(store link not recorded)
Back when it was a thing, I had a CD player which could play MP3s.
This unit is entirely out of date now, but the assurance of quality which would be created with this one may well carry forward to their newer models. Be assured that my opinion of both the brand and the reseller is still poor.
- Replaced by the We Wa Concertmaster II 256MB MP3 Player.
This was my first portable music player.
I got mine at easybuy2000.com, but they don't appear to sell mp3 players anymore. Good fucking riddance.
Feature Set ∞
- Available in Canada
- Available online
- Available COD
- Plays audio CDs
- Plays MP3s at up to 196
- Plays CD-R and CD-RW disks
- Handles long filenames
- Handles directories
- Built-in NiMH charger
- Uses 2x AA batteries
- Has a line-out
- Comes with headphones
Voice recording feature
The Good ∞
- Plays mp3s
- Doesn't have an obnoxiously long "boot time" like other devices I've heard of.
- Good volume output. Some people complain about devices not giving enough power. I hope they go deaf (or even more so). I want low volume, quality, sound.
- Uses CD-RW disks
- Extremely inexpensive (unless you have to return it again and again and end up paying the shipping costs).
- Easy to get delivered, simple ordering procedure, simple reception procedure.. good for the lazy.
- 196 is a fantastic filesize-to-quality ratio
- The line out has great sound quality.
- Built-in recharger, and it'll shut itself down when it's done charging.
Status symbol for the confidence-challenged.
The Useless ∞
Voice recording feature. What the hell is this for anyways? The unit doesn't come with a built-in mic, and wouldn't this recording feature eat up the anti-shock memory?
The Bad ∞
- No belt clip . I didn't think this would be a problem at first.. but it seems to be one. It would have been nice to have.
- It's a common piece of electronics. If you drop it.. it's dead.. Jim.
- Does not come with batteries (although I really don't think it should, unless it's a really sweet battery pack.)
- Beeps when the battery is low of when 'hold' is on and a button is pushed.
- The buttons are cheap. I don't think they'd ever break, but they're kinda annoying.
- The buttons are poorly labelled and poorly placed. I had no trouble with them at all, but they're not particularly intuitive for commoners.
- The display does not show the file names, or MP3 file info.
- The display is not backlit.
- The display is inset and is difficult to read because of the shadow of the case.
- The headphone-out is static ridden -- very annoying during moments of silence in songs or when the volume is low. The line-out has perfect quality at a good volume (a bit loud in my opinion) though, and is a good alternative. I'm not into electronics enough to understand this stuff, but I can plug my headphones in that jack instead.. so why are there two jacks?
- The unit will randomly hiccup on a song even if it is unmoving.
- Will sometimes play the first 5-7 seconds of a song, then start over from the beginning. Is this a bug in the pre-cache?
- The cache doesn't find the next song and pre-cache it. So the unit is very vulnerable to skipping at the beginning of a new song.
- Poor anti-shock, will not usually properly play if tilted. I lucked out with a certain jacket setup that can hold the unit in a position where I can walk and it won't skip.
- The manual is pathetic. They must have run it through https://www.babelfish.com/. I would have offered to translate / rewrite the manual myself if I had more confidence in the quality of the unit.
- Does not play VBR mp3s. I'm not sure if I've ever seen one, but it sounds like a cool feature for the future.
- Not upgradable (firmware updates or chip replacements are not an option)
Will play only up to 196. In my experience, that's good quality, but this limitation sucks.
- Seems to occasionally bug out on some songs. Perhaps those songs are VBR (Variable Bitrate).
- Doesn't appear to properly recharge batteries. I normally get all of (yay) 2 hours of life out of rechargeables, but I got under 1 when the batteries were charged in the unit. The unit must have improperly shut itself down during the recharge process.
- Cannot play while recharging batteries (I've heard that the unit would cook itself, and the manual and battery case specifically warn against the action).
- Ridiculously long delivery delays to get the unit..
- 5 sad equalizer settings. They all suck. Not even one has the common "happyface" equalizer setting.
- Poor quality headphones.
- The unit appears to eat batteries for breakfast when playing MP3s. The lifespan guess provided is probably for audio CDs using some sort of high-tech fission-powered batteries. (not that I wouldn't expect the makers or sellers to blatantly lie about battery life). Nobody in their right mind uses a single-use battery.. why is the lifepsan given only for them?
When changing play modes, the first should be ALL (as it is now), the second should then be RANDOM.. I hate the all/intro/one/rand/dir/dirprog setup. Furthermore, it's annoying to have the song aborted and shuffled about when changing play modes.
How It Could Be Improved ∞
- Belt Clip
- Include a wicked battery pack which fits in the same space as the 2x AA batteries but is a better quality than a pair of rechargeables. (wishful thinking and honestly I'd rather have an inexpensive unit without the batteries.)
- Don't include headphones with the unit, seeing as you won't be able to put in good headphones, and crappy headphones are available at corner stores (lower the cost).
- Don't include internal recharging (lower the cost, improve the unit lifespan and remove the likelihood of improper recharging destroying the unit -- like recharging while playing with batteries in...) Don't remove the AC adapter function.. although it would be kind of insane, to remove the adapter it would reduce shipping costs by reducing weight..
- Don't include a line-out (isn't it redundant anyway?, lower the cost)
- Improve the sound quality of the headphone-out!
- Reposition and relabel the buttons.
- Improve the anti shock (physically, not just with "memory".. ugh). I want to be able to walk with the unit in any position.
- Redesign the unit, to have the buttons firmly set in the base of the unit.. it's pathetic to have the buttons act as a pass-through through the lid to get at the real buttons under the lid. Consider shaping buttons differently or backlighting them. The common arrows/triangles and circle/square symbols would be useful to have embossed on the buttons.
- Remove all beeping for any reason. You may as well have audible AOL ads.. it's just as offensive.
- Backlight the LCD unit, make it 4x larger, capable of displaying the filenames and internal MP3 file info. Include a screen powerdown when it's not being used.
- Give it support for playlists.. even if it's support for it's own playlist format (include computer-side convertors from the common formats to the proprietary one).
- Give more information about the amount of battery life remaining.
- Remove the memo recording function. It's stupid. Very stupid.
- Some people find the unit ugly. Umm.. I really don't give a damn. Provide it in six different pastel colours for all I care. No wait.. don't.
- Put the headphone jack / volume control knob on the extreme front near the display panel and buttons. I think it would be more convenient for some. Having it on the side is a bit annoying at times (putting it in a pocket is a bit tedious).
After getting a mismatched power supply which was probably what fried the first unit, I received an underpowered power supply (after another long wait) which won't charge and won't play. Bright.
This is a neat toy. It is not reliable enough to be a stereo component, and is not of a high enough quality to be a serious portable player. It is quite short of being "just good enough". Although some would say that the problems (low volume static, the occasional hiccup, mechanical skipping) are easy to put up with, ultimately what ruins the product for me is the fact that it cannot work consistently without skipping for no reason. Furthermore, I really despise the fact that it does not have quality low-volume sound. Lastly, what kills it is having to return the original unit I was shipped, then being sent a replacement after an overly long wait which came with ANOTHER faulty AC adapter. That ticks me off.
Also, if you don't have experience with carrying around a CD player, it's a strange experience. Believe it or not, you can walk with it, but the unit has to be in a certain position to not skip horribly. Putting it in a breast pocket would assure horrible skipping.. a side pocket in a jacket would work under some circumstances if you're lucky.
If the unit were of a more solid make, and didn't have the horrible random skipping problems, it would make for an excellent (but dwarfed) stereo component.
The unit does what it says it does.. but barely. It will impress your friends.. for a while.
Serious competition for this unit would have better battery life, be able to handle higher quality variable bitrate MP3s and would not hiccup. If all else stayed the same, I would easily pay 50% more for assurance of those features.
As it would turn out, this device had a serious problem with either overheating or being generally cheap. I jumped through hoops for over a year to get one replacement, and then to finally peruse a refund. EasyBuy2000 decided to send ANOTHER replacement after promising a refund, and I had to doggedly chase after justice through the Better Business Bureau. Even though these guys promised to refund me the shipping costs to return their third screwed up unit, they never did.
You get what you pay for. This unit was cheap, this company was cheap.