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CD Players

CD Players/Recorders Buying Guide
Despite the popularity of Mp3 players, iPods etc, C...
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CD Players/Recorders Buying Guide

Despite the popularity of Mp3 players, iPods etc, CDs are still the dominant form for the way we listen to our music. They've been around for quite some time, some companies have tried to replace them with other technologies but have failed, let's face it, CDs are here to stay for some time to come.

There are any types of CD players and CD recorders out there on the market today, they range from basic inexpensive models to fully featured, and rather expensive ones from several companies. The fact that many companies are still producing them and even coming out with newer versions just goes to show that CDs aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

There are two basic type of CD players out there Single-Disc and Multi-Disc, they're basically the same thing really, just as their names suggest, one is use for single CDs and the other can hold multiple CDs for you. When it comes to features, usually the basic feature set of both types is the same.

Single disc CD Players though are becoming more of a rarity since most DVD players can play CDs, so most people will opt for the DVD player version to have both abilities in one device.

Built-In Features:

Just like your portable CD player or in-car player, with stand alone CD Players you've got the ability to do quite a few things, but of course the stand alone versions do offer a bit more options to the end user.

Play Intro:
I'm sure everyone knows what this is, it's the ability to play a few seconds of each song on the CD, this is great if you don't know the name of the song you want but know what it sounds like.

This one is self-explanatory, it allows you to repeat a song, but some players allow you to select certain songs to have repeated, if this is an option you use make sure to check to see what kind of repeat the player you want is supported.

Random or Shuffle:
This is also very self-explanatory, hew player will just randomly play songs from the discs or discs inside.

Custom Programming:
This more refers to multiple disc players, but some will let you customize playback with discs or songs.

MP3 Compatibility:
Some CD players will have the ability to play MP3s as well as standard CD audio, but not all. So if you desire this ability make sure it can do it.

Remote Control:
Most all will come with a remote control, but you want to look for one that is easy to use, and has the most often used buttons in an easily accessible place. You'll also want to check to see if the remote supports or controls the features you want it to. Some can also come with a back light as well which is great for when you're playing music in the dark, you won't be fumbling around trying to figure out which button is which.

You can have several types of outputs on CD players, like digital, coaxial, or optical, what you'll specifically need will depend on your existing setup.

Some players will come with inputs as well, and this usually pertains to CD Recorders specifically but CD players can have them too. Just like the outputs, you can find several types of inputs as well.

Headphone Jacks:
Most players will come with at least one headphone jack, but many can come with two so if you wish to share your music make sure the device has more than one jack.

Other Features:
Depending on what you need there are other features you might be interested in like Tempo Change Functions, Pitch Control, Built-in Microphones, External Microphones, Speed Controls, built in Equalizer and many other choices. Of course the more advanced features you need the more you'll most likely end up paying for a product. Most of those features listed are available on high end and professional use units, but sometimes you can find them on lower end units as well.

Some units, especially the multiple CD players can come with keyboard inputs so you can hook up a standard keyboard to it to help you input information about the discs easier. This is a very nice feature that makes inputing information much easier.

CD Recorder Specifics:

CD Recorders will have the same features as CD players normally but there are added things that you can find on them.

Hard Drives:
There are many CD recorders available with integrated hard drives so you can rip your music to it and listen that way, or burn from the hard drive to a CD.

Some recorders have editing features built in, like creating table of contents, titles and projects.

Most recorders will record to CD-Rs, but some will also record and erase CDRWs as well so you can keep using the same CD over and over, as your music tastes or favorites change you can just change the disc to suit your needs. This is a great feature to have, but remember though not all players can read CDRWs, so if this is an appealing option make sure what you want to play you homemade discs on can read CDRWs.

Just like the CD/DVD drive in your computer the speeds of the drives in stand alone CD Recorders will vary by price, model and manufacturer. If speed is something you desire then you'll want to check for the speeds of both CDRs and CDRWs in the specs section of the product.

As with any product the one that you choose will be specific to your own needs, look around and decide what features you need and will use most. While having the ability to hook a keyboard up is nice, if you only use the feature once or twice is it really worth the added cost?

When you're deciding on a product always check out the features and specs to see if it's what you want and need, and one that will work with your existing system.

If possible go and see the unit in person, see how easy it is to use, and how well it is made. Seeing the unit in person isn't always an option so the next best thing is places like TestFreaks that have comments from actual users who own the products, end consumers can tell you a lot about a product and how well it works. Of course check online and even offline in audiophile magazines as well for reviews of products, here you can learn quite a bit, they've usually got many detailed pictures and of course their opinions of the products and how they work.


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