We've never had many complaints about Meizu's Mini Player. Sure, it gloms onto a couple iPod design cues, but Meizu really did their own thing with the player, and they've gotten a lot of love for their efforts. CNET's review of the device isn't a total love fest, but they do have some nice things to say -- along with some legitimate criticisms that might keep you from chucking your nano or 5g iPod just yet. For starters, the build seems just right, with the 0.4 inches of thickness giving it a sturdier feel than the nano, and the 2.5-inches of screen taking up as much of the device as you could reasonably expect. The clickable touch strip bulges a bit for a tactile feel to the buttons, but the actual touchpad is a bit too sensitive to reliably stop at your selection. Meizu also mixes up some of the player operation from the traditional iPod/Zen model. For instance, if you hit menu while at the main menu, you jump to the currently playing track, and continue cycling from there. Also, updating music is a drag-and-drop Windows Explorer affair, and to get music titles to be sorted by ID3 tags you have to manually select "Update Music Library" on the player itself. The lack of PlaysForSure or any sort of DRM could be a deal-breaker for some, but the music codec support otherwise is nice, and includes Ogg Vorbis files. For video there only seems to be AVI support, but Meizu includes documented software to ease the conversion process. There are also a few games included, along with apps like a calendar and calculator, so the Mini Player really stays away from the traditionally quirky and unsupported Chinese rip-off territory. No word yet on that 20 hour battery life, but we're expecting good things from this little flash unit.

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Meizu Mini Player iPod-alike reviewed