digital audio player

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  • TrekStor announces P!nk-branded i.Beat DAP

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    11.03.2006

    Looks like Sony's not the only one getting a little P!nk-branded merchandise, with German manufacturer TrekStor (they of the $20,000 DAP) now following Sony's lead and announcing an equally "P!nk" i.Beat digital audio player. Available in 1GB and 2GB varieties, the player packs the usual specs for a device in this range, with a 1.7-inch display, support for MP3, WMA, and WAV audio (including WMA-DRM9), FM tuner, voice and FM recording, as well as playback of the relatively uncommon SMV video format. If the all pink look's not your style, this i.Beat's also available in the more subtle option of black with pink LEDs; each measures 1.45 x 3.15 x 0.35 inches and weighs in at just over an ounce. Look for them to hit towards the end of the month at €99.00 for the 1GB and €129.99 for the 2GB ($126 and $165), with each model coming bundled with a pair of Sennheiser headphones.[Via I4U News]

  • Technonia's IXING TM-S3 DAP

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    10.26.2006

    Korean manufacturer Technonia has got an update to its nano-challenging IXING TM-S2 digital audio player, with the TM-S3 adding a few new features while continuing to push the design envelope just a wee bit. Available in 1GB and 2GB variations, the TM-S3 roughly matches the nano in size, with a 1.5-inch OLED display, FM tuner, voice and FM recoding, support for MP3 and WMA audio, as well as an "exclusive video format," which you can be granted access to through the velvet rope of proprietary PC software. No word on price but it should be available by the end of the month. Overseas.

  • MC Square X1 relaxation DAP

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    10.25.2006

    While we're a bit upset at Korean manufacturer Daeyang E&C for swiping our hard-earned DJing name (guess now we'll have to resort to our second string monicker, DJ Tanner); its new MC Square X1 device should calm us down if it works as promised, however, packing an array of relaxation tools to back up its standard DAP functions. Supposedly, the X1 reduces stress and anxiety through "concentration enhancement," which of course necessitates the wearing of goofy-looking strobe light goggles (check 'em out after the break) while you enjoy an array of soothing nature sounds. Unfortunately, while it's tricked out with the chill-out tools, the X1's DAP capabilities are decidedly run-of-the-mill, with only 512MB of internal memory and a miniSD slot to add up to 2GB more, along with an FM radio and a squint-inducing 1.3-inch OLED display. Though we doubt many of you will be buying this one just to use as an MP3 player -- with a $439 price tag, Daeyang's definitely going after a whole other market.[Via Mobile Whack]

  • MobiBlu's Cube2 "world smallest multimedia player" reviewed

    by 
    Thomas Ricker
    Thomas Ricker
    10.13.2006

    Sure, we like our DAPs small. However, audio devices which pull extra duty as video players and photo viewers can only get so small before limiting themselves to nothing more than a novelty. CNET got their hands on the diminutive MobiBlu Cube2 which features 2GB flash, FM radio/scheduling, OGG/MP3/DRM'd WMA and MPG/WMV support, voice recording, and the dubious distinction of being the claimed, world's smallest multimedia player. To view video or images though, you have to use the included MJPEG/MSV conversion software which worked tolerably well in CNET's tests. Still, that tiny square, 0.6-inch (diagonal) screen cropped images even along the top and bottom requiring a lot of scrolling around to bring the edges into view. As you can imagine, CNET found image and video viewing to be a real "hassle" after awhile. The Cube2's menu system in general was found to be "a pain" to navigate requiring too many clicks on those tiny buttons. CNET was also miffed by a "fairly staticky, but listenable" radio and "mediocre" battery life squeezing out only 6 hours audio playback of the 10 hours estimated. However, they left the player's backlight on so they could, uh, "tell it was working" -- er, the music wasn't enough of a clue? Still, with that massive feature set packed into such a stylish cube and the much appreciated ability to move files via USB Mass Storage in addition to MTP, CNET awarded the MobiBlu Cube2 a 7.3/10 very good rating. [Thanks, nana]

  • iRiver S10 reviewed

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    10.03.2006

    Last we spotted iRiver's diminutive S10 digital audio player it was riding the coat tails of Apple's 2G Shuffle, but now that reviews are starting to trickle in, it's gotta stand on its own to make a name for itself. The folks at CNET Asia were some of the first to get their hands on one, and as usual, they put the unit through its paces -- apparently without managing to lose it. The biggest plus, obviously, is the S10's size, measuring just 42 x 30 x 10.8 millimeters and weighing in at 17.5 grams; which could have been a drawback if not backed up by an intuitive design featuring iRiver's D-Click input system. On the downside, the player's small size comes at the expense of battery life, which actually beat iRiver's rated time of eight hours by about 30 minutes in CNET's test, but that still falls well short of what many peeps are used to in their DAPs by now. Nevertheless, if you're looking for the smallest, full-featured MP3 around, CNET says the S10's "the best that money can buy."[Thanks, Mr. Riveria]

  • Aigo's Patriot MP-F986 digital audio player

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    09.19.2006

    Chinese manufacturer Aigo has let loose a new digital audio player in its home country, the Patriot MP-F986. Weighing in at just 1.5 ounces in a pocketable 2.6 x 1.85 x 0.6-inch form, this one's available in both 512MB and 1GB varieties -- each packing a 160 x 128 OLED screen for some pint-sized AVI viewing -- and supports MP3, WMA, and OGG files on audio front; you're also getting voice recording and an FM radio for good measure, because, you know, to be an iPod killa you gotta load up on the bells and whistles. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any word on pricing just yet, though we wouldn't recommend holding your breath for the F986 to show up on this side of the Pacific.[Via I4U News]

  • Siren drops three new digital audio players

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    08.21.2006

    Japanese manufacturer Siren has announced a trio of thoroughly average-looking digital audio players today, each available in a couple of different variations. Starting at the bottom end, the DP100 (in the middle, above) is the lowest cost model, available in 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB flavors for 5,980, 7,980, and 12,800 Yen respectively ($50-110 US), and available in your choice of silver, orange, or white. Next up is the Nano-esque DP200, also available in 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB variations, although slightly pricier at 9,980, 13,800, and 18,800 Yen ($86-$160) -- but that'll get you a slick OLED screen as well as an FM tuner and voice recorder. The top-end model is the DP300, available only in 1GB and 2GB versions for 14,800 and 19,800 Yen respectively ($128 and $170 US), packing the same specs as the DP200 but adding video playback (DivX, even) on the player's spacious 128 x 128 screen. Look for them all to be available (in Japan) later this month.[Via Impress]

  • EGGE's egg-shaped digital media player

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    08.03.2006

    Upon initial inspection of this Korean contraption, you could easily find yourself mistaking it for a Tamagotchi, but thankfully this egg-shaped gizmo plays a more productive role. Instead of a few silly pixels wasting your time with unrealistic demands, the EGGE is a low-maintenance digital media player that supports MP3, WMV, MPEG, and AVI formats. Rocking either 512MB or 1GB of capacity, this minuscule device also sports an FM tuner and built-in EQ. Underneath the dome-shaped glass is a 1-inch OLED display that actually supports full motion video (although you may need some type of magnification to reap any enjoyment whatsoever). The internal battery only keeps the in-ear party going for 10 hours, but supposedly plays nice with both OS X and Windows via USB 2.0. The EGGE also packs a nifty flipscreen feature -- when worn from your neck, raising the unit to eye-level yields an upside-down predicament, but with the press of a button, the screen is flipped for your viewing satisfaction. (Sure, an orientation sensor would have made more sense, but where's the fun in that?) While this unit packs some good features into a miniature package, we can't confirm a US hatch date nor market price, but there's always those digital pocket pets, The Egg, the USB Egg, the Tele-Egg, the egg incubator, boiled egg inks, the Pivo, and even other egg audio players to curb your egg-shaped cravings for the time being.[Via Shiny Shiny]

  • Sun Connection's Music+ SD-based MP3 player

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    07.26.2006

    Japanese manufacturer Sun Connection has emerged from years of painstaking research and design, today announcing its Music+ MP3 player. Unlike some other totally different digital audio players, the Music+ relies on SD/MMC cards for storage (topping out at 2GB) and also seemingly only plays back music according to the file name order. The unit itself measures about an inch and a half square and weighs less than an ounce, with its battery promising some eight hours of continuous playback. Sun Connection's also managed to keep the price low enough, just 2,980 Yen ($25 US) -- of course that also means you'll have to supply your own SD card.[Via AV Watch]

  • Sanyo's DMP-M400SD "bring your own storage" DAP

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    07.24.2006

    Sanyo's got a new digital audio player poised to drop on the Japanese market, though it'll mainly be of interest to folks with a couple of extra SD cards laying around, as the DMP-M400SD contains neither a hard drive nor any flash memory. What you are getting with this latest member of the Diply Music line is a pendant-style device sporting a backlit screen that supports MP3 files as well as WMA tracks with or without DRM. Clearly stressing size over features, the M400SD is pretty lean when it comes to extras; in fact, besides acting as a USB mass storage device, there's really nothing that makes it stand out from the crowd -- especially the rather ho-hum 12-hour battery life. If this still sounds like an attractive option to you, then $60 is all it will take to pick one of these up when they're released on the first of next month.

  • iPod-equipped teen struck by lightning

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    07.07.2006

    Sporting an iPod isn't always the care-free, non-stop dance party that Apple's marketing department would like us to believe. We already knew that the devices could cause accelerated hearing loss, get you mugged on the subway, and take away your free will, and now it seems that the popular DAP may also make you an attractive target for the cruel wrath of Mother Nature. Seventeen-year-old Jason Bunch of Colorado was enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon mowing the lawn this past weekend, when all of a sudden he woke up in bed with burns all over his face, vomiting and bleeding from his ears. Although its not clear whether the iPod he was listening to acted as an antenna for the bolt of lightning that ran through his body, its melted earbuds and a hole in the back of the case would seem to indicate that it did indeed serve as a pathway for the harmful electricity. Not only did Bunch lose hearing in one ear and his sense of equilibrium, but even worse, the incident also forced him to stand up his date for the evening -- and we doubt he'll get another chance with this particular girl after offering such an unbelievable and lame-sounding excuse for his absence.[Via The Raw Feed]

  • MobiBlu releases DAH-2200 1GB DAP

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    07.05.2006

    Usually when MobiBlu breaks us off with a new DAP, it's got at least one feature to set it apart from the pack -- see the super-small Cube and Cube 2 or seemingly perpetual motion-powered B153 as examples. But if you were looking for the company's new DAH-2200 to hit the scene as the "world's biggest/smallest/best something or other," then you're in for a disappointment, as this flash-based player's got nothing that we haven't seen before. Specifically, its 1GB capacity, 27.5 gram weight, and 13-hour battery life make it neither the smallest, longest-running, nor most capacious model out there, and the tiny 2-color OLED screen isn't all that impressive either. No word on pricing here, but since it's likely that the 2200 will never be sold outside of Korea -- and it's not really hot enough to import -- you're probably not all that concerned with such details anyway.[Via DAPreview]

  • Transcend releases T.sonic 530 flash-based DAP

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    07.03.2006

    DAP manufacturer Transcend has been know to offer some rather unconventional designs over the years -- see the T.sonic 310 and 620 for reference -- but we'd sure like to know what went on in the focus group that convinced the company to craft their newest player like a sparsely-decorated mint tin. Besides its unusual appearance, though, the T.sonic 530 is almost exactly the same model as the much more traditional-looking 520 we saw earlier this year, sporting 512MB or 1GB of flash memory, tiny OLED display, FM tuner, digital voice recorder, and of course, the on-screen lyrics option that promises to "bring out the pop star in everyone." The 530 is on the market now -- willing and able to assist you in the occasional karoake session -- and although exact pricing isn't known, you'll probably be able to pick up either capacity for under a hundred bucks.[Via MobileWhack]

  • Creative reveals Zen V and V Plus flash-based DAPs

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    06.20.2006

    So it looks like Creative's made good with the "mystery MP3 player" they promised us in that rather uninspiring teaser campaign: meet the Zen V. Available in 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB capacities, the V's smallish size and 1.5-inch, photo-capable OLED clearly indicate that Creative's got the slightly-smaller nano squarely in its sights, with the V Plus (offered in the same capacities) going for the knockout punch by throwing in video playback and an FM tuner in the usual hope that adding more and more features will somehow make iPod owners realize what iChimps they've been. Both models come in several combinations of black or white highlighted by either green, orange, or blue accents, feature a line-in jack for direct-from-disc recording, support PlaysForSure subscription services, and offer a claimed 15 hours of battery life before recharging becomes an issue. The V will be available in July for $120, $150, or $200, depending on capacity, while the V Plus will be coming in August and priced at $130, $170, and $230 for the 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB versions, respectively.Read- Zen VRead- Zen V Plus

  • Samsung's neXus XM DAP reviewed

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    06.20.2006

    We've always been a bit skeptical of portable DAPs like the Sirius S50 and Samsung neXus that promise to let you listen to sat radio content on-the-go, because since neither device includes a built-in satellite receiver, you're stuck with the programming you've recorded while the player was docked at home. PC Mag seems to agree that this class of gadgets offers rather limited functionality, and their review of the neXus isn't very promising for potential customers: unless you buy the $70 car kit for listening to live feeds in your ride, you're basically spending either $219 or $269, respectively, for either a 512MB or 1GB MP3 player that delivers neither great sound quality nor an acceptable battery life. What's more, you have to make sure that you keep the unit docked for at least eight hours a month so that XM can properly authenticate your subscription to keep your recorded tunes from disappearing. Ultimately, unless you're a on a tight budget and absolutely need some XM swag in your pocket at all times, PC Mag suggests -- and we tend to agree -- that you're better off shelling out a few more bucks for the Pioneer Inno or Samsung Helix, which both allow you to pick up and record live feeds right out of the box, no dock necessary.

  • iPod Shuffle wins battle with knife-wielding owner

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    06.19.2006

    Not that we should really have to remind you of such things, but trying to fix your own gadgets by bludgeoning them with a knife is not only ineffective, it can also result in you swearing and screaming in pain after the capacitor you impaled blows up in your face.[Thanks, Dave Z.]

  • MusicGremlin MG-1000 review roundup

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    06.16.2006

    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 MossbergRead- CnetRead- Laptop Magazine

  • Unpacking the U2 iPod with video

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    06.07.2006

    Red clickwheel? Check. Signature-filled black backing? Ditto. Exclusive music video? Got that too. Premium pricetag? Yup, everyting is present and accounted for: it's definitely the new U2 edition iPod (with video). Keep reading for a few more pics, then hit iLounge for the full set...

  • Zing-based DAPs to offer Sirius, downloading over WiFi

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    06.01.2006

    There's a new player in town looking to expose the Music Gremlin to some harsh sunlight, and with Sirius and VoIP capabilities along with the Gremlin-like WiFi and Bluetooth for sharing and downloading, the Zing reference device may prove to be a formidable nemesis for the player we first caught at CES. Cnet was hanging out at the D4 conference today and got to check out the Zing in action, and report that the device will enable third-party content providers to offer convenient PC-less download services, although unfortunately the Sirius-branded version will get its radio content not from satellites or terrestrial repeaters but solely through relatively short-range WLAN connections. Still, the built-in mic means that Zing-based products could potentially incorporate VoIP services as well, which would make them serious contenders for some of the musicphones on the market if not for their limited utility outside the range of a hotspot.[Via Orbitcast, thanks to everyone who sent this in]

  • iRiver N12 to go up to 2GB

    by 
    Marc Perton
    Marc Perton
    05.26.2006

    Sure, we weren't exactly brimming with excitement about the iRiver N12, when we first caught sight of it a couple of weeks ago. But we've heard at least one good thing about the new player that sets it apart from its lookalike predecessor, the N11: the N12 will be available in capacities of up to 2GB, for a price in Japan of about ¥21,980 ($195). Other specs remain the same: OLED display, and support for MP3, WMA and PlaysForSure. Yeah, we know what you're thinking: iRiver's about to give up on the digital audio player business altogether in order to focus on WiBro gaming, so why should I even consider buying one of their players? Well, don't worry. We still don't expect this one to make it to the US, so unless you're in Asia, chances are they're not about to try selling it to you to begin with.