“ Freecom Beatman Flash-64 - Digital player - WMA, MP3 - silver „
This was my first MP3 player and I had it for about a year before having to get a different model because the tiny capacity was too much of a drawback. The maximum number of songs I ever had on it was 18, although usually it was less than this. I quickly got bored of hearing the same songs every day, so I had to change the songs on it quite regularly. Although this was a reasonably easy process (plug into a computer, drag songs on and off the MP3 player using the program provided), it would be preferable to not have to do this. I have since learned that you can buy an additional memory card, but this doesn't improve the capacity by much (still only about 10% of the iPod Shuffle capacity).
However, the actual MP3 player is of good quality. It is small and stylish, making it easily portable. It comes with a protective case to prevent scratches and protect the screen. However I did find that this made some of the buttons hard to press. The sound quality is great through the provided speakers, although the volume goes up too high in my opinion (it is easy to slip on the volume wheel and give your ears a shock!). Battery life is also reasonably low, and so the batteries require regular replacement (expensive!).
A useful extra feature on this MP3 player is a microphone, so you also have a handy voice recorder built in. However, the problem of low capacity is also relevant here.
There are other MP3 players in this range now available with higher capacities which may be worth considering as this is a reasonable quality MP3 player and may be useful to some with a smaller music collection, or for use during exercise. However, a quick search online on eBay and Amazon has brought back no results, so it may be difficult to get hold of. Maybe this is a sign that it's not worth trying to.
I've had the Freecom BeatMan flash 64mb mp3/wma player for almost 3 years now. Overall it is a brilliant product however it is not without its (minor) flaws. I will start with the good points. First thing you notice after you buy this product is its size. This is still one of the smallest mp3/wma players around despite being on the market for several years. It doesn't come with a remote on the headphones although its not really necessary given the size and portability of the player. The supplied in-ear headphones are made by Sennheiser and are better than any other in-ear headphones I've seen or used elsewhere. You get a neck strap to wear the player around your neck as well as 3 cool covers - smooth silver/black, leopard and orange. Unfortunately they're only stickers so once they're on, you are stuck with it. Sound quality is faultless and it can play wma files which is very useful if you've burnt tracks from a cd onto a computer using Windows media player. It also has a built-in microphone which means you can use it to dictate messages. The software you use to upload songs onto the player is simple to use, while the player has support for ID3 tags (artists/track/ album etc for each track). The player interface is simple - tracks are in the order they are stored in its memory, so you cant play just a particular album unless you upload it all at once onto the player. There is also a backlight however it only stays on for 2 seconds which can be very annoying. Another bad point is its limited memory capacity - when I bought this it only had 64mb of built in memory (enough for about 15 songs) however it is now available with up to 512mb of built-in memory (obviously its costs more though). I bought a 128mb Smartmedia card (unfortunately you cannot buy bigger), meaning it can hold about 50 songs which makes it fine for long journey or plane trips but on a long holiday more memory is needed. Another minor design flaw is that with a memory card installed, replacing a battery (AAA - which last for hours) requires the card to be removed, battery replaced then the card put back in. This can be quite cumbersome when on a plane/coach especially because of the delicate memory card.
Freecom introduces the Beatman Flash: this tiny, lightweight player allows you to take your favorite music with you, wherever you go. It is perfectly suitable for jogging and other outdoor activities; it has no moving parts inside - that brings 100% skip-free music playback. It provides easy connection to the PC via a USB port to transfer your music files from your PC to the Beatman Flash. Freecom Beatman - high quality parts, cool design, superb sound!