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Toys

USB Key-Sized MP3 Player With LCD Display 399 399

nhahmada writes "The Muvo MP3 player/storage device from Creative has been out for awhile, but some have complained of its lack of a display or equalizer. Well, now Innogear has released the 128MB Duex mp302 with a backlit LCD supporting ID3 tags, a "multi-category" equalizer and a timer (Why?). The mp302 also has the ability to record/playback voice via its built-in microphone. It can be used for storing any type of file and plays MP3/WMA/WAV. Both the Muvo and mp302 run on one AAA, giving 12 hours of continuous playback. Running at $179, it's a little more expensive than the $169.99 128MB Muvo, but I am willing to shell out ten bucks for an LCD. Go here for a better look at the display."
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USB Key-Sized MP3 Player With LCD Display

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  • LCD Display (Score:5, Funny)

    by PerlPooch (530411) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:13PM (#4610828)
    LCD = Liquid Crystal Display. So that's Liquid Crystal Display Display.
    From the department of redundancy department.
  • by dostick (69711) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:13PM (#4610836) Homepage Journal
    Now that could be a great device if it could have mobile phone built in. Or at least a connection to phone.

    The most annoying thing about players today is that you can't hear when your mobile rings.
  • And... (Score:4, Funny)

    by C_nemo (520601) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:14PM (#4610840)
    It's playing Jenifer Lopez? .. wtf. i'm not getting one

  • Creative Zen (Score:3, Interesting)

    by batboy78 (255178) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:14PM (#4610841) Homepage
    I still think I'm going to hold out for the Creative Nomad Zen. A little more expensive. Lets see 20GB.... 128MB. Hmmmmmmmm.
  • by dildatron (611498) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:14PM (#4610844)
    olbigatory comment about not decoding ogg files.

    yeesus, is it that hard to decode ogg files? all you have to do is implement it!
    • by batboy78 (255178) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:18PM (#4610884) Homepage
      yeesus, is it that hard to decode ogg files

      Doesn't the OGG codec require a lot more processor power to decode?

      • by xercist (161422) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @08:51PM (#4613327) Homepage
        No, actually it takes a bit -less- processing power to decode vorbis, but a bit more memory. The real problem here is that most of these players use dedicated mp3-decoding chips. That's all they do, and can't be reprogrammed for other things. Some players use ARM based processors, and this is where a firmware upgrade enabling vorbis-decoding is possible. However, the truth is that right now most of these companies are losing money on portable players - they're just so cheap. To make them play oggs requires engineers, and engineers cost money. Most of these companies have already laid off all their engineers because they can't afford to keep paying them after initially creating the hardware/firmware.

        Anyway, you didn't hear it from me, but iRiver [iriver.com] is currently working on implementing vorbis support in their portables.
    • by bradkittenbrink (608877) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:18PM (#4610887) Homepage Journal
      I believe the holdup was developing an integer only arithmetic implementation. Embedded devices don't usually have that powerful an fpu. Anybody know how much progress has been made in this area?
    • Most of these devices do not use a processor for decoding but a dedicated hardware MP3 decoder. If there was an Ogg MP3 decoder at the same price it would probably be used.
      • Good point. I know someone (fairly geeky) who is building his own MP3 player, but is not having it play ogg because he can't get an off-the-shelf decoder chip, whereas mp3 ones are cheap and easy to come by.

        I know the Ogg Vorbis team released their all-integer decoder under a BSD license. Is anyone working on custom ogg (or preferably dual ogg/mp3) decoder chips/ASICs? It could even be a pic or equivalent with some code in ROM, although that would probably be a higher cost/space/power consumption solution.

        Hey, I could do that. ;)

        -Puk
    • Design the chip, have it fabbed at a custom fabrication plant, sell them by the millions, and retire in five years! As soon as people start using ogg in significant numbers ...
  • What I want (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:15PM (#4610850)
    What I want is an FM radio with MP3 recorder and programmable recording.

    So I can record, say, Talk of the Nation on NPR in the morning and listen to it in the afternoon.

    Why doesn't anybody make this yet???

    Tivo for NPR. It would be great for saving stuff to listen to while driving, for those times when I want to actually use the time to learn something.

    • Re:What I want (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dildatron (611498)
      and could you add AM reception, too? This is also what I want. I want to record some talk shows I like that I can't hear while I am working because of too much RF interference. I would be happy to record it (where i can get good recpetion) then listen to it the next day.
    • by saskboy (600063) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:23PM (#4610936) Homepage Journal
      A discman that plays MP3 CDs, has a SW/FM/AM, LCD TV, decodes OGG, downloads with Wireless Ethernet or IEEE1394, and runs off a Hydrogen Fuel Cell. Until this device is available, I refuse to support the crappy home electronics industry.
    • What I want is an FM radio with MP3 recorder and programmable recording. So I can record, say, Talk of the Nation on NPR in the morning and listen to it in the afternoon. Why doesn't anybody make this yet??? Tivo for NPR. It would be great for saving stuff to listen to while driving, for those times when I want to actually use the time to learn something.

      Sony makes one. It's a boombox type device with detachable speakers, rips CD's automatically the first time you play them and has a 20 gig drive. Runs about a grand I think...
    • Re:What I want (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sc00ter (99550) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:28PM (#4610986) Homepage
      I do this with an FM card in my linux box. I record Car Talk, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and a few other shows. Here's the script I use for Car Talk:

      ---

      #! /bin/bash

      #Kill off anybody using /dev/dsp
      /sbin/fuser -k /dev/dsp

      #change to the right freq
      /usr/local/bin/fmio -d v4l -f 89.1 -v 7

      #set correct mixer settings
      /usr/local/bin/smixer -s /root/mixersettings/recordshow.mix

      DATE=`date +%Y-%m-%d`
      /usr/local/bin/mpegrec -b 32 -l 3600 -x "-b 32 --resample 32 -m m" -o /home/travis/radioshows/Car_Talk/Car_Talk_-_$DATE. mp3
      /usr/local/bin/smixer -s /root/mixersettings/default.mix
      chown -R travis.travis /home/travis/radioshows

      ---

      Hope that helps some, works great. You can use a bitrate of 16, but my portable MP3 player won't play it if it's that low for some stupid reason.

    • Re:What I want (Score:3, Informative)

      by FrenZon (65408)
      What I want is an FM radio with MP3 recorder and programmable recording

      Archos (makers of the Multimedia Jukebox) make pretty much exactly what you are after (not sure about the programmable recording).

      http://www.archos.com/lang=en//products/prw_500326 .html [archos.com]

    • Re:What I want (Score:5, Informative)

      by mithras the prophet (579978) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:51PM (#4611205) Homepage Journal

      I do this with a combination of streamripper [sourceforge.net] and a crontab. (This only works if you have an always-on connection like a cable modem, of course)

      There are a number of NPR stations that broadcast in streaming mp3:

      I just set a crontab to run streamripper and record from one of those stations, at the time and for the duration of the program I want. Then tell iTunes to dump the file to the iPod, and poof - several hours of interesting listening, ready and waiting!

      All of the stations have program schedules available, or you can just guess for the live programs.

      When I have some time, I'll be gussying this up in a Cocoa interface for any fellow Mac OS X users.

      • That was helpful info. I don't have an fm card but I do have a constant connection, and will be trying this tonight.
    • I totally agree. My wife got a standalone device for this from eBay, but it came without a manual and we never figured out how to do anything but set the clock. I tried a D-Link USB Radio, but it couldn't pull in anything and the user interface was unusable (custom controls that hung the system). If I could find a card or USB device that actually worked I'd be happy; ideal would be something that I could program via the computer or network but that then ran by itself.

  • Abuse (Score:4, Interesting)

    by edwilli (197728) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:15PM (#4610852) Homepage
    I wonder how much damage that LCD can take before it's trashed. Something that small would go everywhere with me. Anyone have any experence with anything like that?
  • hopefully.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by demonbug (309515) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:16PM (#4610857) Journal
    this will push down the price of the Muvo. Sorrry, but it only holds 128MB. I think I can pretty well remember what MP3's I put on a 128MB player, so the LCD is pretty pointless (and probably actually shortens battery life). The equalizer might be nice, though.
  • See for example this car adapter [innogear.com]: "Did you know you can use your MP3 Player in your car to enjoy through your car speakers? Play your portable CD players, Mini Disc and MP3 players through any audio cassette player! It is fully compatible with ALL our MP3 Players. This device is fully compatible with all our MP3 CD Players!" - has anyone actually used this or similar product? Does the thing have a dramatic effect on sound quality?
    • They've had these things for years, you can get em for 10 bucks at radio shack. The sound quality is crap, as can be expected. They'll work with anything you can plug a headphone jack into.
      • They've had these things for years, you can get em for 10 bucks at radio shack. The sound quality is crap, as can be expected. They'll work with anything you can plug a headphone jack into.

        Ohh, they are those things. Somehow that "old" invention put together with new stuff got me misleaded. Thanks :)

    • There are lots of similar product on the market. My friend used one. The quality was quite acceptable for noisy Acura Integra. I.e. there was probably some noise introduced by adapter, but it was negligeable compared to wind and tire noise.

      P.S. Of course the device is fully compatible with any player with standard output, not just THEIR MP3 CD players.

    • Feel free to mod my previous post down - it seems the "interesting product" I referred to is just the dull old cassette adapter trick. Sorry :)
  • by shorti9 (307602) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:18PM (#4610877)
    a timer (Why?).

    Because when you're working out, you often want to know how long you've been going. "OK, good, i did my 5 minutes of hard running, time for a smoke!", etc. Joggers, treadmill junkies, and other people-who-move are a target audience for these things (remember anti-skip CD players? "Perfect for Runners!")

    It'd surprise me if this didn't come with an armband of some sort, either out of the box or as an option.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:27PM (#4610973)
      Surpising that the author couldn't understand the reason for a timer. I would hazard the guess that he is a typical Linux Hippie, 50-60 lbs over weight. His primary exercise would be whining about Microsoft. Last time he raised his hands above his head would have been to search for some stray Cheese Doodles on the top shelf.
    • and a timer (Why?).

      For timing things. No wait, I know. Because. Bwa ha ha ha.

      Seriously, MP3 players are clearly the perfect device for athletic types. I bought mine for jogging and for cycling. I want my next MP3 player to track my heart rate as well as including a timer. Maybe if we could get one to measure my VO2...

      My current one only plays MP3 files. I clearly need to upgrade.
    • Why not pick a 5 minute song or remix? Hell, there are 45 min bootlegs of "No Quarter" by Zepplin if you want to do some speed walking...
    • Mp3 for exercising. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by phorm (591458)
      remember anti-skip CD players? "Perfect for Runners!")
      The newer ones with longer antiskip anyhow. My older player has Anti-Skip, it still chirps and clips when I'm blading.

      Memory-based players are nice because they don't skip and also have no (powered) moving parts to break or drain battery.

      The timer is also useful for track-times, to see if you can get around a little faster next time (i.e. if your fitness is "improving"). I prefer to set my pace to a particular song though, fast upbeat music for harder work, and shorter songs for trying to make a sprint
    • It'd surprise me if this didn't come with an armband of some sort, either out of the box or as an option.

      According to this article [twomobile.com], it comes with a "neckstrap" of some sort. Dunno how I feel about strapping something to my neck, though...
  • Another cool use for things like this would be Bugs. You know - the cloak and dagger type.

    I love these devices (usb key-chain storage)

    I think they are fantastic - and cant wait till they get even more features backed into that little package...
  • if I cant read/write to it like I do my REX-II.... I.E. no drivers needed just place the files in a FAT-16 filesystem..... then it is junk.

  • Enough room? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by n-baxley (103975) <nate @ b a x l e y s .org> on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:21PM (#4610917) Homepage Journal
    This really doesn't seem like enough room for any kind of serious travel. I don't want to have to load it up with new songs every time I go out, and this won't hold more than what, an hour? I really see these "little" MP3 players going away fast and the IPod like players coming in. I don't want to bring along A CD, I want to bring my whole jukebox!
    • Re:Enough room? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lamp77 (147098)
      Theres a huge market for this
      I mean, look at how many armband fm radios sell? Those things are crap, but joggers want them.
      with this you can bring your ssh client, private keys, browser, and > 1hour of music to listen to on the bus to work.
      Thats pretty good in my book.
  • This must be intended for that "active-geek" demographic coveted by marketers world wide (what is that....like 10 people?)

    When tap into the "sedintary-geek" market and remove that pesky timer...thats when the big will start comin' in!
  • I run, sail, ski, and do other things. It would be great to have something like this with more memory (I rather not have my music on a hd when running or skiing- crash disk is no fun), 512 would be fairly good.
    I would love to see one of these things also able to accept Winamp plugins (ogg, adx, etc).
    • add one more thing... an armband holder and make the thing WATERPROOF.

      I know of at least 40 people that would buy one right now if it could happily survive in the pool/jetski.
  • Never... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:26PM (#4610965)
    Looks like a tampon applicator.

  • by serutan (259622) <snoopdougNO@SPAMgeekazon.com> on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:27PM (#4610968) Homepage
    Holy crap, dude! This is amazing. The Muvo looks like that thing Spock used to have sticking out of his ear when he was at his science station on the bridge. Was he really working, or just listening to his Jimmy Eat World tracks?
  • Better software (Score:3, Interesting)

    by addaon (41825) <addaon+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:27PM (#4610975)
    This could be a great device with some clever client-side software. I'm assuming that it currently appears to the host computer as a standard usb mass storage device... Great device, as an mp3 player. But imagine how much flexibility you would get if it appeared to the host as a usb hub, to which is connected a usb mass storage device, a usb audio input device (standard microphone driver), and a usb->serial port bridge to which a standard serial lcd is connected. All the hardware is there, it's just a matter of appearances... with these features, it would be just as great (indeed, identical) as an mp3 player, but you could also use it as a portable microphone (the microphones on both my ibook and picturebook suck), and you could use it as an additional display device when plugged in. I just can't see any downside (besides development time) to allowing this.

    • (the microphones on both my ibook and picturebook suck),

      I guarentee to you that the microphone on this device also does "suck". what would have been better is a Mic in jack...
  • USB Key-Sized MP3 Player With LCD Display

    Keypsized player? Gee that is smart. So it makes it so much easier now to lose it. When I want a player (walkman, mp3, etc), I want something big enough to fit in my hand and easly change the songs without looking at the buttons. Something made to fit in your had and where your finger end, should have the buttons.


    And don't even get me going with the title. Does it come with two displays? I can brag to my friend then. "Hey guys, I got my new MP3 Liquid Crystal Display display. In the words of Dennis Leary what the fuck, get an education.


    Ok I feel better now.
    • Dunno about this one, but the MUVO actually comes ON a keychain. Its made ot be carried with your keys. If you're losing your keys so much, you're gonna have bigger problems than worrying about chaging songs with your thumb. And why are your thumbs so big anyways? I know my thumb is smaller than the heads of my keys..

      • I lose my car keys once about every 2 months. Ended up jsut keepign the automatic door opener attached to my wallet (keeps inside). House keys I gave up, just got a key pad. Wallet I lost so many times, I just ended up buying a harley wallet with a chain (at age 16, I am in my 20's now) and never lost it since then. My fingers? they are big.. I am 6 foot 6.. you figure it out.. if not, I can always show my size 15 size up your behind :)
  • by bartman1847 (600888) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:35PM (#4611045)
    The muvo might not have a display, but it has a great signal to noise ratio of >90dB. Which is far better then any on board soundcard, and bargin bin sound cards... I think that's even better then the older sound blaster cards...

    If you want to test your sound card you can get this program [rightmark.org] to see how your sound card stacks up to the muvo. muvo specs here [nomadworld.com] You'll need to run a cable from your speaker out to your stereo input on your soundcard...

    But if your headphones suck, it really won't matter will it :D

  • Does anyone know what type of batteries do these things take? Are they the small watch-battery kind? Is it a recharable Li-Ion battery? An interesting concept would be for it to be able to recharge while plugged into a USB socket...
  • ugg. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hahnar (584140) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:44PM (#4611144)
    with each new so-called 'promising' device that comes out, there is a new dissapointment for myself. Why is it so hard for these manufacturers to have radio built in? i mean sure we caaan have their endless hours of songs with increasing storage but radio is still a goodd break from the endless music on these devices. Sometimes listening to the news/weather would be nice. Hopefully some manufacturers build in radio into their new devices.
  • Headphones (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Puk (80503) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:45PM (#4611148)
    My problem is having too much stuff to carry. I'm not a fan of having 4 things in my pockets and 4 more strapped to my belt, so I don't do it. This product is great, because it's small (I recently replaced my phone with a Treo, since I had stopped carrying my beloved Visor due to space constraints).

    My problem is headphones. Even earbuds are fairly large, and easily broken in your pocket. Carrying my music with me everywhere is of no use if I can't listen to it. Are there any good solutions for carrying around headphones in a safe but non-huge way?

    Similarly, there needs to be a stereo hands-free kit for my phone (I much prefer hands free) with a 1/8 jack which doubles as headphones for this thing (yes, stereo is useless for the cell). Does such a thing exist?

    I guess the truth is I'm just another person waiting for convergence, when I can have my phone, mp3/ogg player, networked PDA, digital wallet, etc. all embedded in one false tooth and hooked wirelessly to the other relevant parts of my head. I guess the problems there start happening when people see me talking to myself in the street, or I accidentally answer the phone by piping Eminem into it at high volume.

    Thus endeth the rambling.

    -Puk
    • My problem is headphones. Even earbuds are fairly large, and easily broken in your pocket. Carrying my music with me everywhere is of no use if I can't listen to it. Are there any good solutions for carrying around headphones in a safe but non-huge way?

      Dude, you're not gonna get much smaller than earbuds. The easiest way to carry 'em is either a. have a small bag for the player that you can put the 'phones in the bottom of (my iPod came with one of these, it's perfect) or just wrap the damn things around the player. Ok, they might break every two months or so, but you can get perfectly decent 'buds for ten bucks. Worth it for the portability.

      I don't even know why I bothered replying. Eminem? Jeez, you spend the money for an MP3 player the least you could do with it is listen to some good music. ;)

      Triv
  • by daves (23318)
    Same reason my blender has a clock.
  • Recharge? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by photon317 (208409) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:47PM (#4611169)

    Nice device, but would it have been all that hard for them to replace the AAA battery with a rechargeable one and let it recharge from the +5V on the USB connector?
    • Only the main USB ports give out 5v. A USB hub decreases this significantly (dunno how much of the top of my head). It's probably easier to avoid all the support calls from hub users just by sticking a AAA battery into it.
      • Re:Recharge? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by photon317 (208409)

        I think you have volts and amps backwards there. All USB ports supply +5V, the only that changes from port to port depending on the controller/hub/etc is the available amperage. Considering that it's a AAA battery we're talking about charging, I'm sure even the lowliest USB amperage would be sufficient. Right now I have my Motorola i1000plus (Nextel walkie-talkie cellphone) charging from a ubs hub port, using a custom cable I spliced up that puts the USB's +5V signal into the bottom of the phone, it powers and charges my battery just fine. [BTW if you like that idea and don't want to make one yourself, they sell something similar on ThinkGeek]
  • by corren (559473) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @04:49PM (#4611177)
    The MPIO-DMK is a better alternative for people wanting someone small and durable. While I agree having the built in USB port is nice, it also means that you have a removeable piece: the cover. And I guarantee over time and use, you're going to lose, break, bend, or damage the cover to the point of worthlessness, and once you don't have a cover, your USB port is going to get trashed.

    Check out the MPIO-DMK [zdnet.com]
  • Creative is dancing to MS' jingle, so most likely it's loaded with DRM software. Perhaps it will be
    featured together with their other products on the hall of shame [windowsmedia.com].
  • Imagine a beowulf cluster of those..
    in your pocket !
  • I remember when my NomadII MG was the cat's ass... *sigh
  • by szo (7842)
    Does anyone knows? Does it look like as a usd-hdd from the os's point of view?

    thx

    Szo
  • Hooray! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hbmartin (579860) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @05:30PM (#4611595)
    Now I can have an expensive player that has too-small-to-push-with-out-searching-for-them buttons and memory to hold all of 3 medium quality CDs worth of music. Jeez, get an iPod [apple.com].
  • God damn.. how big are your keys?

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