Technology In Todays Society

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					                   The Affordances of the Flash-based MP3
                                 By Pete Santis
       Most people in today’s society are always looking for technologies
and devices that will make their lives easier. In the realm of audio-based
media technologies, people are looking for the device that provides the
best sound quality, is the least burdensome, and functions without
failure. Currently, the devices known as MP3 players are dominating the
market because, as a whole, they provide what society is looking for.
There are many different models of MP3, and each one has its own
affordances. For example, the Hard-drive based model is the most
popular MP3 because of its ability to hold thousands of songs. However,
the flash based MP3 has more practical affordances that go above and
beyond those granted by the hard drive model.
       Moving parts refers to any kind of generator or hard drive or device
that needs to spin or move in any way. A device that does not have
moving parts will require less power than one with moving parts. This is
due to the fact that any mechanical motion requires energy, so no
required motion means: no required power for motion. The tradeoff with
this increase in battery life is a smaller memory capacity, due to the
limitations of current technology. However, devices that depend on
moving parts can only properly function if those parts are moving
consistently; any sudden change to the spin of those parts, caused by
significant physical motion, will result in fluctuations in the device’s
overall performance. For MP3s with moving parts, this means that any
physical jostling will cause the music to skip.
       A flash-based MP3 is the model type that has no moving parts.
Sources state that it is the smallest MP3 available, doesn’t skip when
jostled, and, generally, has the longest battery life. Hard drive-based
MP3s have moving parts. It is reported to have the largest memory
capacity, an internalized rechargeable, and irreplaceable, battery, and to
be the largest MP3. Hard drive model MP3s are also the ones most
advertised on television, like the iPods.
       Without moving parts, the Flash-based model is the most
beneficial of any MP3. It is the least burdensome because of its longer
battery life, replaceable battery, and small size. The same reason that
causes the Flash MP3 to be the least burdensome also makes it able to
function without failing. The technology that allows the Flash-based MP3
to function without moving parts could be put to better use by improving
the energy efficiency of many other electrical devices and, therefore,
reduce energy consumption, minimize damage to the environment, and
save people lots of money.
       Not having moving parts has made the Flash-based model the least
burdensome type of MP3 because of its longer battery life, replaceable
battery, and small size. The Flash-based MP3 model is able to stay small
and can be comfortably carried in someone’s hand; this is because it
does not require a large hard drive. For the same reason, it does not need
its own special, internal power source and can function off of commonly
available batteries. This means that it only takes a quick battery swap for
someone to keep listening to their music. Also, hard drives require a
great deal of power to stay running, and , by not having one, Flash MP3s
are not wasting battery power to maintain a running hard drive. These
affordances make the Flash-based MP3 both easier to handle and
maintain than an MP3 with moving parts, and, because all other MP3
models have moving parts, Flash-based MP3s are, therefore, the least
burdensome type of MP3.
       The flash-based MP3 is able to perform smoothly and continuously
during any physical activity. Experiments with a Hard drive-based MP3
have shown that even very minute jostling caused by walking will cause
the music to skip. As previously mentioned, this is caused by the effect
the movement has on the moving parts within the MP3. If someone were
to go running with such an MP3, the music would skip much more
frequently to the point where the music is no longer pleasurable. This
susceptibility to shock, therefore, makes hard drive, micro hard drive,
and MP3 CD player MP3s unsuitable for people who enjoy listening to
music while doing physical activities. However, Flash-based MP3 models
do not have moving parts. If they do not have moving parts, they must,
therefore, be free from the limitations of moving parts, which they are.
This ‘shockproof operation’, as it is called, allows anyone to do whatever
they physically wish, literally, and still listen to their favorite music at
the same time without causing it to skip. Because it is able to function
during any physical activity where other models fail, the Flash-based
MP3, therefore, has better performing capabilities than any other MP3.
Furthermore, since there are no moving parts to interrupt, the Flash-
based MP3 is the only MP3 able to function without failure.
       Many adherents to the popularized Hard drive-based models are
attracted to it because of its larger memory capacity. It is stated fact by
many product reviews that Hard drive-based MP3 models have the
largest memory capacity. For example, a 60 gigabyte iPod has the
capacity to hold tens of thousands of MP3 songs. However, there is a
question of the necessity for such a storage capacity. It is temporally
impossible to listen to that many songs in a day; forty songs of average
length will play for over 2 hours. Although the Flash-based MP3 is
currently able to hold, at most, a few hundred songs, that is more than
enough to last through a lengthy plane ride, mountain climb, or any
leisurely, traveling, or work-related activity. Its affordance of shock proof
operation will, also, allow it to play music in situations that hard drive
models struggle to perform. There are also continuous advances being
made in memory storage technologies that will eventually make the Flash
MP3’s smaller memory capacity a moot point.
       Supporters of Hard Drive models will claim that the battery life od
a hard drive model is very excellent in itself. This is also true. For
example, a newly purchased iPod, when newly purchased, is able to run
for 14 hours before its internal battery needs to be recharged. This in
itself is a very astounding feat brought by our recent technological
advances. However, the internal battery will run out of power before the
MP3 even plays 300 music files, and it will then have to be recharged for
over two hours. There is also the fact that, like other batteries, the hard
drive MP3’s internal battery will exponentially lose its potential and
expire after only several months of use; the cost of replacing the battery
is greater than buying a new MP3 altogether. It would be so much
simpler for the consumer if hard drive models functioned off of
replaceable, conventional batteries, but they do not and are, therefore,
more burdensome than a flash-based MP3, which can function off of
such resources.
        There is great potential in the technology that allows Flash-based
MP3s to function without moving parts that will benefit the society
economically and environmentally. Such technology, if invested, will lead
to greater energy efficiency, and, as an effect, less energy will be required
to power electronic devices. This being achieved, people in society will no
longer have to spend as much money for their electricity. The same
affordance will decrease our use of polluting energy resources, such as
fossil fuels and batteries, and decrease the levels of resulting green house
gases, acid rain, and other environmental hazards. As a result, the
environment will become much cleaner, which benefits everyone.
Technologies that overly depend on moving parts cost more energy, and
money, to maintain and continually add pollutants that are harmful to
humans, and animals, to the environment. Anyone in our society who
wishes to protect the environment or just save money can invest in this
technology and immediately benefit from its affordances and aid in its
continued research.

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