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Chapter 2. Jumping In > MP3 players

MP3 players

Although you can listen to podcasts on your computer, the main thrust of the podcasting movement is to make podcasts portable, allowing them to be played on iPods and other digital music devices, including SmartPhones and PDAs. There are more digital music players, SmartPhones, and PDAs on the market than you can shake a stick at, so I will stick to the top one or two in each category to give you an idea of what is out there and what the feature sets are.

Before I delve into examining various digital music players, however, I need to point out the utter dominance of Apple's iPod. At this writing, the hard-drive-based iPods had more than 80 percent of the market in North America, and with the flash-memory-based iPod shuffles selling like hotcakes, it is reasonable to assume that the flash-based market will fall to Apple as well. Currently, Apple controls more than 65 percent of the total digital music player (MP3 player) market, so I'd be remiss if I didn't focus heavily on these players.


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