Customer Review

176 of 183 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answer to my problems, 3 Feb. 2010
I being 17 years old am constantly short of money. Hence I came up with the idea of getting rid of all my CDs and DVDs and just have raw data on my computer which can be downloaded for free. However, I had a major problem. I had to play everything on my laptop and it doesn't have the best quality picture or sound. I love music and movies. They are both a big part of my life so not having a good unit to experience both was a problem.

When I found the Cylcone micro I thought it wouldn't work. It's so small and how can it play videos when windows xp can't play videos without codecs. I don't know how, but by some sort of wizardry it plays a lot of my files.

I say "a lot" and not "all" because some AVIs cannot be played but this seldom happens. and even if it can't read it, they can be converted quite easily in under 10 minutes to a format it can play.

I have everything media and data related on a Western Digital 500 gb hard drive. Plug in and go.

Some people have been complaining about the remote but I find it ok to use, the only problem being you have to point at the tiny cyclone in the corner and not the TV, no big deal though.

I have heard of it totally formatting other customer's hard drives. I think this might be down to poor choice of hard drive. With something as fragile as an HDD holding 500gb of space it's best to not settle for less. I researched WD and they seem to be one of the biggest companies in external hard drive technology and it hasn't let me down at all, even when using it with the cyclone.

I Love how it can be played through HDMI and AV. HDMI is as you would probably guess, a lot better, but the AV is only a composite at the end of the day. I'm not a quality monger though, I just love movies, I don't care about how good quality it is. To those who do, make sure you own an HD TV. The AV is watchable but not spectacular. The sound is good no matter what! in my house theres an HD TV in the living room which is usually occupied and a regular TV in my room so I have to use AV.

Some people were also complaining about it not being able to recognise sub folders. I thought when I heard this it would be like a PS3 where it would show you how smart it is by being able to find all files without browsing them, and then fail. The cyclone micro for me recognise all my folders. Sure, it is quite windows 95 but once it plays a file you don't care, and it allows you to be creative with your organisation of files.

Also recognises my small Toshiba 40gb external HDD and a 4gb SD card I use for my camera.

Why you should buy this :
Play all movies you have on a USB device,
View pictures and play MP3 and other formatted files,
Never have to trail a cable from computer to TV again,
Aren't movies always better on the sofa than on the office chair?
It's only 20 quid!

Why you shouldn't buy this :
If you are picky about AV quality,
Are not patient enough to convert files when needed to,
If you have a cheapo HDD that won't work well,
The micro can glitch and have to restart if you browse large files to quickly or files far away from each other, (e.g. Play a song by America then immediately follow it up with one from ZZ Top),
the small remote if you have fat hands,
if you are expecting this to be the best viewing experience ever (it is not, but I still love it!)

Alternatives :
Maplin have some DVDs with upscalers built in, they might work a bit better, but doubt they will have HDMI,
Watch movies on your computer and end up destroying your keyboard with your XL Pepsi,
Trail a big cable from computer to TV, and deciding what cable actually works,
Actually buy the movies...

In short, this thing is a great product, if I had bought everything I have ran through this it should have 100s of pounds, but instead for more convenient use it has only costed around £20. I love this product!
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 May 2010 10:49:32 BDT
Mark Wilson says:
Your review seems fair and matches my experience (i.e. great value for the price); however I'm having some issues with MP4s and wondered if you know the limitations (i.e. do they have to be less than a certain length, what container/codecs can be used, etc.). If you're able to get back to me that would be great... I can be contacted via

Cheers, Mark

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Aug 2010 17:59:09 BDT
So, C.Dunn, this "raw data on your computer which can be downloaded for free" has saved you "100s of pounds". Amazing, isn't it, how stealing is always cheaper than paying for stuff. How clever to have found such an economical way of enjoying movies! Won't it be great when everyone decides not to pay, and there are no movies made anymore.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Aug 2010 01:08:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Aug 2010 01:10:38 BDT
Joe says:
Yes, after all, it's only 10 pounds for a bit of plastic. Please Mr Dunn!! Consider the poor movie stars! they might not get their full $3 million paycheck and maybe have to settle for a few hundred thousand. Think of Mrs Jolie, how would she possibly continue assembling a benetton advert for a family without you, the next generation, paying $15 for Alexander.
I think there should be more people like Disapointed Reader in the world, they make it a safer place for movie producers. I can't even think how they would have made Avatar without 500million pounds, all those wonderful aliens that had to be created by computer programmers on a pc...Remember how bad movies such as 2001, Star Wars and Escape from New York were? They cost hardly a dime, and therefore the people who enjoy spending 15 quid to enjoy a night at the movies, chose not to go and see them.
These cheeky 17 year olds, they can't drink, can hardly drive and most are unable to work because of study, how dare they take advantage of a global medium! Quite right that you should ignore the relevence of their post and chide them, he wont sleep tonight now!

Yours sincerely,


In reply to an earlier post on 29 Sep 2010 20:23:59 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Sep 2010 20:26:54 BDT
Well if the movie industry collapses like the music industry he will get plenty of sleep and early nights when movies arent being made as they arent profitable.

Avatar is a terrible example, its not like they made the film on a ZX Spectrum, it takes hundreds of people, my brother in law is in CGI ( Superman/Harry Potter/Kingdom of Heaven to name a few and since then working with Peter Jackson) and even normal movies that utilise it cost a fortune to produce.

Posted on 21 Oct 2010 08:55:53 BDT
G. fryer says:
What a comprehensive review by such a young lad! Please keep on writing them!

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2010 12:51:08 BDT
Joe says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jan 2011 21:52:10 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 9 Jan 2011 21:52:26 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Feb 2011 16:31:50 GMT
P. Bramhall says:
I don't think it's that simple anymore. How many times can we be reasonably expected to pay for music n films just because the industry makes the hardware obsolete. Good examples is music . Bought albums on Lp, then cassette, then CD, then the re-mastered CD's come out, then they talked about releasing albums on DVD with even better sound (not really happened though). We have to keep buying the same media over and over because the playback device is made obsolete by the industry. Even worse is that doing the old "pepsi challenge" recently in a store with LP and CD. LP still sounds better sometimes.
Same with films, VHS then CD, then DVD now Blue Ray
Now we buy a file and have nothing to handle except the playback device.
It's just started with books with ebooks too and computer games with old games being available on current systems.
We can't all afford to keep paying through the nose, for essentially the same things, over and over.

Posted on 9 Feb 2011 16:35:25 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 9 Feb 2011 17:24:55 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Apr 2011 20:48:43 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Apr 2011 20:50:01 BDT
M Harris says:
"Disappointed Reader"

Nobody except you cares, and even if anyone shares your deep moral rage at this stranger, that has NOTHING to do with the product, unlike the review, which was good.

If you'd go back to chastising people for arguing with traffic wardens or not buying their TV license, or whatever other moral condescension you do in your spare time, the signal/noise ratio on Amazon reviews would probably be all the better for it.
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Location: Glasgow, UK

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