrive as well as flash players soon established as the market leader.
Archos introduced Archos Jukebox Multimedia in 2002. This was the first portable media player to be launched. Viewing images and playing videos were introduced later. It was in 2003 that MP3 players were first installed into mobile phones in South Korea. Soon enough by 2005 the other major mobile phone companies such as Motorola, Nokia, LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson introduced musicphones globally. Apple followed with their iPhone. Over half the mobile phones in the world now are music phones.
Memory for flash-based players has now been enhanced to 32 GB. They do not have any moving parts. They also need less battery power. The capacity of the hard drive-based players is higher with up to 250 GB. This enables these players to store tens of thousands of songs. MP3 audio files can be played by some MP3 CD portable players which are stored on CDs. Networked audio players are also there that can receive as well as play audio files by using WiFi network to connect to the Internet. iFM radio tuners are installed in some DAPs. DAPs such as Sandisk Sansa M250 have, in addition, a built-in microphone.
iTunes Store came into existence in 2003 selling songs as well as albums. They can be downloaded. Unauthorized sharing of files have increased to a great extent with access to Internet and aided by software programs that transfers files fast and easily. Music in the digital format is also sold by many companies too. These compact and portable digital audio players have become hugely popular.
Technology can be applied in all areas of life, even in people’s hobbies, like music. Through digital audio players, people can enjoy and have fun wherever they want to do.