Product Type: Sandisk MP3 players
Newest Review: ... plan on using this for daily use, you'll want more space to put more songs on and avoid hearing the same songs over and over again. The ... more
MP3 Player by SanDisk - That makes Sansa!
Sandisk Sansa M240 1 GB
Member Name: TheChocolateLady
Sandisk Sansa M240 1 GB
Advantages: Easy to use, holds 16-32 hours of music, good sound quality, voice recorder
Disadvantages: Need full battery for voice recording, some styling problems
Both my husband and my daughter sing in choirs and often need to learn large amounts of music by heart, sometimes needing to cope with difficult harmonies. I figured that a simple, but large MP3 player would be a big help to them both. I didn't want anything fancy or expensive for this. That's the reason why I bought the SanDisk Sansa M240 1GB MP3 player – so they could copy or record the music they needed to study, without breaking the bank. So far, I've been very happy with this choice and this is why.
Firstly, the M240 was very easy to load things onto. You can either plug it into your computer via the provided USB cable, to rip music from a CD onto it, or drag-and-drop songs from your hard drive right into the machine. That sounds and actually is very simple, and although there's a CD with software that comes with this to make it even easier, we haven't even looked at it yet. You can't get easier than that, now can you? I understand, however, that the software on that CD can help you with downloading "PlayForSure" subscription music directly onto the player, which sounds like an excellent extra.
What's more, this has an internal microphone so you can record your own files (or practice sessions, or even concerts) for listening to. That was the first way we used this MP3 player – by my daughter recording her vocal line of the songs she needed to learn. That way she came with us for our family weekend in the country and was still able to get ready for her audition when she got back (which, by the way, she passed with flying colours). What made this especially good was that this player has AB playback. That means you can point to one spot on the recording as a starting point (A), and then to another spot as an ending point (B), and it will play back just that bit over and over again. This was infinitely useful to my daughter, and will be equally useful to my husband as well. I can imagine that someone wanting to learn a foreign language would also find this feature an added plus.
One of the most important things about an MP3 player is the sound quality. With the bud earplugs that you get with this machine, the sound isn't terribly bad nor is it exceptional. I'd say that as far as sound quality goes, this is probably just a touch above average, but nothing more. The pre-set equalizer functions don't seem to fix much of this, but I found that the slightly tinny sound on classical music can be mostly fixed by adjusting the custom equalizer to your own preferences. This is why I now only use the custom settings and feel that the sound quality with it is acceptable. I'd also say that the quality of the earphones will make some difference in the sound quality so I'm not rating this down for this reason (meaning – your mileage may vary).
According to the specs of this player, 1GB of storage will give you 16 hours of music in MP3 format, or 32 hours in WMA format. That's no small amount of listening time, so even if my husband has to learn two different operas and a requiem or two, there should be plenty of space for him to put everything he needs on this player.
The only problem we've had so far regarding putting files onto this player is that when we went to record my daughter's concert, it would only record a few minutes and then told me that the batteries were too low to continue recording. All I can say is thank goodness my daughter didn't have a solo at that concert or I would have been very upset about that. I can suggest, however, that if you want to do some serious recording with this player, you buy some extra-long life rechargeable batteries and make sure they're fully loaded before you begin.
Speaking of batteries, one nice thing about this is that it takes only one AAA sized battery. According to the package, a normal battery of this kind should give you up to 19 hours of listening use, which seems pretty good to me. As mentioned before, I recommend using long life rechargeable batteries even if you only listen to music downloaded onto this, as no one wants to have their player die out mid-song, and certainly if you're recording you want enough power to capture every note. Thankfully, there is a battery power indicator on the screen so you'll know if your battery is strong enough, and also, when the battery is getting too low, you'll get a warning on the screen and the machine will automatically power down rather than just stop working without warning.
As for style I think this is where this player loses a star. As opposed to some players, I found the screen mostly readable, which is a good thing. Regarding the general looks, I prefer a player that isn't flat since it won't get lost in your pocketbook or pockets as easily that way. However, some of the workings of this can be a touch confusing, or inconvenient. For instance to turn this on, you press the Menu button on the side. Why didn't they just label the button "Power/Menu" to be less confusing? My initial instinct was to turn this on by the middle button on the top of the machine, which is actually a "select" button, but is not labeled at all. Also, this Menu button is a tiny little strip of white plastic next to the only slightly longer volume strip of plastic. Pressing these buttons takes precisely concentrated pressure, and anyone with chubby fingers or no fingernails will have difficulty. The other problem with the styling here is the cover for the battery, which seems very loose and I'm worried it will fall off. But since these are my only niggles, I'll only mark this down by one star.
Overall, this is a perfectly utilitarian MP3 player which seems reliable, easy to use, has a voice recorder and FM radio tuner, a good amount of storage, adequate functions, acceptable sound quality and is fairly nice looking. While some of the buttons are problematic in their styling, that doesn't warrant more than losing one star rating. If you're looking for something that will play and/or record your music but doesn't have too many bells and whistles, and don't want to put out huge amounts of cash for, then this just may be the model for you, and I do recommend it.
Thanks for reading!
Davida Chazan © July 2007
SanDisk's site for their Sensa M200 series can be found at http://www.sandisk.com/Music/index.asp and while the specs here say that the FM tuner option isn't available in Europe (of course, I bought mine in Israel, which is probably not considered Europe by them). A list of their UK dealers can be found at http://www.sandisk.com/Retail/Buy.aspx?f=16&id =1019
From what I can see, you can buy this in the UK via Amazon for £19.99 and other sites I've noticed sell it between £20-25, but you might find it cheaper elsewhere.
Summary: Good, utilitarian MP3 Player with voice recorder
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