We've been following start-up Music Gremlin for some time now, from its ambitious beginnings as a software company through its transition to a reference device designer and finally into a self-branding manufacturer, so we were more than a little disappointed to learn that lukewarm reviews of the recently-launched MG-1000 DAP indicate that it contains no small number of bugs and frustrating restrictions. Like the prototype Zing player that we recently spotted (but unlike the similarly-equipped SoniqCast devices), the MG-1000 offers direct-to-device downloads along with device-to-device file transfers thanks to built-in WiFi, but these features are limited to customers who also pay $15-a-month for the proprietary Music Gremlin service, on top of the $300 they already shelled out for the unit itself. Some of the problems reviewers have mentioned -- such as an intermittent WiFi connection, cumbersome search process, and lack of automatic power down or FM presets -- can be addressed by the company in future firmware releases, but other issues -- like the small 8GB hard drive, relatively weak battery life, and inability to share any tracks besides subscription downloads with anyone but fellow subscribers -- are either hardware-based or can't be resolved due the conditions that music studios include in their licensing agreements. Unfortunately, unless you really, truly need to ability to download music when you're away from your computer, the drawbacks to this device when compared to a similarly-priced, video-playing 30GB iPod don't seem to outweigh the limited benefits you'll derive from its wireless capabilities.
Read- The Wall Street Journal's Walter Mossberg
Read- Laptop Magazine
MusicGremlin MG-1000 review roundup
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