A Few Alternative Files to MP3 for your Digital Music

When most people think of music playback, at least on portable devices, they think of mp3. The interesting thing about it, however, is that many people have absolutely no idea what an mp3 actually is! It is in fact a file format, but what does it stand for?

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The Backstory on Mp3

Mp3 is a format designed by the Moving Picture Experts Group(MPEG) and started with the MPEG-2 format. Later, it would expand into MPEG-1 Part 3 which would include audio layer 1, 2, and of course, 3. This format, known as Mp3, would go on to become one of the most popular and compatible formats on the market, but it is by no means the only one. Let’s take a look at a few other popular ones.

cd-158817_640mp3PRO: This is a proprietary codec which is able to combine the Mp3 audio format with SBR, or spectral band repication. The idea behind this format is to reduce the size of a stereo Mp3 by 50% while still maintaining both the integrity and the quality of the original file.

AAC: Also known as Advanced Audio Coding, AAC is another lossy format(meaning it does not maintain the full integrity of the original file) and it was designed to succeed the MP3 format. It is a common format, though it has not quite usurped the mp3 as of yet. AAC is standardized by ISO and IEC, and is a part of the MPEG-2/MPEG-4 specifications.

MP4: Much like the Mp3, this format is able to store forms of data other than audio. The Mp4 can easily store audio, video, and even still images. Additionally, just like any other format, it allows for streaming over the internet. Finally, most Mp3 players will easily support this format.

MP2: The MPGEG Layer 2 format is a great audio container, however it is dwarfed by the popularity of the Mp3, at least as far as the internet is concerned. The Mp2, however, is considered to be the preferred method for audio broadcasting.

FLAC: The Free Lossless Audio Codec is, as the name suggests, a lossless codec, meaning the full integrity of the audio file is kept intact. In addition to that, the audio can be compressed to 60% of its original size.

These are a few of the more common alternatives to the Mp3 format. There are of course other formats out there that you might consider taking advantage of, and soon enough the MP3 format might actually be phased out completely. It is difficult to say when that will be, but these alternatives, particularly AAC and Mp4 are serving as a gateway to the future. change is difficult, but sometimes it is for the better, especially if the size of the Mp3 can be decreased significantly during the next few years. As luck would have it, more devices are being outfitted with compatibility for different formats, giving you full reign to choose the format that you want in the future.

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Portable DVD Player Buying Guides

If you happen to be looking for a new portable DVD player, you are likely going to want to be sure that you find the best one for your money. In order to find the best one, you will need to be sure that you look at different features and benefits of each device to make the right decision. Below we will discuss some of the top things to look for when trying to purchase a portable DVD player.

portable dvd player
Portable DVD Player

 

What To Look For:

1. Compatibility.

The very first thing that you are going to need to look for is whether or not the portable player is going to be able to play all of your DVD’s. A lot of portable players only play certain DVD’s or certain formats. For example, if you burn your own DVD’s, you will want to be sure that it is going to be able to play them. Otherwise, your library might not even be compatible with the player.

2. Portability.

Headrest DVD Player
Headrest DVD Player

 

Obviously, if you are looking for a portable player, you are likely going to value portability over a lot of other features. Therefore, it is important that you look at the overall portability of the player and determine whether or not it is portable enough for your needs. Depending on how big it is and what shape it is, you might find certain players to be more portable than others.

3. Price.

Another thing that you are likely going to want to factor into your decision is the price. The price will likely play a critical role in determining which product you should purchase because your goal should be to purchase the best quality player for the money. You will want to purchase a product with the best value proposition depending on your specific needs. Never purchase a product solely based on the price. However, it should come into the equation at some point.

4. Features.

The next thing that you should consider before making a purchasing decision is what type of features it offers. Is the player able to connect with your television or computer monitor? Is it able to connect to your cell phone? Is it able to connect to a projector to display the image on a wall? These are the features that you are going to want to be sure that you look for. If you see a player with the features that you want in a product, you might edge that product over the others.

5. Warranty.

The warranty should always be considered when purchasing an electronic. It is important to consider the warranty because it is going to determine how difficult of a time you have replacing your device should it stop working for some reason. It is always better to be protected by a manufacturers warranty in case something goes wrong.

As you can see, there is plenty to consider when you are trying to find the best possible portable player to purchase on the market.

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The Best Streaming Video Service For Your Home

If you enjoy watching movies, you are likely loving the amount of options that you now have on the market for streaming video. There are tons of new streaming video services that are available for use at home. Below we will discuss the best streaming video services for your home.

Best Streaming Services:

1. Netflix.

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In large, Netflix is the undisputed leader when it comes to at home video streaming. They have the most amount of subscribers and they are easily the best available. They have the most content that you can watch directly through their website or mobile application. Most Internet streaming devices can play Netflix and there is a dedicated application for most Internet streaming devices, as well. You can stream Netflix via their own dedicated application through the following devices; Apple TV, Roku, Nexus Player, Playstation 4, Xbox One, etc.

2. Vudu.

Vudu

Vudu is another excellent service that has been gaining in popularity. This is actually a service that is being offered/powered by Walmart. Therefore, it can be linked to your Walmart account. This means that any movie/video that you purchase from Walmart that offers a digital download will automatically be placed into your account without having to do anything. This is a great service for those that like to rent and purchase movies. Unlike Netflix, this service does not offer unlimited viewing of content. Instead, you can simply rent or purchase a movie and watch it individually. This is a great option for those that want the traditional ‘rent a movie’ experience without the high price and inconvenience of having to go out to get it.

3. Hulu.

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Hulu is another video streaming service that a lot of people have begun using. Hulu mainly relies on television shows and things of that nature. However, they have been adding more movies as of late. If you are into watching television, you are going to want to check out Hulu because it tends to offer some great selection. You should be able to find everything that is on network television. The one downside of this service is that it does have commercials. This is true even for the paid subscription version.

4. Amazon Prime Instant Video.

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This is another Netflix competitor. Believe it or not, but Amazon Prime Instant Video has been making a ton of progress as of late. They recently inked a deal with HBO to be able to offer a lot of their original series to Amazon Prime subscribers at no additional cost. This means that users of this service have access to incredibly popular HBO series including; The Wire, OZ, The Sopranos, and more.

As you can see, it has never been a better time to be a consumer if you are interested in steaming video at your home. You are now able to watch a ton of content using a variety of different services. They each have their own pro’s and con’s. The bottom line is, you are going to have a wonderful selection to choose from regardless of which service you choose to go with.

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