Siyum in honor of Rav Grossman Thursday April 19, 2018
4 Iyyar 5778
Today's Daf is Zevachim 6
115 days left until we start Menachos
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MP3 Players

last updated 5/27/08

There are several options for taking the mp3 files with you instead of having to listen at your computer. There are 3 types of mp3 players which you can use, ranging in capacity from 512 MB to about 300 GB. All of them can play through a set of headphones or earbuds, and all can be adapted to play through your car's audio system player.

The one unusual requirement for any mp3 player to play the daf yomi mp3 files is that they must support the low encoding rate of 16 kbps. Below are some examples of players that are known to play the files. If you know of any others that you've tested and know work with the 16 kbps mp3 files on this site, please let me know.

Flash drive MP3 Players

There are many brands out there. You can get a 1 GB player for about $30 and a 2 GB for $50. The cheaper of these players have either very small screens or no screen at all which can make navigating the 5,000+ dafyomi files rather cumbersome. The largest of these players are about 16 GB, have nice screens which make navigation easier, and cost from $180-$300. All of shas takes up about 12 GB, so only the largest ones can hold it all at one time. But this is the way all mobile devices are going (including the iphone), and flash drives, also called solid state drives, have already begun to replace hard drives because they are much denser, way more shock resistant, faster and consume less energy. The hard drive will be toast in a few years.

Hard Drive MP3 Players

These are portable battery operated hard drives which have an MP3 player built in. They can hold up to hundreds of GB these days, and as above, you only need about 12 GB for shas. They cost about $100-$300. But as mentioned above, they are fading from use in favor of flash drive based players.

CD/DVD MP3 Players

These players allow you play CDs that you have written from your computer, provided you have a CD writer. A CD holds about 650 MB. I imagine most DVD players will play MP3 audio, you have to check. If you find one, you can store about 4.5 GB on one disk. These players cost $50 - $100, and the media are under a dollar a disk. Of course you would need a DVD writer as well on your computer. These are also fading from use in favor of flash drive based players.

Features to consider

  • Support for 16 kbps - The files on this site were encoded at a very low bandwidth to allow talmidim with low bandwidth internet access to listen online, and make downloads faster. Since these are voice recordings, they can tolerate such a low bandwidth, whereas music recordings would be severely degraded. As such, some mp3 players are not designed to play such low bandwidth files. Be sure to check this before you buy.
  • Memory - how much memory capacity do they have, and how much does it cost to add more? Figure 8 MB per hour of daf yomi from this site. All of shas is about 12 GB.
  • Car audio and power adapters - if taking it in the car is important to you, you will need a car cigarette lighter adapter in order to charge it and/or power it in the car. There are 3 basic ways to play audio through your car speakers.
    1. Newer car radios have simple audio in jack to allow you to plug in any standard 1/8 inch audio cable, such as those used for headphones. This is the simplest and most standard way for audio in general, but is new for car audio systems.
    2. There are cassette adapters that cost about $10 - $20 that will plug into the audio cassette slot of your car radio, provided it has one. If all you have is a CD player, then all you can use are CDs (and only if it plays MP3 CDs), but you can't use the CD slot to plug in an adapter to connect a flash drive or hard drive MP3 player.
    3. There are adapters that plug into the cigarette lighter and use the power to not only charge your player, but also broadcast the audio signal on any of several settings. You pick one which has a weak signal in your area, and that's frequency it uses to broadcast to your car stereo. It's a great idea because it requires no physical adapter to the car audio system, but in practice these devices are often subject to a lot of interference from not only radio stations that you may be passing by on your trip, but also power lines. The ones I have tried have had lots of annoying static too often during the trip.
  • Battery life - how long can you listen in between charges? Can you leave it plugged in to your cigarette lighter to power it during play, or do you have do charge it only when you are not using it?
  • Bookmark - will it keep track of where you stopped listening last? The ipod and most others will do this.