I recently bought this mp3 player on am online auction, I was very please when I managed to purchace it for £65 as opposed to the £120 retail price. For the price i paid it is an absolute bargain, for the retail price I feel that it is about average when it comes for value for money. I think that this mp3 player is really good the only downside is the amount of memory it has, only 32mb which isn't really enough but it is the standard amount for most mp3 players in this price range. The advantage is that you can use smart media cards to increase the capacity but currently these are quite expensive (about £1.90 per mb). The software is very easy to use (which helps as I don't have time to spend learning how to use software efficiently), the features are good as it includes a personal phone book and dictaphone. I do also think that is is very aesthetically pleasing but due to the oval screen consumers with poor eyesight may have problems reading it.
The jazPiper is not exactly a Palm Pilot, but the addition of this simple feature lets you replace your little black book. About the size of a small address book, the jazPiper is very lightweight. Its silver plastic case and oval LCD screen give it a sleek appearance. You can find most of the important functions on the face directly under the LCD screen. One large button lets you control On, Play, Pause, Forward, Reverse, and Power Off. Also located on the face are the Mode, Erase, and Record buttons. Having these important controls right below the LCD allows for quick operation without a lot of fumbling around. The only important control that isn't on the face is the volume, which is instead located on the top of the unit, next to the headphone jack. The misplaced volume control disrupts the efficient, intuitive, easy-to-use, all-on-one-face dynamic. Next to the volume lies the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Repeat function buttons. The DSP options include Normal, Classic, Pop, and Rock, but I found the DSP options to be weak-Pop sounds too tin-like for my taste and Normal and Rock sound muddy. I stuck with Classic for everything because it was the only setting that didn't sound strange. Overall, the sound quality is fair, as are the headphones that come with the player.
The Jazpiper was one of the first generation MP3 players, and has since been superceded by a large number of competitors. I bought mine towards the end of summer 1999, when MP3 players were still very rare. The nicest thing about the Jazpiper is the size - it is considerably smaller than a personal stereo, and smaller even than a MiniDisc player. It can easily be popped into a breast pocket, and weighs very little. Since the memory is solid-state, you can use the player when doing sport, since playback will never jump. The biggest drawback with this player is the limited memory - 32MB is only really enough for just over 1/2 an hour of CD quality music (128kbps). You can upgrade this to 64MB with the addition of a SmartMedia 32MB extension card, but these are still rather expensive (around £60). The player can be used as a basic dictaphone, with up to 2 hours of voice recordings stored (although in a lower quality format than with MP3). Unfortunately you can't upload these voice recordings back to your PC. In addition, the memory of the player can be used to hold any type of computer files, which can be useful for transferring files between computers. Although you can copy MP3 files to the player, you cannot copy them back to the PC (this is meant to stop illegal transfer of copyright music). The Jazpiper has 4 DSP modes, which allow you to set the style of sound playback. The options are: normal, pop (high frequencies enhanced), rock (low, bass frequencies enhanced) and classic (the best mix of them all). The player is supplied with a set of Leemax in-ear earphones, which are of impressively high quality. Some of the other budget MP3 players skimp on the cost by giving you cheap and nasty headphones, but the Leemax ones are particularly good. The Jazpiper is connected to your PC through the parallel port, which may mean you have to unplug your printer cable. You may also have to tweak the BIOS settings to s
et the parallel port to ECP as required for transferring data to the player. Upload times are reasonable, and the supplied software is easy to use, although it can be prone to hanging mid-transfer. One major problem with the player is that it eats batteries. The manual suggests you will get 12 hours of life out of them, but it does seem to be a lot less than that. It also seems to drain batteries even when its not switched on, so if you leave it untouched for a couple of weeks, chances are your batteries will be flat. Overall, the Jazpiper is showing its age a bit now. There are better players on the market, and I would really only recommend this one if you can get it for a cheaper price than its competitors. When it came out, it was state of the art, but it has since been surpassed.