sony xplodIntegrating a digital audio player into a car stereo's faceplate seems like a no-brainer. After all, most faceplates are already removable, to foil thieves, and if you take yours out of the car every day already, hooking it up to the PC to load it with files isn't too much extra work. Unfortunately, Sony's first effort in this space, the Xplod MEX-1GP looks like, well, a no-brainer. Though the player supports MP3 and WMA files, it apparently can't handle DRM'd WMA files, limiting its utility if you're using a "To-Go" service (unless you're using Sony's own Connect service). More significantly, with only 1GB of storage space, it offers less storage than you can get by burning your digital files to a couple of CD-Rs. It's a shame that Sony didn't add some more memory — is this really the same company that just rolled out a 5GB CompactFlash card? And at $350, it costs more than many units that let you integrate your audio player directly into your car, like Harman Kardon's Drive + Play. But, hey, Sony fans, at least it supports ATRAC.

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Xplod MEX-1GP faceplate MP3 player