The earliest known digital audio player was created in 1979. It was created by Kane Kramer, who called it the IXI. The IXI could hold close to 3.5 minutes of playback. However, being incapable of holding a large duration of audio playback, it didn’t come into the market for commercial production. Incidentally, Kramer was hired by technological giant, Apple as a consultant. The first commercially produced digital audio player was introduced by the company, Audio Highway. They called it MP3 player. The MP3 player had some special features which were never seen before. It had an attached attendant system that could be used to download songs from one’s personal computer into the MP3 player. The primary reason for the success behind the MP3 player was the Micronas MAS3507D ASIC MP3 Decoder chip. It was widely used after that because it provided an extra option of saving power. After Audio Highway, many companies entered the digital audio player market. Companies like Sony, Panasonic, Compaq, etc started producing digital audio players. But the biggest of them all was, and still remains, Apple. This was after they introduced the much awaited iPod.
Features of modern digital audio players:
The iPod has the best features amongst all digital audio players. When it was released in the market for the first time, the iPod had a storage capacity ranging from 3GB to 30GB. The higher ranging models came with a video feature. One could carry about 1000 to 10000 songs at a time. All these features made the iPod the most popular gadget amongst the youth. And with time, the iPod progressed to become one of the most useful gadgets in the world. The latest version of the iPod has a storage capacity of a staggering 160GB. This capacity is good enough for storing 40,000 songs, 200 hours of video and 25,000 photos. It also gives 36 hours of battery life. When looked at, these features make people stand up and take notice.
The latest versions of the iPod can play MPEG-4 and QuickTime video formats. They can also play Audible audiobook, Apple Lossless, MP3 and AIFF audio file formats.
Another useful feature of the iPod is that it can be used to play games. There are lots of attractive games that can be played on the iPod. The most popular of them are Asphalt 4, Mini Golf and Zuma.
Apart from the iPod, there are other digital audio players in the market. The other leading companies in the business are Phillips, Panasonic, Sony, Creative, Compaq, etc.