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Portable Music Players: Your Favourite Tunes, Anywhere

“Just press play.” A few decades ago those three little words changed everything. From boomboxes to CD players to MP3 players, the ability to take your favourite music with you anywhere and everywhere was a day-to-day game-changer. Suddenly, life had a soundtrack, and it was playing all your favourite songs.  

Whether you’re commuting to work on the train, flying halfway around the world on vacation, or crushing your personal best on the treadmill, being able to listen to your favourite tunes anytime you want can turn an ordinary day into a toe-tapping dance party.

Portable Music Players vs. Smartphones

Think the invention of the smartphone killed portable music players? Think again. For starters, playing music, podcasts, and audiobooks on an iPod or other portable music player means you’re not draining your smartphone’s battery faster than you can say “Hey, does anyone have a phone charger I can borrow?”

You’ll also save lots of storage room on your smartphone by keeping your audio stored on a separate device. That way your phone can store more apps, photos, and videos (and spend less time doing file management on your smartphone).

Types of Portable Music Players

Which mp3 player is for you? Not sure which one to get? Here’s a quick breakdown of each type to get you started on your search.

Apple iPod

Still the undisputed king of portable audio, the Apple iPod comes in several different sizes, colours, and capacities. If you already have a large iTunes library, an iPod is the most convenient way to take that library with you wherever your travels take you.

MP3 Players

Compact and lightweight, MP3 players are great for anyone with a large library of MP3 audio files. But that’s not all. Modern MP3 players are far nimbler than the MP3 players you might remember from yesteryear, offering features like built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and support for high-resolution audio.

Portable CD Players

If you packed up your old CD collection years ago (just like everyone else) it could be time to dig back in and rediscover the albums and tracks that were once the soundtrack of your life. Plus, there’s something magical about picking out a specific album, popping it in a CD player, and playing it track-by-track.  


When you need to turn the volume all the way up and get the beach party, block party, or backyard party started look no further than the almighty boombox. Sure, you can connect some MP3 players and iPods to portable speakers, but boomboxes pack the kind of power that puts other portable speakers to shame.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Portable Music Player

First and foremost, consider the format of the audio you want to listen to. Does your music library mostly exist in iTunes, in MP3 files, or on CD? Unless you’re interested in spending countless hours converting files and ripping CD tracks, your best option is to choose a portable music player that can play your specific library right away. 

Storage capacity is another key consideration. There’s no industry standard for how many songs can fit on a specific size device, since that depends on song length and file quality. But if you already have a large digital music library you should be able to assess the size of that library. If you want to take all those songs with you while you’re out and about, make sure you get a portable music player with enough storage space.