Product Type: Philips MP3 players
Newest Review: ... opinion. It looks great and does not have a cheap design. I have always liked Philips products and I thought that this was not going to be... more
An MP3 player for surviving a perpetual klutz
Philips GoGear Mix SA1MXX04K 4 GB
Member Name: Mildew82
Philips GoGear Mix SA1MXX04K 4 GB
Advantages: Durable, reliable, small and easy to use with a great number of ways to play music
Disadvantages: Dreadful radio function
So finally, after years of torturous struggle, I think I might have just found the perfect MP3 player in the Philips GoGear Mix 4GB MP3 Player.
The Philips GoGear Mix 4GB MP3 Player is a stylish and sleek looking piece of equipment. It is extremely small and light, just marginally bigger than a USB stick and is a nice shiny black colour to suit your inner Goth needs. The main controls along the top of the player (volume and lock/on/off switch) are barely raised above the surface which makes it very hard to inadvertently knock them and send your player off on an unwanted command.
The main controls sit alongside the full colour display (which has a decent resolution of 128 x 64 pixels) in a small trough and again the buttons are not raised which makes it virtually impossible to inadvertently hit the buttons. The only downside is that the screen is itself a little small, (but the scrolling text displayed on it is quite large and clear so you won't have any issues reading the display) as are the main controls, so occasionally it is possible to slip and hit the wrong button, but with a bit of coordination training this shouldn't really be a problem.
The headphones are nice and long which is perfect for me as I tend to have my player in my pocket during my tedious train commutes, and although they are not the absolute best quality they are still more than adequate. They also act as an aerial to pick up radio waves but I believe you can replace these with other headphones and still maintain this function.
One final excellent point for this player is the fact that the USB connector is hidden and can be pushed out using the slide operator on the bottom of the player rather than having a cap which is easily lost. This both allows the player to keep its sleek, streamlined look and means that by having no movable or overhanging parts I am going to find it a lot harder to break something. Perfect.
Many of my dead and buried MP3 players (R.I.P) all suffered from the same problem - non-intuitive menus which thankfully this player does not share. The menu is extremely simple to use, when you first turn it on you can choose from Music, FM Radio, Recordings, Folder View, Settings and Last Played just by simply scrolling through with the up and down buttons and then hitting the play button to enter that submenu. To return to the previous menu all you need to do is hit the back button.
Here is where you can select how you want to listen to your mp3 files. The player automatically divides your songs into Albums and Artists based upon the property information of each individual mp3 file you have uploaded saving you the bother, plus any Playlists that you have organised yourself. You also have the option of shuffling through your entire collection so you can play your music any way you want depending on what mood you are in.
With the headphones as the aerial you are able to either manually tune your stations and save them to presets or get your player to automatically search and assign them. I haven't had much luck with this - the auto-search function only found one station and I find the reception very poor for all stations I have manually set. Assuming you can get reception you also have the option to record the station you are listening to which is a nice feature.
I think the radio would be fine to listen to as long as you don't have to move - not so great if the only place to find reception is standing on a chair in the middle of your living room after 10 minutes of trying to find a receptive place and the first thing you are greeted with upon success is the saccharine warbling of Westlife. It certainly doesn't work particularly well out and about, say for example on a train journey. Imagine having to stand up on a train seat trying to find reception...why people would think you were crazy and move well clear of you....then you would have all the seats for yourself....hmmmm.....hang on a tick......
The player has a microphone at the top which allows you to take voice recordings. I haven't experimented with length so I don't know how long a recording can be, but the playback quality is very good although background noise is easily picked up, which is not great if that wasn't your intention.
In this submenu you can set your sound settings including your play mode - repeat or shuffle and your preferred equaliser including Rock, Funk, Hip Hop, Jazz, Classical, Techno and even a Custom designed one where you can fiddle with the bass and treble and all that jazz to your heart's content.
You can also alter your language settings and your display settings to change the background colour of your display to dark, blue or pink (I opt for dark) or even rotate the screen so it rotates by 180 degrees maybe to allow for right and left handed people. The only thing to look out for if you do that is that the main controls also become inverted so the symbols no longer match the commands.
Now Playing / Last Played
This submenu will show you what you are currently playing and also holds a history of the last songs you played when your player is inactive so I guess if you wanted to repeat a song you had just listened to but you had switched off the player this will allow you to do so.
Pros and Cons
+ 4MB memory so you can fit (supposedly) 900 songs on give or (more probably) take which is great if you just want something to pass the time e.g. commuting
+ Good organisation of your music for a variety of ways to play it back
+ Excellent internal battery life of about 25 hours playback (although mine was probably more like 18 hours which is still okay) so need to buy new batteries each time
+ Intuitive menu so need to read the manual pre-saved on your player unless you like that kind of thing
+ High quality resolution LCD display
+ Very lightweight and small so can be conveniently carried almost anywhere
+ No moving parts so very hard to break
+ Simple to copy files across - just drag and drop in Windows Explorer or a similar program if you are not ensnared in Microsoft's evil corporation
+ Files can only be deleted on your computer and not directly on the player which prevents the accidental misuse of buttons from destroying any vital files
- Poor quality radio (at least getting reception)
- Takes a few hours to charge the battery (probably the same for all MP3 Players with an internal battery) so you have to leave your computer on until it has finished so best not to start late at night
- Small buttons for the main controls so it is possible to hit the wrong button if you're not looking
This Philips MP3 player suits all my needs. I have no desire to own thousands and thousands of songs so 4MB is more than enough memory for me. Since I use my MP3 player 5 out of 7 days a week on my daily train commute I need it to be durable and reliable to make sure I can block out the sounds of other passengers and so far this one has been very successful. I have only dropped it twice so far which is probably a record for me and so far there has been no loss in functionality.
With a very easy to use menu system and a great variety of ways to play my music I am very impressed with this particular model. I actually got mine for £33.02 (a nice rounds number) from Amazon but I see now that the price is £44.99. I would suggest that if you can get it cheaper than £44.99 you would probably be getting a bit more of your money's worth.
The only real downside is the radio is pretty ineffectual, but I don't really ever want to use it so it's no great loss for me. According to my list the pros by far outweigh the cons! Overall, if you want a fairly uncomplicated player that plays your music how you want it to than this is the perfect model for you.
Summary: An uncomplicated player perfect for simply playing your music anyway you want
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