== Introduction ==
Now that my daughter is starting to appreciate music, largely my fault, and partly Dooyoos fault (due to the many music reviews I have written). She often asks me what a certain song is called when she hears me playing it while writing a review, so her tastes range from The Beatles, Wings, Petula Clark and The Jam at the moment. For her Christmas Santa brought her a stereo and a few CDs and I had put some songs on her Innotab, but I wanted her to have something more portable. Lily-May had received some Argos vouchers from her auntie and I saw this at a reduced price, and I thought it would be perfect for her.
== What is it? ==
The Philips GoGear Mix is part of Philips MP3 player range, which has lots of MP3 players at various degrees of storage size, some play videos etc too. The version I am reviewing plays MP3, Wav and WMA files. This product has an inbuilt battery, which means that you just have to plug it into a USB port on a PC/Laptop to charge it, I prefer inbuilt batteries, as it saves having to change batteries all the time. It also has a fast charge, which can give you an hours use for a six minute charge, pretty fast in my opinion. The screen size is 1 inch, the whole unit measures H8.25, W2.45, D1.59cm, which is quite petite and a nice discrete size. The GoGear Mix doesn't weigh much either, only 22g, so it is nice and light. I MP3 player comes in various colours, Argos have two available; Black and Pink, although I have seen it in blue, like the product photograph on here, I purchased the pink one for my daughter. This product has a plastic clip on it, so you can clip it onto an item of clothing and in order to charge/transfer music, you just pull the clip off to reveal the USB. On a full charge the device has 15 hours of battery life, which is quite a substantial amount of battery life for such a little device, meaning that even for the longest of journeys it will still go on playing.
You get a quick start guide with images to help you understand how all the functions work. I found this to be complicated in parts and I learned more about the device just by playing around with it, that is why I have went into a lot of detail below.
== Transferring Music Across ==
The MP3 player is really easy to transfer music onto it, you simply plug it into your laptop/computer and open up the music folder inside, then it is just a case of dragging and dropping (copying/cutting and pasting) a song into the music folder. On the first use there are a couple of sample tracks, which I just deleted; I can't imagine Lily-May wanting to listen to waves crashing or the sound of rain. The 4Gb GoGear Mix holds approximately 1000 songs, possibly more songs than my child would need (I have only put 28 songs on it for her so far), but it has given me plenty of room to build up her collection as she gets into more music.
== Functions ==
=== Play/Pause ===
This is the main button on the device, it not only operates as a play/pause button, but it is the main selector button similar to "enter" on a keypad. You also press this button to switch the device on and you hold it in to switch the device off. After a period of no use, the device automatically switches off, handy for when Lily-May just takes it off and leaves it lying dormant.
=== Lock ===
The device has a lock button, which you press and hold to lock and unlock the device, I think this is quite a handy little button. We've all been there, you're out having a morning run and the "next track button" accidentally brushes against your body, resulting in skipped songs, the lock button prevents this from happening. The lock button also doubles as the function button, just tapping it you can scroll through the different functions on the device, such as the microphone and radio, which I will explain in more detail below.
=== Volume ===
My only gripe with this device is that whenever you turn it on, the volume is always locked at 8 and 8 on this is about 2 on any other similar device I have used. In order to increase the volume you hold the volume up button in and then when the screen display says "Do you wish to increase the maximum volume?", you use the next track or previous track buttons to select either "yes" or "no" and then press the play/pause button to select. The maximum volume on this device is 16 and according to the manual, the maximum output voltage is not greater than 150 mV, so it is not loud enough to give your ears any damage.
=== Next Track/Previous Track ===
These two buttons not only enable you to skip tracks or go back a track, but they also double as option buttons. For instance, when turning the maximum volume off, a message appears on the screen, giving you the option to say "yes" or "no", you press these buttons to scroll to the answer of your choice.
=== Microphone ===
The microphone is located at the bottom of the MP3 Player, I never have any use for this, I'm not sneaky. Although I can imagine it would come in handy for a student recording a lecture. I have freaked my daughter out with this, by recording "boo" and when she gets to that track I watch the look on her face. Using the microphone is very simple, you tap the "lock button", then scroll through the menu using the "next track/previous track button until you reach the display that says "Recordings", then you click on "Start voice recording", using the "play/pause button" you start your voice recording. When you are finished you press the "lock button" and you get an option to save your recording, using the "next track/previous track button", you scroll to either "yes" or "no".
=== Radio ===
The MP3 player has a built in FM radio, and it gives you the option to manual tune or auto tune it. The headphones act as the radio antenna and I found it picked up a clear station really quickly when using auto tune. You can also save the tuned in station in the presets folder. Again this is found using the "lock button" and scrolling through using the "next track/previous track buttons".
=== Settings ===
This function enables you to change a lot of the devices settings, such as volume settings and display settings. The device has a built in, very basic graphic equalizer, and you can change the settings for this. You can also restore it back to factory settings by scrolling through this folder. As with all the other functions, you can get to this function by using the "lock button" and scrolling through. There is also a manual reset button located next to the microphone, you just need to insert a pin into it.
== Price ==
At the time of writing this review you can purchase this from Argos for £12.49 in pink, or you can buy the black one for £24.99, both have an RRP of £49.99, so you are getting quite a bargain. There is only one difference between the black one and the pink one, and that is the colour, so I have no idea why the black one is more expensive.
== Verdict ==
This is a fantastic piece of kit and a great first MP3 player for Lily-May. Every parent out there who dreads the shopping trips with their child, should get one of these. Gone are the days when Lily-May, tries to run around the shop, shouting "I want that", putting stuff in my basket that I don't need, etc. Now I pop the MP3 player on her before we leave the house and she skips to the shop singing along. When we get to the shop she walks beside me singing along to herself, the days of her yapping constantly on a shopping trip when I am staring at a shelf trying to think of what to buy are long gone. The volume level doesn't go too loud, even when at full blast, and I also use children's headphones with it, rather than the earbuds supplied, so it doesn't blast her ears, she can still hear her music and she can still hear me when I speak to her. I wouldn't recommend this for an adult, or someone who likes their music loud, although I do have a little plug in amplifier to use with it when I want to blast my eardrums, but for a child, this MP3 player is perfect. The other thing I like about this MP3 player, is that it is compatible with Lily-May's stereo, it just plugs in and saves a lot of space on her shelf for CD's. I have found this device to produce a nice crystal clear sound and despite the low volume levels I will still give this 5/5 stars, as I did buy it for my daughter and it does the job it was intended for. If I were buying this for myself, however, I would give this only 3/5, as the volume just isn't loud enough for me.
I bought one of these a couple of years ago because its a good make and was great for the price. I use it all the time, it still works very well the music is very clear and the volume goes up very loud the only thing its missing is a bass boost button. I can fit loads of songs onto this MP3 player and I always seem to have enough room, I do love my music and I put about 15 albums on which is enough for me. If you wanted to put all your music on an MP3 and you have hundreds this wont be for you. Also it charges quickly, it just slots into your laptop USB port and charges while you go on your computer.
The only problem I have had with this device is that it has crashed a few times and just wouldn't switch on or off, so I have had to reset it a few times, then it works fine again and you don't loose your music. I was a bit confused the first time it crashed because I didn't know what to do and I couldn't understand how to press the reset button. Because the reset button is so tiny you have to get something the size of a pin to put in the hole to press the button, but im used to it now. Its a small price to pay for a device which works so well and its good value for money and I haven't seen any need to upgrade it as it has worked fine for me, I would recommend this MP3 player to anyone who is looking to buy a simple reliable MP3 player.