Early last year I was on the lookout for a decent but not too pricey mp3 player. Being very unimaginative my first thought was Argos. I searched through their mp3 players and after reading favourable reviews I bought the 8gb Philips GoGear RaGa in a plain silver colour. I think at the time it cost about £35. This product is no longer available on the Argos site, though they seem to have made over the RaGa and have it in 2gb and 4gb sizes, both in mp3 and mp4 format. If you want the original 8gb mp3 player you can buy it for £44 from Cohaku. You could also try searching ebay for a bargain.
This little mp3 player apparently holds up to 1800 songs - this of course depends on the quality of the song files, and how long a song lasts. At the time I thought this would be ample space, but it is now full and I find myself wishing there was a 16gb for me to upgrade to! Still for the price I can't complain too much.
You can also store normal files on the mp3 player, and use it as a memory stick. Uploading and removing songs and files is very simple. You connect the mp3 player to your computer using the cable that comes in the box. It's as simple as plug and play, and then drag and drop.
The mp3 player is very dinky - about 2 inch square. This is great for fitting in pockets! The screen however is pretty tiny, so it's a little difficult to see an extensive overview of a playlist. This isn't a huge problem though and can be resolved with a little patience. The buttons are on the front, with the power button on the bottom. These are easy to use. There is also a lock feature which means you can't accidentally change the song. However when in locked mode you can still change the volume.
The charge on this is pretty good. It's supposed to last about 20 hours without needing charged, and I've found that generally this is the case. There's also plenty of warning, because even when it reaches the last battery life bar you still have several hours to charge it before it cuts off. The sound quality is also really good.
My main issue with this is that I can't make playlists directly on the mp3 player. To do this I'd need to edit the tags on the computer before uploading them, and then search for the common tag that all the songs share.
A pair of headphones does come in the box, however I haven't used them, so I can't comment on their quality. To be honest though, they don't look great.
I've owned this mp3 player for about 15 months now and use it for a couple of hours almost every day. It's been very reliable, and shows no signs that extended use is taking it's toll.
While the Raga doesn't have as many features as a bigger brand mp3 player, like an iPod or creative, it's fantastic for the money it cost, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for anyone looking for a budget but practical mp3 player.
I recently bought this after using Creative's products for years, renown for their superior style and audio purity but also their disgustedly poor software capabilities. I can safely say the clarity of the music is as good as any other and 8GB is usually more than enough for your average music lover (Mine has 2GB left). The screen is laughably small though, being slightly larger than a small piece of Wrigley's chewing gum on a case that is almost hidden in your hand and only displays 3 bands at a time as you scroll through them (font size is just big enough), but considering other mp3 players, this is decent - it has no gimmicky video options or photo displays just solid music and a microphone and audiobooks for good measure. The only real downsides with this is that you cannot create playlists of your choosing, merely play all tracks, shuffle and repeat options. Battery life is fairly average at 20 hours and the volume just misses the ability to slightly deafen you. Another downside is that the updates can mess it up, meaning you have to wait longer for the mp3 to load 100% of the tracks.
Simple controls with a lock switch so nothing happens when its in your pocket, a reset button, comes with basic earphones and a usb cable found almost everywhere. All in a decent, slick black front and frosted red casing. For the no nonsense music lover with a slightly above average size music collection.