Although you can get more expensive units (£200+)that can store 6 gigabytes of music with no moving parts, mp3/cd players like this Goodmans are aimed more at the budget listener who's sufficiently technologically savvy that they know they can get up to a dozen or more MP3 albums onto a single CD and wants to be able to listen to them on the go. Like a lot of people, I've been slowly transforming my collection of several hundred vinyl albums into digital format, and in many ways this player is the ideal choice for such a situation. On the hoof, cd's with MP3's recorded onto them play almost perfectly, with only the occasional skip or jump experienced when walking at a normal speed around town, with the unit stored in a rucksack. The story's not so good, however, with regular CD's. These tend to bounce around like crazy, making for an irritating and frustrating experience. To my knowledge, this discrepancy between MP3 and regular music tracks is down to a technical issue concerning the way such readers read the information off the cd. So if you're looking for a cd player to use on the go with regular cd's, forget it. So why not just buy a portable MP3 player Because of the amount of info you can get on a disc, dummy. Battery life is only about 2 hours with an MP3 disk, but you can easily pick up a pack of 4 budget rechargeables for less than a fiver these days. Plus - get this - the player RECHARGES THE BATTERIES FOR YOU. Yes, it's true. So no worries about buying a charger! Neat or what? Sound quality is surprisingly excellent, with a second volume control on the supplied headphones. So if you want a budget MP3 solution and have the means to burn discs, this is a great little machine. If, however, what you're looking for is a regular CD player, look elsewhere.
I bought this player because it plays both normal but also recordable and mp3s on CD, so it is more versatile than your average personal CD player. The build quality on this player very good, it is well contained and the buttons are sunk in, which limits the buttons getting pressed accidentally. In addition it is narrower than most players which is ideal because it means it fits in your pocket more easily. The player has 45 seconds anti-shock when playing an audio CD and 120 seconds when playing an MP3 data CD. MP3 CDs must be written using a single session burn program such as Adaptec Easy CD or Nero. Using a drag burn program like CD Creator which burns in mulitiple sessions will work as the player will only recognise the first session. The CDMP 370 will recognise up to 20 separate albums or 200 MP3s, whichever is recognised first. Anything over this is not recognised by the player so bare it in mind when creating your discs. The player has an LCD screen in the middle of the lid and using skip forward and back buttons, you can navigate the menus in a manner not dissimilar to windows explorer. There is also a three letter searc function to locate mp3 files quickly. You can program various play methods, repeat, random etc... There is a bass function on the side of the player and shock protection can be de-activated to save power and prolong battery life (estimated at 6 hours off 2 AA batteries). If you are using rechargeable batteries then you can actually charge them in the player using included adaptor into the mains. The headphones included are of very good standard. The sound quality is high and there is a decent volume control on them. In addition, speaker cables for the line out port are included so this can be used as a room player as well. Best of all at only £89.99 it comes in significantly cheaper than an mp3 player of any quality and brings the media to the
masses (well...me anyway!) Overall this is a good player and I do like the mp3 factor a great deal. The flexibility in power useage and charge facility make this a great product. My one and only improvement would be if there was a hold switch on it, so that when it is in your pocket an accidental click of a switch does not result in the player doing something undesired. Overall I recommend this product strongly.
MP3 Players are pretty damn expensive, with any player worth even considering coming in at over £200, coupled with the extra expense of flash memory cards, themselves priced around £50 for 32Mb bumping this price up even further. This works out at being around £1.50/minute of music so wouldn’t it be great if you could listen to your MP3s on an ordinary 50p CD-R disc holding up to 650Mb of digital music data? Well now you can, with hoards of MP3 CD players flooding the market - the Goodmans CDMP350 being just one of them. At £90, you can hardly argue with the price - being as it is the same price as an ordinary top-end portable CD player, but what about the quality? Well it certainly looks the business, a good solid design, some great audio playback, topped off by a neat silver and blue finish. Basically, it looks like a CD walkman and has many similar functions BUT there are a few major gripes. The LCD display is small, around the same size as a calculator screen and therefore can not display album details or even the full name of a track in many cases. Furthermore, despite its portable size and design, Goodmans deny that this is a device meant for use on the move and you’ll find that the slightest knock or bump sends the player skipping through the tracks which is ridiculous. Goodmans’ clam lacks a little credibility as well when you think that it comes with a battery compartment, headphones, is of a portable size and design etc. However, a stereo lead is provided which allows you to connect the player to your home stereo system for indoor use, but this surely limits its appeal, as most would want to use it as a mobile music player. Another point that this and to be fair, all CD playing mobile devices falls down on compared to conventional MP3 players is power consumption. Due to the high energy costs of using a laser to read from the CD, you only get around 4 hours of battery life from the two AA batteries which this unit requir
es to work. If you use rechargeable batteries then you’ll get just over 2 hours of use, but the great thing here is that they can be recharged in the player itself by using the mains adapter which is very helpful. MP3 players do not have this high energy cost as they do not need a laser to read from the flash memory, so you get 7+ hours playback from your batteries with most of these, which may work out cheaper in the long-run and less annoying in terms of running out of power all the time. Overall, for the price this is a good buy, but NOT if you intend to use it as a mobile device, which probably cuts out the majority of its potential buyers. If you intended to listen to MP3s at home then you may as well carry on listening to them on your computer rather than investing in one of these to listen to them on your stereo. But if you really want to do this then this is a very good buy, the playback being rather good and the number of MP3s you can store being superb in comparison to that offered by memory cards. You also will probably not need the batteries either, as, if the unit is going to sit on top of your stereo all the time, you’ll just plug it into the wall. rating 3/5 for a standalone unit - 1/5 as an on the move player