Top Lab Tested Media Players
Apple iPod Touch 2nd Gen 16GB
Music / Photo / Video
Archos 7 160GB
Music / Photo / Video
Apple iPod Nano 4th Gen 8GB
Music / Photo / Video
Apple iPod Classic 6th Gen 80GB
Music / Photo / Video
Archos 5 60GB
Music / Photo / Video
September 02, 2010
Apple Announces New iPods
Apple has announced a complete refresh of their iPod music player range, from the $49 iPod Shuffle to the $229 iPod Touch.
- MyRacer Lisse Q10 has 1970s Style - October 15, 2009
- Creative Announces X-Fi2 - October 07, 2009
- Apple Announces new iPods and iTunes - September 09, 2009
Media Player News
- Zune (7)
- Ces 2009 (4)
- Sony (3)
- Apple (3)
- iPod (3)
- Shuffle (2)
- small (2)
- NWZ-X1051 (2)
- New (2)
- Walkman (2)
- Creative (2)
- Microsoft (2)
In a zombie-less adaptation of Stephen King’s Cell, 30GB Zunes everywhere have simultaneously malfunctioned for no apparent reason. Users will find their device simply won’t boot up, freezing once the gray progress bar reaches its end. As of now there’s only speculation as to why the Zunes are committing ritualistic suicide. Is it due to the onset of 2009? Is it Apple-funded terrorism? A PMP EMP? Are Zunes like canaries in a mine, and this mass-freeze is simply a portent of some imminent evil? Time will tell. In the meanwhile, if your Zune is locked up, there is one solution: surgery. We’ve stolen the following method off onlydarksets:
WARNING: A hard reset will delete everything on your Zune.
Press and hold the back button
Press and hold up until it reboots
Depending on which Zune you have, immediately do one of the following:
- If you have a Zune 4 GB, Zune 8BG, or Zune 80GB, immediately press and hold the Back button Back at the same time as you press the right side of the Zune pad and the Play/Pause button. Continue to hold these buttons until the Zune device restarts and you receive the following message: “Clearing contents. Please wait.”
- If you have a Zune 30GB, immediately press and hold the Back button Back at the same time that you press the right side of the Zune pad and the center of the Zune pad. Continue to hold these buttons until the Zune device restarts and you receive the following message: “Clearing contents. Please wait.”
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Zune has made some changes to their "all-you-can-eat" music subscription service, as long as you’re a Zune Pass subscriber. It’s the same deal with the $14.99/month for unlimited streaming and downloads, only now you get to keep 10 songs for forever as MP3s. There are also bringing Universal Music Group into the fold, which will pad out their MP3 library considerably. Also, this Zune Pass deal is not just for Zune users; if you like this plan you can download and manage your music from your PC.
This is actually an intriguing plan. You can try out tons of songs and then choose the ten you like best to keep and cherish for all of time. Songs nowadays are $1, so that means you’re paying $5 for the unlimited streaming and temporary downloads. While this sounds like it’ll be a great plan for some, we’re not sure it’ll convince those pirates out there to stop tape recordering their FM radio.
You can read more about this new plan in their press release, here.READ FULL ARTICLE
The Zune 3.1 software update is apparently out now. We went on Zune.net to check it out, but Zune.net is still hawking the 3.0 update. The main improvements are to the Zune Social feature. We have yet to get a Zune into our office for review, but we picture the Zune Social feature will allow the dozens of Zune users out there to join together in sighing in disgust at the iPod users they see. The Zune Social rehaul will fix the interface to make it more user-friendly. It will also add a new feature that lets you compare your music tastes with others, offically making the Zune a must-buy for hipsters.
You’ll also get a few free games (sudoku, Texas Hold’em, checkers, and a top-scrolling space ship shoot-em-up).READ FULL ARTICLE
Chinese manufacturer Hacha has announced the PF02, which is an audio player that should retail for $14.40 USD (99 yuan). Compare this device to the Shuffle, which offers nowhere near as much control, but has a similar storage capacity. Really, if you want to listen to your MP3s cheaply, we’re not sure you can do much better than $14.40. One thing we will point out, however, is that all the buttons are identical, which might make the player a bit hard to operate when it’s in your pocket.
Here’s some stats we’ve been able to figure out:
- The device will play MP3, WMA, and OGG files.
- It uses an SRS audio system
- Measures 2.79 × 0.97 × 0.39 inches (70.9 × 24.6 × 9.8mm)
- Weighs 18.5 grams
- Uses a USB 2.0 connection
- Has a lithium-ion battery with a stated time of 14 hours.
PMP Today states there are other models that have up to 8GB of storage, but we can’t find out exactly where they’re getting that number from. In any case, providing the thing works, $15 for a DAP is not bad.
[Via PMP Today]READ FULL ARTICLE
Just in case your Halo Zune isn’t doing it for you, you can now pick up one that’s branded with the Gears of War insignia. In our opinion, the smartest move for Microsoft would be to get Nintendo’s permission to use Little Mac from Punch-Out!!, and photoshop a picture of an iPod onto King Hippo’s face. Not only is it nostalgiac, but it’s an appropriate analogy.
Is Microsoft working its way down the list of possible game franchise brands? Will we see a Fable-branded Zune? Really, the only Microsoft game branding that would spur us towards a purchase would be the Microsoft Entertainment Center Zune. We want our case blinged out with a mural that includes Chip from Chip’s Challenge high-fiving the rat from Rodent’s Revenge, while the yeti from SkiFree sneaks up behind them throwing JezzBalls. We’d buy that.
Hello and welcome to MediaPlayerInfo.com!
The media player market is one that’s dominated by marketing. It’s hard to look somewhere and not catch an iPod ad in your line of sight. Our job is to help readers sift through the hype and advertising and figure out which media player actually best suits them. Our goal is to offer the best, most objective media player reviews. To do this, we’ll break down all media players we review into different components, then review each component using the same criteria. This way we can provide comprehensive reviews that allow users to directly compare media players based on any given criteria.
We also test the audio quality of each media player, using a standardized scientific testing process. This process uses professional-grade hardware and software to provide accurate results.
Think of MediaPlayerInfo.com as your source for unbiased information about media players. Hopefully you’ll use our resources next time you’re shopping around for an iPod or looking for a media player that specifically isn’t an iPod.
If you have any questions, feedback, or ideas that would help our site be the best source for media player info, please use our comments system or email us here.
Well, the 3.0 Zune update came out today and so far, it’s just what we expected. But, lo, what is this we hear? We can get free Wi-Fi access on our Zune? At McDonald’s? Unfortunately, this courageous new partnership will only offer this opportunity at approximately 9,800 McDonald’s restaurants and we can’t be sure how exactly these select locations will be chosen. There’s a McDonald’s down the street from us and we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
There’s something strikingly peculiar about the juxtaposition of Apple’s iPod pairing with Starbucks and Zune teaming up with McDonald’s. Isn’t McDonald’s supposed to be a fast food establishment? Isn’t the whole point to enter the premises, get your food quickly, scarf it down, and leave? By contrast, Starbucks seems to be all about savoring your cup of coffee and relaxing in the corporate-approved atmosphere.
We don’t expect Zune owners to rejoice over this exciting new collaboration… it’s likely to get the lukewarm reception of the short-lived McDonald’s Wi-Fi for Nintendo DS users. Unfortunately for McDonald’s, their establishments simply aren’t places for lingering. And they’ll need something more than Zune Wi-Fi to change that.
Fortunately for Zune, their partnership is really with Wayport, who could probably get Zune users a little more Wi-Fi access than browsing for tunes between Big Macs.
[Via Wi-Fi Net News]
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Just look at these slick new Kenwood "Media Keg" PMPs! Just like the previous generation, they’ve only been confirmed for Japan, but at least there are hints that they might eventually reach a global audience… the menu can be set to display in Japanese, but also English, German, Spanish, French, Dutch and Italian.
Why would we want another media player flooding the U.S. market? Well, we’ve always been fans of Japanese gadgets, but the Media Keg seems like a nice little player, if not exactly remarkable. It supports a plethora of audio file types and despite having just 4GB of internal memory, there’s a convenient micro-SD slot for expanding your capacity or looking at pictures from your digital camera.
It looks like the Media Keg is only Windows-compatible, but it’s a fair bet that no matter what your country of residence, if you’re using a Macintosh computer, you’ll buy an iPod before you buy a Media Keg. Then again, there’s something to be said for a PMP that is a keg… for your media.
Well, the upcoming XM Radio portable player (previously codenamed "Phoenix") is making its official media debut… in Popular Science magazine. We still don’t have an official price, but speculation suspects a release date around October 5, 2008.
XM is pushing the new XMp3’s ability to record five XM Radio stations at once. It never occurred to us that anyone would want to do this, but now that we can, how can we not? The XMp3 is smaller and looks a lot slicker than XM’s last player, the Inno. Plus, with an SD card slot for transferring mp3 files, it looks like the XMp3 is shaping up as an interesting contender.
In a market that seems flooded with media players trying to take a slice out of Apple’s share of the pie, at least the XMp3 is offering something different. Unfortunately, we doubt anyone but the most avid XM listeners will be thrilled about the five-broadcast simultaneous recording. Radio in general is still a niche audience and the XMp3 would have to be one heck of a media player to tempt new XM subscribers.
Meanwhile, we’re trying to pick out our four favorite decades to record while we’re listening to the next Red Sox game.
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Thank goodness that cell phone cameras have enabled us as a civilization to capture these critical moments in consumer electronics history. Like the (accidental?) early release of the 120GB and 16GB Zunes and the subsequent re-pricing of the old 80GB model.
The Zune 3.0 software and the new Zune models were expected to be released on September 16th, but it looks like some employees are getting a little overzealous with their product displays.
If you don’t happen to live near the Fry’s in Atlanta (top image) or the Walmart in Harborcreek, PA (bottom image), you’ll just have to wait with the rest of America.
If you have 25 extra dollars sitting around and you would rather buy a gadget than light your cash on fire (which is illegal) consider this nifty lighter-socket-powered combination LED flashlight and device charger. Finally, we can charge our iPods and have something a little brighter than our cell phone LCD for lighting up a dark room. Gadgets that combine two great functions into one don’t always make it into our blog, but this one was hard to resist.
It’s not that this little contraption can charge our plethora of portable electronics… or that it can serve as a handy flashlight… it’s the quaint simplicity of the maker’s website, which features 4 or 5 spelling/grammar mistakes. And there’s the wonderful play on words that brought about the genius title of The Flashlight-erTM.Now if only our iPods could be charged with UBS…
Introducing the latest in the line of personal electronics manufacturers trying to be trendy and mysterious in their advertising campaigns: Creative has announced that they will be… making an announcement.
Creative sent special press invitations to a September 17th media event. Just what will be unveiled is still up for speculation, especially among vocal Creative devotees, but it’s a good bet that it’ll center around their X-Fi technology. (For those who have lost track, X-Fi is short for Xtreme Fidelity.) With Creative, that doesn’t narrow it down much. New headphones? New PMP? Speakers? iPod sound dock?
It’s possible—but seems like a longshot—that Creative will be unveiling the much-rumored media player from the recently unearthed patents. Whatever the announcement will be, we hope that it lives up to the hype that Creative is trying to build. With the shadowy mystique of this teaser, Creative ought to be releasing the next iPhone killer and not just another sound card branded by Fatal1ty.
While we’re at it, can we petition advertisers to stop using bad spelling as a catch-phrase? "Are you hear yet?" Seems like they bit off a bit more than they could chew in trying to create a marketing campaign that’s… well, creative.
Gadget fanatics will go to all sorts of extremes to spark their own desperate speculations. Witness the recently unearthed patent application filed by Creative in January of this year. What do these patent diagrams show? Well it would seem to be some kind of media player. More aptly, the description reads, "…a perspective view of a media player showing our new design."
Since the pics are huge, we put them here.
Legions of Apple fans are drooling over a wealth of information from today’s event. Fortunately for Apple, they discovered long ago that it doesn’t take much to get their fans excited. Just throw some more colors out there and it’s like you’ve released a whole new product!
To be fair to Apple, they do continue to improve, if not innovate, their products. The new iPod Touch is looking slinkier than ever with its curved back and minute profile. They’ve added support for their Genius playlist, plus the iPod + Nike feature—though we wouldn’t pick the iPod Touch as a natural jogging partner. They’re also really pushing the Touch as a gaming device. Of course, no serious gamer would consider any Apple product to be a gaming device… until that unspeakable day when they announce an unholy union between Apple and Nintendo.
What’s better than a whole new line-up of iPods? A whole new line-up of Zunes! At least, that’s what Microsoft is hoping. In a week when Apple is likely to make their own splash with a slew of media player announcements, Microsoft has squeaked in to steal their thunder and give the world a glimpse of the new Zunes.
The big hardware improvement will be the increased capacity: a 120GB hard drive model and a 16GB flash model. Increased capacity is great, but admit it… what you’re most excited about is the slick new blue color.
We also love Microsoft’s decision to include an FM tuner in the Zune, and the 3.0 update will bring every Zune the ability to tag and purchase songs from the radio. Apple might be king of the media players, but it’s still baffling that they don’t have a tuner. It’s true that radio is a niche market compared to the burgeoning digital music phenomenon, but we think a lot of people would like to use their iPods to listen to sports broadcasts on the go or enjoy NPR once in a while. (Not to mention all the people who still tune into the radio for their dose of pop music.)
Also on tap for the Zunes? Lots of ways to give and get more music recommendations and to construct smart playlists using Mixview. There’s support for audiobooks, too. And two free games: Texas Hold ‘Em and… Hexic! We loved Hexic when it launched with the Xbox 360, so we’ll hardly complain about this great addition.
All of this will be coming your way September 16th. Now if only anything in this press release could even remotely steal any kind of thunder from a powerhouse like Apple…