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MP3 Player Basics

Wondering what you need in a digital media player? This page helps to answer some of the most commonly asked questions.

What is the difference between an iPod and an MP3 player?

iPod is the brand name of MP3 players manufactured by Apple®. Each iPod has different functionality and storage capacities. The current iPod models are:

There are several other brands of MP3 players, including:

The main difference between iPod and other brands is that the default digital music software used to put music onto the iPod is the Apple iTunes® store, while other MP3 players can use different music management software, such as Napster or the Zune Marketplace. It is possible to buy music from any service and transfer it to any player.

8GB, 16GB, etc. — how much storage capacity do I need?

MP3 players come in storage capacities ranging from music-only 2GB players to 500GB music and movie players with Wi-Fi capability.

Storage Capacity*

  • 2GB stores up to 500 songs
  • 4GB stores up to 1,000 songs
  • 8GB stores up to 2,000 songs or up to 8 hours of video
  • 16GB stores up to 4,000 songs or up to 16 hours of video
  • 32GB stores up to 7,000 songs or up to 40 hours of video
  • 64GB stores up to 14,000 songs or up to 80 hours of video
  • 160GB stores up to 40,000 songs or up to 200 hours of video
  • 500GB stores up to 148,000 songs or up to 400 hours of video

   *The actual formatted capacity will vary based on file size and format, settings, features, software and other factors.

Which player has the best audio quality?

Most iPods and MP3 players have the same level of audio quality. Each player comes with earbuds or headphones, but you could get an enhanced audio experience by upgrading your headphones.

You can also get a better sound by connecting your player to an iPod/MP3 player speaker system.

Speaker Systems Most speaker systems dock and charge iPod models only. However, if you have an auxiliary cable, you can play music through the speakers from any MP3 player.

If you will be playing a non-Apple MP3 player on your speakers, check to make sure your system comes with an auxiliary cable. If you need an auxiliary cable, shop this selection.

What is the warranty or return policy for my player?

Geek Squad Black Tie Protection Most iPods or other MP3 players come with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor. Refer to the specifications tab on the product page for specific warranty terms. You can get even more protection by purchasing a Best Buy Protection Plan . Choose the service plan you want on the individual product page.

See the Best Buy Return Policy for return information.

Which accessories do I need?

At Home
At home
Share your music throughout the room with a speaker system or wake up to your own playlist with a clock radio. Plus, you'll want to keep your player powered up with a wall charger.

In The Car
In the car
There are a few options to choose from to play your iPod or other MP3 player through your car stereo. See car connections for more information. Plus, charge your player on the road with a car charger.

On The Go
On the go
For working out or just stepping out, you'll want an extra set of headphones, a protective case or portable speakers.

What if I have problems with my player?

From computer connectivity issues, to software updates and battery issues — give these troubleshooting tips a try if you're having problems with your MP3 player.

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