Top positive review
130 people found this helpful
Handy little player
on July 26, 2007
For $40 you get a basic MP3 player with a 512MB SD card (comes with a few kids tunes already on the card), a small lanyard with clip, a pair of headphones, USB cable, instructions, mini-CD, and AAA battery.
What I like about this player (as an adult):
Built-in Speaker - This unit is completely self-contained. It can be used with one (or two) pair(s) of headphones - or you can 'lose' the headphones and still enjoy your music through the built-in speaker. I can imagine taking this tent camping and using it to lull off to sleep - or to play while working on a meal around the picnic table. When I hold this in my hand, I can contour the sound coming from the speaker by aiming it different directions and partially covering the speaker with my hand.
Compact Size - This is small enough that it is dwarfed by any portable CD or cassette player - but it isn't as small as most MP3 players (especially the ones which are no bigger than your thumb). It easily fits in my man-sized hand so that my thumb and fore-finger can touch.
Runs on one AAA battery - Unlike more expensive units that require you to plug in to charge - and eventually tear apart to replace the battery - this unit simply requires a single AAA battery. Some folks might not like to change batteries - I don't like being stuck with a unit I can't recharge while I'm camping. With all of the AAA LED lights on the market - it's easy to pack one of these 'shakers' along with a flashlight for each family member going camping.
SD card - This is a big feature for me. My palm uses SD cards. My camera uses SD cards. My player should use SD cards. An SD card is about the size of a postage stamp, and their prices have dropped considerably (Today, I could have bought a 1 GB SD card for under $20 at a local department store). I can keep MP3 files I might play on my palm and swap them over to the shaker to play. Now ... if only someone will be bright enough to build an MP3 voice recorder that uses SD cards (?!)
Not Just For Kids - While most claim that this unit isn't appropriate for 'adults', I'm going to disagree. This device might easily appeal to the non-techie and senior adult population. There's no tiny buttons, miniature screens, or confusing menu's to navigate thru. It is VERY simple. With the exception of the shake sound (like a camera sound) when you try to randomly select a tune - the only other 'kid sounds' you'll encounter during normal use is the on and off drum roll. That just adds to the cuteness factor.
Something that isn't obvious about this unit is how much it 'blinks'. There's a blue light ring around the on/off-play/pause button. It continuously blinks twice a second to signify when the unit is playing (or accessing memory). If you pause the play - then it gives two quick blinks every three seconds. Let it pause long enough, and the unit turns off.
This unit plays in alphabetic order (by folder, and then by song). There's not a 'random' or 'continuous' play mode. If you want a different song, you can advance forwards or backwards using the |<< and >>| on the bottom of the shaker. You can randomly pick the next song by manually holding down the on/off-play/pause button for about a second, and then shaking the player up and down. Otherwise play continuous from first to last song on the player.
I haven't had the player long enough to estimate it's battery life on the internal speaker. I've been pleased with the amount of volume. It's loud enough that I can use it at work next to my computer. If you hold the speaker close enough, you can hear a 'hiss' present.
Another thing - if you get one and are trying to open the bottom to insert the battery or access the SD slot - the bottom twists off (don't try to peel back the white rubber bottom ... instead - just rotate the bottom - including the blue and white).
I've bought one - and have tested it out for my wife - and if she likes it - I might even get the 8 year old one also.
I give this unit 5 stars for simplicity in design and ease of use. It might look childish to some - but it is a dependable unit with all of the basics anyone needs to listen to their favorite tunes while on the go.