Back in the day, when the MP3 player and the iPod was in its infancy, it was the gadget everyone wanted. The problem with this, however, was that the ipod in particular was near impossible to obtain. This left me with a decision to make: wait for the ipod to become available or buy something else.
I decided for the Philips Go Gear, a similar yet cheaper alternative at around £100. It was only 2GB compared to the ipod mini's 4gb, but I was around 15 at the time so my music collection was hardly vast! The go gear had a built in radio which the ipod did not offer- another bonus I felt.
I liked the look of the mp3 player- white all over with chrome trim. It was quite heavy but felt substantial and sturdy. There was 4 buttons in the centre forming an octagon, and there was a power button in the top right hand corner. In the box with the player were coloured stickers which you could stick to the sides of device to customise it- a bit naff but a thoughtful touch nonetheless.
Comparing the Go Gear to the ipod, the sound quality was definitely inferior. The clarity was poor, the volume was too low and it did crackle slightly. This could have been part fault of the headphones as I never checked this seperately. Music match, the software used to sync the device, I felt was over complicated and slow.
I also never stopped having problems with the device. I felt like I was constantly phoning the helpline of going back to the shop I bought it from. Problems ranged from being able to play music and not being able to sync, being able to switch on but not being able to play music, or not switching on at all. The customer service was also appalling.
I eventually got so frustrated with the device I bought an ipod mini instead and I must admit I never looked back. The Philips Go Gear was truly dreadful and I was never finished having problems with it. It truly has put me off buying anything from Philips again, let alone buy one of their MP3 players.
I bought the Philips GoGear roughly around 2004 as a cheaper alternative to the then-recently launched iPod. Since I didn't have an incredible amount of music, a 2GB MP3 player seemed more sensible than a 20GB iPod. Also, the Philips also came equipped with a built in radio which the iPod doesn't have which was a bonus.
When it was delivered I eagerly plugged it in to begin charging and synchronising. Alas, there was no life; completely dead. It WOULD switch on, but the screen would remain blank and the backlight would just flicker continuously.
Amazon were happy to replace the faulty item and within about 5 days the replacement came and finally I could get started.
I'm not sure what it is about this product, but whenever you switch it on you always ask yourself "is it going to crash?" "Will it turn on?" or "will it let me down?" and you end up having very little faith in the quality of the player. These doubts aren't entirely unfounded, as the player does crash a lot and you'll end up having to do a hard reset. It also has very little skip protection, as the slightest movement will cause the music to jump or briefly pause.
The sound quality isn't brilliant, and the volume doesn't go very high, so listening to it whilst walking near traffic isn't a great idea. But for quieter areas and general use it's fine.
The player as a whole is very dated now and with technology in this field progressing rapidly, there are far better and more reliable models out there, so if you are thinking about purchasing this product try to look for something a little bit newer.
I found this product again recently after a couple of years of being unused, I tried to plug it in to see if there is any life there, but it's now completely dead with the flickering screen previously mentioned.
Philips HDD070 review by Helpa4eva
I was recently walking down the high street going into a few of the shops - due to a recently cashed cheque for £500 i had to buy a few things!
Anyway there i was trundling down the street, headphones on my head, a little headbanging as the guitar riffs of Iron Maiden and Metallica pleasured my ears, when all of a sudden, the chorus of "Run to the Hills" is interrupted by an untimeley beep! It is then that i stop in my tracks, open my bag and pull out the obselete,very almost old-skool, soon to be vintage music player known to the generation as a "Walkman"!
"Well this is no good" i thought to myself, and walked into Argos, and after opting between low cost low space and high cost high space, i bought the 2GB "Philips HDD070" for £109.99, that came with a neck strap, headphones, charger, pouch, pc software, usb cable and stickers, and of course a manual!.
After a few other purchases i caught the bus home and got inside and sat in front of my computer looking at my new toy! It was in a strong cuboid box mainly white in colour, with a picture of the mp3 player of the front and spec's and information dotted about. But not being able to hold back anymore i opened the box and there in very posh polystyrene (the kind that doesnt crumble as soon as you touch it) there sat my headphones, manual, and mp3 player wrapped in plastics, and underneath that polystyrene tray sat another tray, contaning a cd, and some cables.
The mp3 itself has a pretty simple layout - It has 4 directional buttons in the centre, the up and down being used as skip backwards and skip forwards respectively. There is also a small button on the right of these 4 that is used for Play, Pause, and when held, Power. On the left side of the MP3 player there is the hole for headphones, USB cable and charger. On the right there is and up and down button for volume, a menu/hold button and a source button, which takes you straight to what song is playing if you are in the menu.
After installing the driver and software that was supplied - the software being Musicmatch Jukebox, i plugged in the mp3 player which was immediatley detected, and Musicmatch jukebox opened, i clicked the add button and promptly started to copy songs on to it, it takes about 10-20 seconds to copy a song, which is actually quite a while when you sit there and count. But its worth it i suppose.. now it claims to hold 1500 songs, which i find hard to believe as at the current time mine is 1/4 full and only has 125 on its hard drive. The mp3 player supports wma and mp3 file extension songs which are about the same size.
If you put a music CD in the PC you can copy it straight to the player, although often you will have to manually rename them all as the PC will only detect them as "Track01" by "Unknown Artist" and "Track02" by "Unknown Artist" which is the way it will appear on the MP3 player which makes it impossible to find the song you want. This is a slow process but if you prefer ease of use over speed than this is the path to take.
This was my first MP3 player as i am very hesitant to part with money and so this was a big step, but a step i am now glad i took. I have around 6 cd's worth stored on a little gadget around a 10th of the size and a 10th of the weight of a walkman and all the cd's!
The headphones that are provided are small white earbud ones, however i dont like these as the sound quality is abismal (this applies to all earbud headphones) I much prefer the big ones that u actually put over your head. Much better.
When fully charged, the mp3 player will make love to your ears for 600 minutes, thats 10 hours for those of you who couldnt be bothered to work it out!
And so this brings us to the end of the review of my latest toy, and i hope it influences those who havnt yet been converted to the mp3-side to do so! soon!! But just be careful what you buy! I was lucky, this is great value and i really would recommend it to anyone.