* Prices may differ from that shown
I was looking for a discrete mini radio with ear buds for work as I work shifts and I wanted to listen to the football whilst bashing out a shift. I worked in a call centre at the time so I needed a personal model that I could pop in my ears when lot on calls and then take them out when I was on a call. I couldn't have the radio blaring in the background and it's not the really done thing. So it turns out you can't just buy a personal radio anymore you have to get an MP3 player with this facility. I found this one for dirt cheap on eBay and it's black and sleek.
The machine is small, like two ten pence pieces and it less than a centimeter thick. It is really similar to the apple shuffle, except this has the radio and it's a bit bigger. The clip is strong and you can run with it attached easily. To power up/ load songs you need to attach the USB lead to the PC. If you just want this as a radio then you don't need to put music on it but I put a couple of albums on just in case!
The music player and radio are easily toggled between and the volume can be turned very low or very high. The machine provides good clear sounds when playing stored music. Putting music on is so easy and you just need to search on the computer for the MP3 player file and then drag and drop. A trained monkey could do it although he would probably only choose monkey talented material; Arctic Monkeys, Monkeys etc.
The radio is a little fuzzy but once you find the channel you will get quite good reception, less impressive when on the move but sat at the desk it was great. Who do I support? Bradford and get the local radio pulse perfectly.
The player works well and as expected. The headphones are a little cheap, nasty looking but sound quality is not that bad through them. Not my personal choice though. The player has a battery that lasts for an average length of time, it needs regular charging but as I listened to it at work by a computer I could charge it before I needed it. This comes in loads of colours just like the Shuffle, but black was a good deal on eBay. Yeah eBay! Brand new Philips have this for £40. I would not pay this much for it, I prefer other models but for £15 I feel it is a good deal for a little radio.
I picked up this great little MP3 player for under £25, and for the price, it really is a good little device. I didn't think that the 2 GB storage would be enough, but as I have so far only uploaded my favourite albums that I listen to all the time, I still have plenty of space left. If you are the type who has hundreds of albums, then maybe the 2GB will not be enough for you. I've got an ipod too, but this little MP3 player was cheap so I don't mind taking it out with me, if it gets lost or damaged, I'm not so bothered.
The player itself is nice and sleek looking, and it has a different style to an ipod or similar so it stands out as being different. It's small enough to slip into my shirt top pocket, or carry in my jeans without being too obtrusive.
The Battery seems to last for a really long time and I can almost get a weeks worth of train journeys out of it before the battery needs recharging. That's just over 3 hours use a day for five days, so I'm quite impressed with the battery life.
The display is very bright and easy to navigate, with menus that allow you to browse the music easily and without too much complication. The indexing system is good too as I can search by title, artist or album title.
I have replaced the headphones that came with the unit with a set of my own as I did not like the way the stock headphones sat in my ear, there was something about the position of the wire that just made them feel awkward.
It a nice little player with a couple of extra features that sometimes come in handy, like a Dictaphone, a key lock and a USB connection to upload files to it. I like the way it feels and sounds and for the price I don't know if I could have got any better.
It's true that I have tremendous respect for Sony's audio quality but then Philips has always been synonymous with quality audio product. Nobody can deny that most us are "Apple" struck. But recently I have come across an amazingly easy to use MP3 player with awesome audio output at a very reasonable price.
The Philips Go Gear Raga will leave you nothing to complain. Stuffing it with music files could not have been easier. Most will say it's a basic one to which I agree also, but very effective. Simple things done simply, no advanced software is required to perform the job of transferring music files although Philips Go Gear Raga does come with additional software but one need not worry as long as the computer has an USB port and is reasonably updated. Just drag those favourite songs into the MP3 player, create folders the way it's done in the computer right click, new and folder. It's so bloody simple.
If you are finicky about trendy looks it has that too. Available in silver and black (looks sexy) but then the red one is equally attractive. The design is simple as its operations are with a very functional LCD screen. It's not really a poor man's alternative to the iPods, may be they are much more exciting but in terms of quality it matches its much more expensive peer step for step. I would go further and say that if you compare its performance with the default headphone and the iPods, well you have your money's worth.
One note of caution, the reproduction depends largely on the performance of the original file. If the quality of the mother file is dubious, it audio quality does fall far short of expectation. I realized this the hard way. I'm a Beatle diehard fan but to my utter dismay John Lenon or Paul McCartney didn't sound impressive as I had put "Imagine" and "Let it be" into Philips Go Gear Raga after a conversion to MP3 format from its original flv files. Limitations are of course there in this MP3 player but nothing really insurmountable. Although it comes with some, I would say, hardly functional audio options. The quality of the original file influences Philips Go Gear Raga's performance without question.
There are certain drawbacks which solves with use, like I landed up with sticky buttons but they smoothed out with use. Although navigation is very easy but I would advice new users to stay out of too many folders and sub folders when things might just become a bit dicey and require more time than you would like to manage and access them.
The recording quality of its built-in microphone is enviable as you get used to it, meaning as long as you learn the art of judging proper distance of the source, closer you get it's prone to distortion and heterodyne. I would have preferred a dampener but then never mind, keep using it there are so many things to learn in this wide world of ours. The recordings save automatically to the device recoverable for later play-back or transfer onto the computer.
Let's go into the technical information a little bit:
* Black, Silver, Red.
* LCD display.
* 1in screen.
* 8, 4, 2GB memory.
* 20 hours battery life.
* Stores up to 4000 (8 GB) songs.
* Compatible with Windows 2000, XP,Vista or Windows 7.
* MP3/WMA compatible.
* Repeat and shuffle functions.
* 2.0 USB port.
* Portable solid state.
* USB cable supplied.
* Software included.
* Includes in ear headphones.
* Weight 35g.
* Size H4.7, W4.5, D1.5cm.
* Built-in battery.
* EAN/Barcode: 8712581534530.
As you can understand from the above info Philips Go Gear Raga is incredibly small and lightweight but it is just big enough to allow easy access to the tracks and the controls with a very neatly and cleverly designed LCD.
The battery life is the best plus of this Philip's gadget. It gives you unhindered 20 hours continuous playback. The Philips Go Gear Raga is chargeable via USM cable either through the computer's USB or mains USB adapter. In the mean time the LCD gives you most of the information as far as the charging process is concerned.
The player is charged via a USB cable, which jacks in directly to your computer's USB port or a mains USB adapter to charge. It doesn't take very long at all for the player to charge completely, and a helpful LCD display will inform you of charging progress and charging completion. Since you have the option let your track title be shown for, say, 20 seconds since it is one of the factor that decides the total play-back time on one full charge.
Priced at £36.5 (8GB) and £29 (4GB) what more one can expect
2gb doesn't seem to be enough for me these days. My first mp3 player was something like 500mb and always seemed to be more that adequate storage space for 3-4 albums.
For this reason I may only be in possession of the Philips Raga 2gb for a little while longer until I return to HMV. There aren't many things wrong with this mp3 player. Its smooth, attractive and compact enough for travel being the pocket size of 4.5 - 4.3cm. It also has 22 hours battery life (which I imagine wears down to less after much use). The buttons are ergonomically sound. The screen is bright, full colour and menus easy to navigate. Its a great alternative to an iPod shuffle or stupidly small iPod nano. You can browse menus and create your own play lists. Sub menu's include selecting song alphabetically by artist, album etc which is a necessity for mass storage devices like mp3 players
There are a couple of things that are annoying though. The lesser of the annoyances is the headphone wire (mini jack) which I would prefer to have plugged in at the base of the player rather than top. That would have mean't I could have my hand in my pocket skipping tracks etc, without the wire bending around and out of my pocket.
The second is there is a pause/play button but somewhat annoyingly it also being the select button you can't pause or stop your track when browsing the menu's without selecting another track instead.
It comes with standard features including a locking switch to prevent accidental switching on or knocking buttons when fumbling through pockets. Usb connection with 3 inch usb cable included.
The microphone option on mp3 players have always baffled me slightly, the Raga has one thrown in. I can however see the use of such a device used as a dictaphone to record lectures, shopping lists etc.
Overall the Raga is a grade up from my last mp3 player. Its easier to use, stylish and compact and despite some draw backs I would recommend one. High street price: 24.99 pounds.
Also published on ciao.co.uk under name pippylong.
In light of paying only 25.99 for this Philips GogoGear mp3 player, I didn`t expect too much of it, but I was very pleasantly surprised, as I love this mp3 player, for both its funky and modern design and the very good sound quality! One of the biggest reasons I love this mp3 player so much, is the simple fact that it is very easy to download and place music and tunes into the player, you simply drag and drop from your laptop, no sweat whatsoever! When your favorite music is safe and sound on your GogoGear player, the audio quality is quite good, it`s in fact surprisingly good, again in light of the very affordable cost. With 2 GB, you can fit a lot of tunes on this gadget, and another positive feature is the long battery length, yeah! I will also mention that the earphones that follows this player fits very nicely and comfortable in the ears, this is a big plus for me as I have problems finding earphones that doesn`t fall out!
If I have to mention one minor con about this product, it`s the fact that it doesn`t come with the camera. However, this disadvantage is something I barely think about, so I`m all in all very, very pleased!
The unique software in this player allows you to do something very cool; download music directly from the internet onto the mp3-player! Again, very easy and fast!
When my very cheap and unbranded MP3 player, acquired for under a tenner from eBay, up and died one day, I began looking around for a replacement. The only criteria I set myself was that it shouldn't be an iPod. I know it's petty but I really don't want to own anything from Apple, least of all an iPod, because I object to being told I can only load it via iTunes: That smacks too much of outside control to me!
As I only use an MP3 player for listening to music or audio books on my walk to and from work, I didn't want to spend a fortune either, and eventually I plumped for the Philips Raga which I felt was a well known make and previous buyers on the Argos website rated it highly.
Price and availability:
This is currently selling at both Amazon and Argos for £24.99.
The first thing to note is that I'm not particularly technical so this is very much a lay person's view of this MP3 player. Also, my own player has a 4GB capacity not 2GB as stated. I made a mistake when I made this product suggestion, however, all the specifications are the same with the exception of the load capacity.
I'd had my previous MP3 player for a couple of years and despite it's dubious ancestry (it came with operating instructions in Chinese only), it had really proved to be a bit of a bargain so I was hoping that this replacement would be equally as good.
I must admit, when I opened the box, the size of this new one came as a bit of a shock. It was very small, certainly compared to my previous one, and was no bigger than a box of matches and a darn sight slimmer. The brushed aluminium casing is classy looking though and so far seems to be resistant to marking or scratching. The player is often banging about in my handbag and has so far weathered the storm without any ill effects.
The display is very small but is large enough to show text details of what's currently playing etc, with the selected mode being highlighted and in larger sized text. The screen is backlit which also certainly makes it easier to read the text.
This is very easy to operate and the player comes with some music and audio samples pre-loaded which includes tracks by several different bands (none of whom I'd heard of before) and the audio sample was of The Hound of the Baskervilles. In fact, although I've deleted the audio sample now and several of the music tracks, I kept one by Scallawag (apparently they played on the film Titanic) because it's a great piece of toe-tapping Irish folk music.
As I said, operation is simple with everything being controlled via five buttons. It's possible to choose to play music by album, artist, all songs or shuffle. Playing audio books is very straightforward too but does eat into the memory capacity, so I tend to load, listen and then delete.
The software used is called Songbird, developed by Philips, which enables the user to play and download music directly from the internet onto the player. In Philips's own words "Its intuitive and powerful music management features let you discover new artists and music styles directly in the program through music and media stores, services and websites. Play your own library and media from the Internet and seamlessly sync all of it from your PC to your Philips GoGear."
Loading music is very simple (it must be if I can do it) and it can be done straight from the PC, without any of that first uploading to iTunes nonsense. The MP3 player comes with full operating instructions, a very short USB cable for uploading/downloading and charging plus, of course, earphones which on my model are white. These earphones are pretty basic but they do the job just fine and the in-ear pieces are slightly teardrop shaped which certainly seems to help them stay in the ear.
Unfortunately, the player comes without an AC/DC plug adapter and the USB connector doesn't fit my previous adapter but as the player re-charges easily via the PC, this isn't a huge problem.
The player can store 450 tracks (on the 2GB model. The 4GB model stores 900 tracks). This may not be enough for true music buffs but as I only listen to mine whilst on the move, I find that's plenty big enough.
Another slight drawback is the fact that this player is for music/audio only and has no radio, although I can live with that.
I'm only getting limited use from the audio facility at the moment because my local library charges a whopping £3 to borrow books in MP3 format but there are quite a few (legal) freebie sites on the web from which I've managed to download books. Unfortunately, these tend to be American sites with American readers, which is quite off-putting if you're listening to an English classic and have, for instance, Elizabeth Bennet or Mr Darcy speaking with American accents!
Philips claim that the battery should last for 22 hours of continuous music playback before needing a re-charge and, so far, I've had no reason to doubt that.
Pros and Cons:
At the risk of repeating myself somewhat, here are what I consider to be the pros and cons of this MP3 player
Good sound quality
Easy to operate
Allows for multimedia downloads
Holds the charge for a long time
In-ear headphones designed to stay in the ear
No adaptor supplied
Headphones: The left and right are difficult to read because the lettering is white on silver.
Track capacity may be too small for music enthusiasts
All in all, I'm very pleased with this MP3 player despite its limitations. It certainly wouldn't fit the bill for people who are heavily into their music and keep it all on the MP3 player but for occasional users who still listen to CDs and vinyl when at home, it's perfectly adequate. It's just a shame it doesn't have a radio.
Screen size 1.0in.
Stores up to 450 tracks.
22 hours playback.
DRM 10 compatible.
Rechargeable via AC/DC adaptor and USB port.
Size (H)4.6, (W)4.3, (D)1.3cm.
2.0 USB port.
MP3/WMA/WAV, FLAC, APE compatible.
USB cable supplied.
Minimum PC specification: Windows Vista, XP or Windows 7