Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
on 3 February 2012
Since my only experience of mp3 players was from way back when, when the things were a novelty, I was pleasantly amazed when this popped through my letter box. Impressed doesn't even come close to describing it! And it is so diddy. For something that packs such a wallop it is amazingly minute. It is smaller than, and almost the same colour as the Complimints sweet mints tin, retailed by a popular high street German discount supermarket, that provides ideal protection when not in use and stuffed into a pocket or what-have-you. It would even look small, almost, in a 2-years-old's hand. Though a 2-year-old would never be able to remove it from its packaging!
The first thing I did, having recovered from the trials and tribulations of unpacking it, and enthusing over its size and sturdiness, was connect to sandisk.com, using the minuscule (c 8") usb cable that came with it, and update the software. Plug and play as easy as pie. Paying attention to the reviews I had read I selected the 'rest of the world' for better sound options when given it during set-up. (Once set-up is complete there should be no reason to return to it so the fact that it never returns is not an issue to operation so too fiddly my foot!)
Then I installed the extended memory I had bought to go with it and uploaded a weeks worth of audio books, plays and music tracks, plugged in my headphones (I didn't bother with the earbuds so cannot comment on them) and was swept away by the quality of playback.
Switching to radio I wasn't quite as impressive but I do live in a poor reception area so can't really blame the zip for that, after all the radio is an added bonus anyway. As is being able to record a program.
The microphone for the voice recorder is another amazement. In keeping with the minusculity of the unit as a whole, the hole can hardly be seen yet the quality of recording, even at arm's length, belies the truth.
The menus are fairly simple and easy to work through, with options for 'music', 'radio', 'books', 'voice' 'card (the external memory)', 'sport (the timer)' and 'settings'. To get the option to add a song to the golist just press the down arrow whilst the song is playing to call up the music options, then hit the enter button to store or remove. Well that should be how it works anyway though, for some reason, when I have been looking at the podcast contents stored under 'books' it always returns to this menu instead of the music options - haven't worked out if this is a software or behavioural issue yet.
I was perturbed that the on/off button had to be held down for a long time before it started up but have since discovered that it only requires a short press and a little patience before the logo appears as if by magic.
Complaints: I bought this for its advertised capacity to play .aac files since I have a lot of these but could only play them via my pc without going through the process of converting them first. Imagine then my disappointment, having expectantly loaded them all onto my wonderful new little toy, to discover that they were not recognised never mind played. Not a one of them. Oh, I found a solution to the problem easily enough, simply opened up a dos window and renamed them all to .m4a at one fell swoop but that isn't the point. I was under the impression that I could do a straight copy and felt terribly let down on discovering that life is just never that simple. Hence the four instead of five star rating.
Like one of the other reviewers I have also experienced the occasional bit of stuttering in reproduction but not enough to actually contemplate converting the files. Plus I'm not sure if the stuttering is indication of an inherent fault in the file since it always happens at the same point in replay - a bit like having a scratch on a vinyl record.
There is no rewind or fast forward option. Fair enough when listening to 2-3 minutes of song track but having to repeat the first 25 minutes of a chapter to catch the final 3 sentences of a book because the battery went flat goes beyond the pale!
When plugged into the pc, playback switches off so it is not possible to listen to one tune whilst uploading another or topping up the battery. And there is no warning to running out of power if you don't pay attention to the battery icon - and since the screen goes blank during playback that is easy not to do.
There seems an issue handling folders on the extended memory, for some so far unfathomable reason some but not all being renamed as 'unknown' so that isn't very helpful to organisation. And, for some reason, it lists some files outwith the folder in the top menu but not others. Maybe that is a fault, maybe it is just that I am not used to the player's foibles yet.
There is no option to rename saved radio stations rather than having to sort through a list of obscure frequencies. Having said that, being able to store the stations in the first place saves a lot of searching in future.
It also doesn't put the kettle on nor do the washing up - but then you can't have everything :-)
Complaints aside, this is wonderful piece of kit and for what you get at the price they're asking I would forgive it an awful lot more before falling out with it.