Top positive review
236 people found this helpful
Bad reviews for this product are FALSE !!!!
on December 18, 2011
I took a very long time to decide on this item because of the bad reviews. (PLEASE IGNORE THEM!)
I've had my Coby MP827 for a couple of weeks now and although it's not perfect, in my opinion, it is an incredible device. (Especially for the money.)
<SEE UPDATE about additional Flashrams for this unit, at the bottom.>
Now the original review...
#1 You MUST CALIBRATE THE TOUCHSCREEN before you do anything else. If you do not, you might have to jab and press and slide like crazy to get things to work. This might seem like a bad selling point, but the fact that you are allowed to adjust the sensitivity is a major PLUS in my mind. (I just wish Coby would have made the suggestion loud and clear from the beginning in their instructions.) I was lucky enough to read the reviews here at Amazon that suggested this. My hat is off to them because it made all the difference for me.
#2 After calibrating, don't get frantic and anxious. If, and when, any icons might not respond as you expect, please turn your attention to your own actions, or your own understanding of how this cute little beastie works! So far, there have only been a few times where I've been a bit frustrated, but eventually I found that I wasn't waiting the occasional 1 or 2 seconds required for the software to respond. (I believe that most of the bad reviews came from these touchscreen characteristics.) Also, a few "icons" such as the little left or right arrows for changing the time and date, WILL NOT respond to a full fingertip touch. It took me quite a while to realize that a Stylus kind of touch, as with the tip of a gentle fingernail, finally got the response I was looking for. If I had not taken the time to gently and calmly experiment with this, my frustration would have boiled over for sure. (Again, Coby SHOULD have explained this characteristic with a few of the smaller icons because it undoubtedly confuses everybody who buys the thing. Except perhaps for owners of many other mp3 players. This is my first.)
HOWEVER, the fact that Coby's staff has excluded a few pieces of info about the device, doesn't mean that it's "a piece of trash" like some others have been ranting. It only means that there is a lot more value lurking within the 827's Operating System than meets the eye. In other words, this device is powerful and pleasing to use, but people who can't tackle the learning curve will probably think it's a piece of junk. (Their loss, not mine, except that their frantic noise almost put me off my purchase. COBY please take notice of this, your lack of information is producing a lot of bad reviews.)
I've been learning while buying many items through Amazon lately, that one must wade through the verbal mud of those who never grew up. "The truth is out there," but you have to dig a little for it and avoid the nasty negativists who spout emotions but no facts. (Emotions are NOT tools of cognition.) :-)
#3 Coby also left out -- that if you decide to upgrade the memory, which is one of the main reasons I wanted to buy this particular unit, the 827 IS NOT compatible with SDHC memory chips. (At least my unit isn't.) HC means High Capacity which is a somewhat recent development, and the SDHC chip I bought DID NOT WORK with this unit. Now to be fair, Coby's documentation DOES say, that it is upgradeable with SD chips, but since you have to be aware of the differences, and then search high and low to find them these days, it only seems logical that the 827 would work with the HC chips. After searching the net like a madman, I finally decided to simply buy a HC chip and see for myself. (THIS IS NOW TO YOUR BENEFIT AS WELL MY OWN.) SDHC chips WILL NOT WORK WITH THIS UNIT. Maybe that could be changed with a firmware update, but I'm not counting on it.
For me, this wasn't a problem, because the chip I got does work with a digital camera I have, expanding the number of photos I can take into the thousands. (Very cool.)
I HAVE an old style 8 GB SD chip on order, and when (and if) it works, I will get in here and edit this review.
#4 TIPS -- When you see the little circle (with an arrow on it,) on the screen, it means that the screen will turn from vertical to horizontal like the more expensive units do. The only catch is, the lack of an accelerometer which performs this little miracle automatically. If you want the view to change, you have to press that little icon. (Again, lots of value if you know how it works.) Now if you are too lazy to press a little icon, then go ahead and spend 2 or 3 or 4 times more to buy some other unit.
Other items are well covered in other reviews, except for the availability of a screen protector for this unit. I couldn't find this model listed on any of the available protectors, and the best I could do is something in a forum about buying a cheap universal protector from WalMart and trimming it down to size. The person claimed that it worked perfectly, but I have yet to verify this. (Once again, Coby really should get their act together and keep people informed about details like this.)
I've found that the battery life isn't all that long. Even the internal pdf documentation gives 7 hours as the maximum. I have yet to use it long enough at one siting to confirm this, but from the indicator while I'm using it, I'd say that it's about right. (Especially if you are playing a lot of videos.)
I've spent my entire life in professional audio of one sort or another. (4 Emmy Awards for Sound-Effects Editing for TV and Movies.) IMO, almost any modern digital audio is great. (Play a scratchy old vinyl album sometime.) This unit sounds pretty good to me, especially through my huge Carver Amp and KEF studio reference monitors. When you consider the mp3-process itself, and the price for this little unit...it's a bloody miracle! :-)
To sum up...I am totally satisfied with this player. I already had a gizmo to play a portable CD player through my car's built-in cassette unit, with an attached earphone mini-jack, so all I had to do was plug that jack into the MP827, slip my "dummy" cassette into the slot in my car's cassette player, and turn it on. (It's really great to have all my songs right there in my car.) Once it gets going, I don't have to attend to it at all, so getting a "using a cellphone" ticket, shouldn't be an issue. Videos playback cool on this unit too, and as I keep adding them, I'm amazed at how much memory is still left. When I add another 8GB memory chip, I'll have much more room for everything than I could possibly know what to do with. Also, I've been working with .lrc files to get some synchronized lyrics text on screen. I can report that the function actually works, but so far, the freebie software I've found for creating such files is quirky at best. (I'm still searching for the best solution to this, without laying out another stack of cash.)
Buy an external mp3-charger unit here at Amazon. (such as; Coby CA-80 USB AC Adapter/Charger for MP3 Players Price: $4.95 as I write this.) I got the one with two usb ports just in case, and it really does a number on this player. (Charges the thing up much faster than from the computer's usb port.) Also, the fastest way to build up your library of songs, is to suck them in directly from your CD collection. The provided software that comes with the unit makes this possible, and on my Windows-XP system, the process is really fast.
I would recommend this player to anybody and everybody, while also suggesting that they read this, and other reviews, and make use of what we have learned. Use your brain, consult your "gentle side," and this item is a real steal.
*******<MEMORY CARD UPDATE 12-4-2012> *********
Amazon has 2GB SD cards which should work with this unit!!! (Yay.)
My confusion, had to do with what SD cards really were and what size they come in. Anything beyond 2GB is considered High Capacity! Hence; HCSD.
In other words, you can only expand the 827's memory with an additional 2GB flashram chip. (I could not find that information anywhere!)
What Amazon has is; SDSDB-002G-B35 by SanDisk for only $5.47 as of this writing.
Finding original SD cards anywhere is a real pain, but they ARE still available. Try [...]
Although 2GB doesn't seem like much of an upgrade, one must consider that the additional chip is removable! For only 6 bucks or so, several of them could be purchased and swapped as required. (As long as the 827's disk organization can handle that sort of thing.)
Also, I found a discussion somewhere that these older flashrams are formatted in Microsoft's ancient FAT format. The discussion had to do with reformatting the chips into a later, larger FAT format to increase capacity. I believe it would take an O/S upgrade from Coby to do that, or possibly they have already made allowances for that sort of thing. (Something else to investigate.)
Since these SD chips from Amazon are so cheap, I will be buying one or two within the next week, and I will upgrade this review once I know how they work...or don't work. Wish me luck.
BTW, after an official year with the Coby 827, I am STILL loving it! I had a chance to show my 86-year-old mother the "Thousand Miles" video on it (Vanessa Carlton 'driving' her piano through town.) She was amazed...she even watched it to the end!