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Definition: portable media player

An umbrella term for a variety of handheld devices that play back audio, video or both. Today, every smartphone is a portable media player; however, prior to the smartphone explosion in the 2007-2012 time frame, a variety of handheld players were available to store and play music. Media players may also serve as a portable photo album for images and videos (see digital music player).

The term "media player" without the "portable" may refer to software in a desktop computer (see media player).

Optical Discs and Tape Cassettes
In the past, handheld DVD, CD and tape cassette players fell into the portable media player category (see portable DVD player and direct media access).

The ARCHOS Multimedia Player
In 2009, ARCHOS introduced a line of Android-based tablets supporting high-resolution audio and video formats. See Android. (Image courtesy of ARCHOS, www.archos.com)