Sunday, February 01, 2009

MP5 player -- what is it?

On the other day, I was surprised to see some items in ebay named 'MP5 players'. Just like anyone else would, I really thought it would play MP5 format -- I was also feeling bad that I had no idea about the all new MP5 format. So did some search to find out what's new in MP5 than MP4 and here it is.

There is no such encoding standard as MP5. But Chinese players are available which claim to be a player for an encoding (MP5) that does not exist -- it seems that the only reasoning behind this is ignorance. Had they understood MP3 and MP4, maybe they would have named this better. There is no clear explanation as to why this was named MP5 except for that fact that they wanted to convey that these new players are better than the older MP4 players and the name should be easy to remember and should convey the meaning by itself.

The new so-called MP5 players play a wide variety of formats specially video, including MP4, MPEG, AVI, RMVB, FLV, WMV etc., Some webpage claimed that RMVB (RealMedia Variable Bit-rate) encoding is the so-called MP5 -- but I don't think so.

To keep this Chinese nomenclature simple, MP3 players play audio files, MP4 players play audio and video files, MP5 players play audio and more video files. I've personally seen MP4 players that can play some video but not even MP4 -- so forget about what it means to be an MP5 player. The best way to analyze the players is probably by going through the formats supported (if at all you believe the list is correct), because not all MP5 players are same except for the fact that they can't play MP5.

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