A year or so ago, I bought my husband an ipod shuffle, which was the first mp3 player I had ever bought. Naturally, this spiked the kids' curiosity, and after lots of fun playing with the ipod, my son expressed an interest in having his own mp3 player.
I was a little reluctant to buy another ipod, as they were quite expensive, and I wasn't sure whether this would just be a flash in the pan, and the player would end up forgotten at the back of the drawer for a week, so I looked at cheaper options on Amazon. The first thing that hit me was that with mp3 players, you seem to be paying mainly for memory capacity, so I figured that if I bought a player with a limited memory capacity, it wouldn't cost me too much. The Techsplosion T Classic has 256 mb capacity, which equates to about 80 songs, which I felt was more than enough for an 8 year old child. The player only cost about £5, which I thought was a bargain.
The player came in a sturdy box, complete with instruction manual, a AAA battery, usb cable and headphones. The player was made of silver plastic, which had a bit of a cheap feel to it, but didn't look like it was going to fall apart in my hands. The unit is powered by a single AAA battery, which doesn't last long in the unit, so I tend to use rechargeables so that there is always a reaplacement battery to hand. The unit is switched on by flicking the MODE switch at the top of the player. This makes the screen on the player light up several different colours, which makes it really appealing for kids. You are then presented with an on screen menu, which enables you to toggle through several options: Music Mode, Record Mode, Voice Mode, FM Mode, Tel Book, System Settings and USB mode when connected to a PC.
Putting music onto the player is very simple using Windows media player. The unit is basically like a Flash drive and has a cap that comes off to reveal a USB connector that plugs directly into the computer. You can then drag and drop your music files into the player memory. Playing the music is also quite simple. You enter Music mode and toggle through all the tracks, which have their title and information displayed on the screen. The volume is easily adjusted by a small button on the bottom of the player, and the sound quality, though not outstanding, is of an acceptable quality, and my son is certainly happy with it.
The player also has a mode which enables you to record your voice and play it back. This makes it fun for kids to use, and superior to my more expensive ipod, which can't do this! You can also listen to FM radio on the player. For a cheap player, some of the features are quite impressive, such as the equaliser, which enables you to adjust various features of the sound playback. The player also has an inbuilt telephone book, which enables you to add your contacts, but why this feature has been included is beyond me! The player can be set to10 different languages, and the backlight can be adjusted to a single colour or a seven colour loop. As I say, lots of features for such a cheap player!
The earphones are also excellent quality, and a lot more solid than the ipod ones! They fit in the ear comfortably, and the sound is not tinny. I would have liked the player to have come with a clip for easier transportation, but it has no real means of attatching to clothes, and the best you could do is put it in a pocket or attatch it to a keyring fob when on the go. This is a bit of a design flaw, as the obvious point of a portable mp3 player is to take it with you when out and about.
In conclusion, this is a great player for the money, with lots more features than I expected, and actually more user friendly than the ipod shuffle. For a child, this is a perfect mp3 player, as the flashing colours, ease of use, and ability to record your voice are all good features. My son uses his quite a lot and has about 20 songs on there, so the memory capacity is adequate for his needs. I would recommend this player to anyone with kids, or someone who just wants a cheap mp3 player. It would suit kids aged 7 and up.