Portable media players review and compare

We test the latest MP3, MP4 and video players to tell you the best buys.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 
  • Updated:12 Nov 2008
 

04.What to look for

Rechargeable battery

All the media players have a built-in rechargeable (Li-ion or Li-polymer) battery pack that you can recharge from your computer’s USB port or from an AC adaptor. Batteries generally charge faster from an AC adaptor than from a USB port. The Results table lists which players can still be used while they’re recharging.

Fast forward

You may want to fast forward or rewind through some of your media files, especially videos. All the media players on test have this ability.

Larger screens

These are useful if you’ve got lots of music files to organise, or want to store and view photos and video. If you want to use them to watch movies or display your photos then the largest models are likely to be more useful.

Storage capacity

Video files tend to take up more space than music files, so look for more capacity if you plan on storing a lot of video files on your portable media player.

  • 4GB is not enough for one DVD
  • 8GB is enough for at least one DVD
  • 16GB is enough for multiple DVDs

File types supported

If you want to use your player for things other than listening to music, check whether it supports the relevant file types. The most common file format for photos is JPG; for video, it’s MP4 and of course they will all play an MP3 music file.

 

Sign up to our free
e-Newsletter

Receive FREE email updates of our latest tests, consumer news and CHOICE marketing promotions.

 
Brand/model Audio Image Video
Media Players
Sony NWZA728B
AAC-LC, MP3, WAV, WMA
JPG
MP4
Sony NWZA826KB
AAC-LC, MP3, WAV, WMA
JPG
MP4
Sony NWZA729B
AAC-LC, MP3, WAV, WMA
JPG
MP4
Sandisk Sansa Fuze
AAC, Audible, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG
JPG
AVI, MP4
Apple iTouch
AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible, Apple Lossless, WAV, and AIFF
BMP, GIF, JPEG, PSD, PNG and TIFF
M4V, MP4, MOV
Creative Zen X-Fi
AAC (.m4a), Audible 4, MP3, WAV, WMA
JPG
MPEG4-SP, MJPEG, WMV9, DivX 4/5 and XviD
Creative Zen X-Fi
AAC (.m4a), Audible 4, MP3, WAV, WMA
JPG
MPEG4-SP, MJPEG, WMV9, DivX 4/5 and XviD
Creative Zen
AAC (.m4a), Audible 4, MP3, WAV, WMA
JPG
MPEG4-SP, MJPEG, WMV9, DivX 4/5 and XviD
Sandisk Sansa View
AAC, Audible, MP3, WAV, WMA
JPG
ASF, AVI, MP4, WMV
Samsung YP-S3A
MP3, WMA
JPG
SVI
Philips SA5245BT
AAC, MP3, WMA
BMP, GIF, JPG
MPEG4-SP, WMV9
Cowon iAudio A3
MP3/2/1, WMA, ASF, FLAC, OGG, M4A, MKA, TTA, APE,
BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, RAW, TIF
AVI, WMV, ASF, MP4, MKV, MPG/MPEG, VOB, DAT, MTV
Lenoxx MP37100
MP3, WMA
BMP, JPG
AVI
Next G phones
Apple iPhone
AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible, Apple Lossless, WAV, and AIFF
GIF, JPEG, TIFF
M4V, MP4, MOV
HTC Touch Diamond
AAC, AMR, EVRC, MIDI, MPEG4 audio, MP3, QCELP, WAV, WMA
BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG
ASF, AVI, MP4, WMV, 3gp, 3g2
Nokia N95
AAC, MP3, WMA
JPG
MP4, RealMedia, 3gp