on March 2, 2012
I've been using this for about 4 weeks. I wanted a cheap non-Apple, MP3 player for listening to podcasts and went with the GPX ML551B.
The negatives outweigh the positives. The only real positive is that I can easily drag/drop files to it, and it's ready to go (I hate iTunes).
If you are only going to play music on it, it's fine. If you are going to be listening to longer audio files - like podcasts - you should be aware of the following.
First, the buttons are a bit clunky and unintuitive. It's hard to see the icons on the buttons which are basically black on black. They are a bit small, so I've fat fingered the wrong button more than once. That stinks when you 'skip' instead of 'pause' (see below). As has been mentioned, turning the player on and playing a track is more confusing than you would expect (but you get used to it).
Second, the fast forward (search) is ridiculously slow. It's brutal when you are 30+ minutes into a podcast, and you accidentally hit the skip button. It's difficult to keep the fast forward engaged without fat fingering the skip button.
Third, on every other MP3 player that I've owned, even ones from years ago, I could delete and add files to the player and it would continue with the file that I had previously stopped. Inexplicably, if you do this on the GPX ML551B, it will start a random file at the same timestamp. So if you were 30 minutes into podcast X, deleted and added some files, it will start 30 minutes into podcast Y.
I would definitely choose a different player if I had a chance to do it again.
on March 23, 2012
I wasn't expecting much out of this, but I was curious enough to give it a shot and was actually pleasantly surprised. It's a comfortable little clip player with good sound quality and clear output when paired with my JVC earbuds (I never use the packaged earbuds, but I've tried the JVCs with other low-end/cheap MP3 players and there is a distinct difference in the output quality).
*Video player is fairly decent considering the size of the screen, although the video conversion software is a little annoying and doesn't recognize a lot of popular formats.
*Good sound quality for a cheap player, and good capacity. The ability to expand with the microSD card is a huge plus for people with varied music tastes and a large collection they like to take with them.
*Easy to use as a plug and play device. No problems copying files to the main internal drive.
*Fairly sturdy. I tend to bang my electronics around, and it's just bouncing along happily without missing a beat.
*Equalizer isn't half bad for improving sound quality, as long as you're not listening to a mixed assortment that changes music types often.
My main complaints are with the navigation system, though as I said above the video conversion software could be better.
*The way the buttons are set up to interface with the menu depending on what sub-menu you're in isn't very intuitive, and you'll end up accidentally exiting your file tree when you don't mean to, or picking menu options you don't intend to.
*I can't just play through my entire music collection. I have to pick either the internal storage or the microSD card, and stick with one or the other. There's no option to create playlists to get around this.
*While I like the folder trees, it's still annoying to have to drill down to get to one song and then be stuck in that folder for my playlist unless I want to re-navigate, even though it'd be worse mass-dumping 4 GB of music and video with no folder structure.
*Maybe it was just mine, but as I was copying files to the microSD card after inserting it into the player, it kept losing connection to my computer and saying the location wasn't there. It didn't do that while copying just to the internal storage.
Overall, as cheap off-brand players go, it's a pretty good buy for the price. When you're shopping low-end you're not going to find something perfect, but out of the various $30 or less players I've tried, this is my favorite so far, and the one I'm most comfortable with.
on November 16, 2011
Ok, i just got this today, so i cant say much about durability, but so far this is looking good. the video isn't great, and the menus are a tad laggy, so if that bugs you don't get it. but it serves its purpose really well, it plays music fine and has a primitive file system. navigation on the thing is OK, but the buttons are nice and the thing is really sleek and nice to look at. it has a built-in video converter (160x128 resolution) which is simple and nice but shows up as a virtual cdrom drive (???). it doesn't have any built-in music or videos, which is kinda good if you ask me. BTW, to turn this generic sucker on turn the switch on and hold play/pause. really cool product and has a warranty :)