Product Type: Richfield MP3 players
Newest Review: ... 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 do... more
A bit long in the tooth now
RFC jazPiper MV32P
Member Name: GroundZero
RFC jazPiper MV32P
Date: 24/10/00, updated on 24/10/00 (151 review reads)
Advantages: Tiny size, low weight, good sound on classic setting
Disadvantages: A bit long in the tooth, better players now available, short battery life
The Jazpiper was one of the first generation MP3 players, and has since been superceded by a large number of competitors.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.