An umbrella term for a variety of handheld devices that play back audio, video or both. The device may also serve as a portable photo album for still images such as GIFs and JPEGs. The term "media player" without the "portable" typically refers to software (see media player), but may refer to the hardware devices mentioned here.|
Flash Memory and Hard Disk (MP3 and MP4)
Audio-only MP3 players, which use flash memory (solid state) or hard disk for storage, are the most popular portable media devices. In addition to MP3, they typically support one or more other audio formats such as WMA and AAC. See digital music player.
An "MP4 player" or "video MP3 player" refers to a combination audio/video device such as the full-size iPod or a Portable Media Center device, which is bigger and has a larger screen. See iPod and Portable Media Center.
Optical Disc and Tape Cassette
Widely used by passengers in planes, trains and cars, handheld DVD players also fall into the portable media player category. The term is sufficiently generic to embrace CD and tape cassette players as well. See portable DVD player and direct media access.
Launched in 2009, the ARCHOS Internet Tablet is a portable, Android-based multimedia entertainment center that supports every major audio and video format along with GPS, e-mail, Web browsing, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Weighing in at 10 ounces for the 5" screen model, ARCHOS (pronounced "ar-kos") runs all Android applications. See