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I have had my Absolute Multimedia Outrageous SoundMASTER MP3 player & recorder for about 7 months now, and I'm absolutely (sorry no pun intended !..) delighted with it. If you purchase the 16Mb kit you get the following: 1) Recorder which connects to your PC via the parallel port. 2) Player which runs off 1 AA battery 3) 1 16Mb MMC card 4) MPMaster software 5) Music Match Jukebox MP3 software. Let's start with the recorder side of the package, it connects via the parallel port to your PC, don't panic ! There's no need to disconnect your printer the writer sits between the PC and the Printer and everything carries on working fine. The writer gets it's power from your mouse or keyboard port with another simple adaptor. The writer has one slot for the MMC (MultiMedia Card). You use the MPMaster software to interface to the writer, it's a simple double window system and you simply copy files from your PC to the writer by dragging and dropping. If you want to listen to audio on the player then they must be MP3 files, however you can use the MMC cards like floppy disks and move files from one PC to another using the writer like a disk drive. MMC cards are very small, a bit larger than the SIM card in a mobile phone, they can offer densities from 8Mb to 64Mb in each card, to get good sound you need to allow 1Mb per minute of sound ie 32 minutes of high quality sound from a 32Mb card. Moving to the player, Absolute Multimedia claimed at the launch that it was the smallest and lightest player on the market. It weighs 40g without the single AA battery and measures 62mmx58mmx18mm, it's tiny !! The player has 2 MMC slots so it allows for a maximum currently of 128Mb of storage. The player is VERY simple so if you are looking for sophistication forget it, this is a low cost basic machine, however if you listen to it you won't be disappointed it
9;s fantastic. Absolute have incorporated SRS Labs 3D surround sound technology which has to be heard to be believed. You also have either Rock or Jazz setting options. The single AA battery is claimed to give up to 10 hours continuous playback, I've not made a point of timing it, but it lasts a very long time and being a single battery it doesn't add much additional weight. As the player is small Absolute have included a cord for the player so you can hang it around your neck. It might not be that cool but it does stop you losing it. If you're a jogger or use the gym this player is ideal for you, it won't skip or jump as it has no moving parts, and it's light so you won't give yourself concussion.. This is probably a good time to mention cost: 16Mb kit - Writer,Player & 16Mb MMC £74.10 However here's the really brilliant bit, you can purchase additional items seperately at the following prices: 32Mb MMC £49.99 Writer £49.99 Player £29.99 yes that's right £29.99 ! ALL prices from www.thefutureonline.net The low cost of the player means you can have one player for every member of the family. Once you have your MP3 files store them on the hard drive of your PC, use the MusicMatch software to play them on your PC and then when you fancy a change, write them to your MMC card and play them on your SoundMASTER player. In case you didn't know the MMC uses flash memory technology, which means you can erase it and record over it again thousands of times, just like a cassette tape, except there is no loss of quality over time with flash memory technology. MMC cards are still relatively expensive at the moment, but as the technology advances and the density increases you will get more for your money. The kit package doesn't include a CD ripper or encoder, but these are plentiful on the internet.
I love this MP3 player as I didn't want to spend more than £100 on a machine, everyone else I have lent it to loves it as well. If you're really fortunate you may manage to pick up one in funky i-Mac type colours, mine is a translucent purple. Thanks for sticking with it and reading this fairly lengthy opinion, I hope you found it interesting.