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Coffee, Tea, or MP3? 
 
by Kath Gilliam May 19, 2005

Get With the Program

These players typically use software to manage the music. You will have to install the software and then connect your player in some way, usually through a synchronizing cable that attaches to the device and to your computer through a USB port.

Synchronizing pulls quite a bit of power, so you may also need to have your AC power adapter connected.

In order to get the music from your CDs into your device, you must first convert them to a compatible format and import them to the software's library. Each device's particular software is compatible with several formats of compression. Each format has its own desirable characteristic: high quality, compact size, or broad range of compatibility. MP3s are the most common format, and therefore they are compatible with more devices. If you are sharing music you own between members of your family, for example, it isn't likely you would want to duplicate the import process, which can be pretty time consuming. For this reason, you might choose to put all of your music into the MP3 format. If sharing is not a factor and you are an aficionado, then you might choose the larger, higher quality file compression. Those with fewer songs or smaller amounts of storage would choose smaller and lower quality file compression.

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