It wasn't too long ago that we got our mitts on Napster's 1GB promotional player
, and now the folks over at CNET have spent a bit of time with it to determine whether it's worth the commitment. The DMPJ-250c is a different beast than your off-the-shelf DAPs in that you can't purchase this one without some serious strings attached -- apparently Napster was tired of bundling services with iRiver
products, and decided to kick the middleman to curb and get into the hardware game themselves. (Sound familiar
?) The good news was the player will only set you back $50, but the bad news is, of course, you'll be required to buy into a one-year Napster To Go plan at $179.40/year -- which should be no surprise
to anyone paying attention. CNET found the unit to be surprisingly light and "pocketable," somewhat resembling a downsized nano with a bigger, brighter, and color-infused screen. No major complaints were made about the menu and button layout, and they seemed into its JPEG and AVI / MPEG-4 clip playback. On the flipside, however, they found the packaged earbuds to be nothing shy of worthless and the screen too small for comfortable video viewing. Further criticisms came for a lack of audio detail and range (even with decent 'buds) compared to similar units, and the dearth of features save for the the "adequate" FM tuner. CNET did award the DMPJ-250c an above average mark, however, citing it a good value at $50, but didn't hesitate to point out the overall quality suffered compared to competing units, and that this player presents little worth to anyone not completely interested in utilizing Napster To Go
for a year -- for obvious reason.