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Top 10 Strangest MP3 Players 132

Posted by Hemos
from the "technology"-applications dept.
A reader writes: "TechEBlog lists the top 10 strangest MP3 players ever, with pictures. From the article: "CURE-alpha is an MP3 player that supposedly emits alpha waves which calm and rejuvinate the brain. They are transmitted at very low frequencies while listening to MP3/WMA files."
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Top 10 Strangest MP3 Players

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  • Web Server (Score:4, Funny)

    by whiteranger99x (235024) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:03PM (#14761299) Journal
    Lemme guess, are they running their server on an MP3 player? :P
  • Oh well. (Score:5, Funny)

    by thelonestranger (915343) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:05PM (#14761311)
    At least their server lasted longer than the battery in my ipod.
  • Is Windows Media Player listed?

    This little player lets nastiware break into a computer while soothing a user with an mp3...
  • by Tweekster (949766) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:07PM (#14761326)
    "the Cure-Alpha mp3 player has been taken off the market due to it causing brain cancer, when interviewed, a spokesperson simply stated, come on who would have thought radiation close to someones brain would cause problems"
    • that's what I was thinking, isnt alpha radiation extremely destructive at close range? And also it basically doesnt have any range since it's so cumbersome and bangs into stuff, unlike gamma. Or is it beta that's the most deadly since alpha is so easily stopped? It it obvious that I've not studied any physics for 5 years? ;)
      • Re:News Next week: (Score:5, Informative)

        by Aranth Brainfire (905606) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:22PM (#14761437)
        Dear God, not alpha radiation, alpha waves.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_waves [wikipedia.org]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_particle [wikipedia.org]

        (An offtopic summary of the damage potential of alpha particles, as presented by the article: they're stopped very quickly by skin so aren't too dangerous unless you inhale or swallow the source, then you're screwed)
      • Re:News Next week: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Alpha is the most dangerous but the most easily stopped, gamma is the least dangerous and the least easily stopped and beta is in between. The article was about alpha WAVES though ;)
        • Re:News Next week: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by VAXcat (674775)
          Neutrons are far more damaging than alpha particles. Alpha particles are charged, and are thus repelled by the nuclei of normal matter. Neutrons have no charge, and are not repelled by the nucleus - thus, they can enter the nucleus, and transmute normal matter into radioactive isotopes. This activation of normal matter makes neutron radiation the worst. It's like the old physics puzzle says - if you have an alpha source, a beta source, a gamma source, and a neutron source, all of comparable "intensity",
      • Re:News Next week: (Score:3, Informative)

        by timster (32400)
        The player is not emitting alpha radiation; alpha radiation is never called "alpha waves". This is in reference to the brain waves called "alpha waves". An MP3 player could not generate alpha radiation unless it incorporated some radioactive isotope (as smoke detectors do).
    • Re:News Next week: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Alpha waves" not "alpha particles". Presumably, they mean 10 Hz sound intent on stimulating neural alpha waves.

      http://skepdic.com/alphawaves.html [skepdic.com]
    • I for one welcome our new musical overlords!
    • No need for lawsuits. But for tinfoil hats!
  • Come on submitters, be good cyber-citizens! Coral cache the site before submitting the story, since the editurs are to busy doing important editorial stuff!
  • by FrontalLobe (897758) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:11PM (#14761354)
    For those of you who want to get the benefits on the brain by the CURE-alpha model, try out some free software for your PC. Look here [sourceforge.net]
  • by B5_geek (638928) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:11PM (#14761355)
    Mirror:
    http://www.techeblog.com.nyud.net:8080/index.php/t ech-gadget/top-10-strangest-mp3-players/ [nyud.net]

    Article Text:

    MP3 Players come in all shapes and sizes, that's why our editors decided to compile a list of the "Top 10 Strangest MP3 Players" for your enjoyment.
    10. Teddy Bear MP3 Player

    This makes our list because...well...it's a teddy bear shaped MP3 player! The keys look almost too tiny to press and it only comes with 128MB built-in memory.
    9. Clip Type MP3 Player

    For the person who easily loses things, this clip type MP3 player is for you. Measuring 25.6 x 53.2 x 22.6mm and weighing just 20g, it can be clipped just about anywhere.
    8. $5 Cereal Box MP3 Player

    Coming soon to a vending machine near you. These $5 MP3 players are shaped like mini cereal boxes and play all your favorite MP3 and WMA tracks. At this price, don't expect it to hold more than a few songs.

    [TechDigest]
    7. Magic Mirror MP3 Player

    Shenzhen Xindaxin Technology Co. Ltd. claims that the "screen can be used as a mirror". Other perks include, MP3 playback/recording, FM tuner, and synchronized lyrics.

    [StrangeNewProducts]
    6. Scented MP3 Players

    Who wants a rose, lemon, chocolate, blueberry, strawberry, or rasberry scented MP3 player? Check out the iCool by Solid Alliance.

    [AkihabaraNews]
    5. Brain Wave MP3 Player

    CURE-alpha is an MP3 player that supposedly emits alpha waves which calm and rejuvinate the brain. They are transmitted at very low frequencies while listening to MP3/WMA files.

    [I4U]
    4.Minty MP3

    This is actually an MP3 player you can build yourself. Minty claims that half of the parts can be sampled for free, meaning you'll only end up spending around $50 along with countless hours of brain wracking.

    [Minty]
    3. NES Controller MP3 Player

    Martin Kersch of Germany made great use of a boring Saturday afternoon by transforming an ordinary USB Stick and NES Controller into a fully functional battery powered MP3 Player.

    [FutureNews]
    2. MP3 Toilet

    Technically, it's not a stand alone MP3 player, but rather one that works with your toilet. This SD memory based player attaches to the wall above your toilet and includes a special receiver that goes under the toilet seat, how sanitary.

    [Akihabara]
    1. PEZ MP3 Player

    At first glance, it looks like any other PEZ dispenser, but upon furthur inspection, you'll find a 3.5mm stereo mini jack and music keys. It packs an ample 512MB memory and weighs just 0.78 ounces.
  • PEZ player (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:15PM (#14761380)
    My girlfriend got one of these for Christmas, and it lasted through one use. The guy who sold it was really nice about accepting returns and was very helpful, but the player sucks. There's no display and you have to learn to interpret its Flashing Light Language (tm) to understand what's going on.
    • by ABoerma (941672) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:45PM (#14761626)
      There's no display and you have to learn to interpret its Flashing Light Language (tm) to understand what's going on.
       
        Sounds familiar. [apple.com]
    • by jandrese (485)
      Well, yeah, of course it breaks if you're throwing it against the wall in frustration at trying to decode the binary language of Pez dispensers.
    • My girlfriend got one of these for Christmas...

      That's the bigger news: a Slashdotter with a girlfriend. Of course you posted as AC so there's no way for the council to verify this miracle.

    • My girlfriend got one of these for Christmas, and it lasted through one use.

      By that, I presume you mean your girlfriend's patience with her geek boyfriend's idea of a gift was very brief. If you mean it broke, what the heck were you doing with it? I've accidentally dropped one on a wood floor several times with no ill effects, but it's not supposed to be as sturdy as a claw hammer.

      The guy who sold it was really nice about accepting returns and was very helpful,

      Good to know. I haven't heard of anyone

  • by javcrapa (594448)
    I found some info with pictures on the cure-alpha http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/portable-media/flas h/curealpha-alsonic-mp3-playercureall-111574.php/ [gizmodo.com] Just watched Kung-Fu Hustle last night so maybe I'm a sucker for weird semi-Eastern cure-all MP3 players that produce magical Alpha waves that will cure you of gout, palsy, the croup, Zanzibar hot-heels, quinine poisoning, and dandruff. This 128MB flash player plays your favorite tunes--or tune, considering the size--and zaps you with powerful waves of ener
  • by JustNiz (692889) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:33PM (#14761515)
    would all get filtered out by the headphones anyway, because their frequency response starts way too high.
    • "Alpha waves" commonly mean electromagnetic brain activity that is produced in a relaxed state. Its frequency in EEG in around 10 Hz. I'm not sure how the player can "emit alpha waves". I don't think a 10 Hz sound produces any relaxation response or alpha waves in humans.
      • Re:Alpha waves? (Score:3, Informative)

        by ceoyoyo (59147)
        Electrical activity. Alpha waves are circa 10 Hz patterns recorded by EEGs. Technically there should be some EM at about the same frequency, but if you talk about EM brain activity nuts come out of the woodwork (I don't know WHY they like EM so much... much better to make things up about things we CAN'T measure).

        In some cases if you stimulate sensory neurons with certain frequencies they sometimes synch up with that frequency. Strobe lights CAN cause seizures for example. I have doubts 10 Hz pulses play
    • the alpha waves are interpreted in your brain by inputting two different frequencies into the left and right side of the headphone. for example, sending a 300 Hz tone to one ear and a 290 Hz tone to the other will result in your brain perceiving a 10 Hz pulsing tone. read more about it here [wikipedia.org]
  • A free solution (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:35PM (#14761529) Journal
    1. Get a free (and Free) solution for Linux and Windows: SBaGen Binaural Wave Generator [sourceforge.net]
    2. Encode the generated file to an mp3.
    3. Upload it to your mp3 player.
    4. Voila! You now too can have this feature on your non-CURE-alpha player.

    Disclaimer: I'm not sure if these files are scientifically shown to actually do anything good to your mind besides buzzing a lot? The tool speaks of out-of-body experiences, lucid dreaming, "clear thought", and even more, so this would be like a free software solution of some nifty drug if true, but I kind of doubt it works to 100% for everyone. :-p
    • Hmm, actually, I just saw it's available for Mac as well, for those of you who use those pretty computers. :-)
    • So far trying some of the examples that came with that program has given me a headache and little else..
    • The tool speaks of out-of-body experiences, lucid dreaming, "clear thought", and even more, so this would be like a free software solution of some nifty drug if true, but I kind of doubt it works to 100% for everyone. :-p

      I don't know about the other examples, but in my opinion there's nothing mystical about lucid dreaming. It's simply the kind of dream where you know you're dreaming. I'm sure some people can point out some mystical ideas related to lucid dreaming, but they are not part of the basic defi

      • This is true, but the question is whether these sound waves will induce lucid dreaming, like claimed. :-)
        • Re:lucid dreaming (Score:3, Informative)

          by Suddenly_Dead (656421)
          Since lucid dreaming is just a mental thing, if a person is convinced that the binaural waves will induce a lucid dream, they likely will. Psychologists talking patients through lucid dreaming don't use special diets or chakra stimulating or whatever crap like that, they mostly just reinforce in the patients that they can and will lucid dream (through whatever -- hypnosis, mantras, talking to them...).
        • Lucid dreaming can be taught. There is a very good book The Lucid Dreamer [amazon.com] that tells you how to do it. There are plenty of devices that detect REM sleep and start flashing LEDs, making noises, etc, that will let you know that you are dreaming. NONE of them I've seen detect brain waves, nor do any of the valid ones make that claim. The problem with lucid dreaming is that it seems to attract the same hippy "earth sprirt" crowd as the folks who think Sadonia AZ is a spiritual place just becuase of the pretty r
    • I think I heard these playing at an Autechre gig
  • by Ranger (1783) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:37PM (#14761545) Homepage
    I think a Billy Bass Mouth would make a strange MP3 player or any of the dozens of different singing fish, birds, or animals on the market. What about a lava lamp or pet rock mp3 player? Just think of all the sex toy MP3 players you could make. Imagine a dildo playing NIN "Closer". The possibilities are endless.
  • The iPod shuffle (Score:2, Insightful)

    by babbling (952366)
    I reckon the iPod Shuffle is pretty damn strange. Listen to up to 1 GB of songs, but never know what you're listening to! ... and never be able to skip through songs at a rate of more than 1 per second! ... and skip through them only randomly, or in sequential order, no playlists! ... I've since sold my iPod Shuffle on eBay. (incidentally, for the same price I bought it, with my student discount)
    • Re:The iPod shuffle (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Never owned one have you.

      Ipod shuffle = normal unless you flip the "shuffle switch"

      and I can whack through songs at 10 per second.

      Maybe if you touched one you would know this.
      • considering the gp said he sold his, i would assume he owned one at some point.
      • Maybe if you touched one you would know this.

        Maybe if you had noticed the part where he said he sold his on Ebay you wouldn't have made the above comment....
      • Read my post. I acknowledged that it has the ability to play songs in sequential order, but THAT IS NOT ENOUGH! It needs to have multiple playlists.

        I couldn't get through more than (roughly) one song per second, because the damn thing thought I was trying to skip ahead in the same song if I pressed the button too quickly. ... and yes, I've touched one. I owned one for a few months (the Apple website made it sound like it could have multiple playlists) before selling it on eBay to get a (smaller, but with a
        • (unless you want to randomly skip through them and hope you get close, but even then, you need to memorise your playlist...)

          Only if you care what the next song is.

          I typically stick a few songs I think are interesting at the beginning, then fill it up with random good stuff. That way I can play the interesting songs (even if I haven't memorized them, I *can* recognise them), or just let it be random.

          The Shuffle is like a good radio station with no chatter, no bad music, and a decent sized playlist.
    • Depends on your use. I only use my mp3 player at the gym. I don't want to jack with playlists or skip through a bunch of songs. I want to listen to the songs I've loaded on random and be able to skip to the next one if I'm not in the mood for the current one. It's not like I'm going to put my whole music collection on a 512Mb or 1GB mp3 player. For me a shuffle would be perfect, although the size is still a little smaller than I would like.
    • Listen to up to 1 GB of songs, but never know what you're listening to! ... and never be able to skip through songs at a rate of more than 1 per second! ... and skip through them only randomly, or in sequential order, no playlists!

      Yep, that's exactly what I wanted from an MP3 player. It's basically what my previous MP3 player did, before my daughter broke it the third time (managed to resuscitate it the first two)... about 3 years before the shuffle came out. After the iPod Mini came out and Jobs denigrated
  • by usurper_ii (306966) <eyes0nly&quest4,org> on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:50PM (#14761672) Homepage
    Ok, it isn't real, but I once submitted this as an article and it was rejected. /. could have a blast with this one...like I can't wait to get my hands on one of these!

    http://www.engadget.com/2005/10/13/medical-and-mus ical-breast-implants/ [engadget.com]

    Usurper_ii
    • Come on, like a slashdotter could ever get his hands on breasts...even fake ones!
    • I saw an episode of BBC's Black Book's where Manny was playing with a shiatsu machine. He held up the machine to his chest and made some comment about being a robotic/android hooker. The shiatsu nobs reminded one of very conical breasts rotating in opposite directions. Make them implantable, add an mp3 player, and a subwoofer. Hmm... I wonder if Spike TV would be interested in a Bionic Singing Breasts show. Pamela Anderson would be perfect for the role. Here's a proposed scene.

      BIONIC PAM knocks on door o
  • by PFI_Optix (936301) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:53PM (#14761693) Journal
    The clip one, for instance, seems quite useful. Clip it onto your backpack strap, no accessories required. Even the Pez player isn't so strange: the form factor is perfect, it's a great useful novelty, and the "where'd you get that?" effect would be awesome.
  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:56PM (#14761719) Homepage Journal
    wow, the Minty player instructions were so much more than what you normally see for DIY projects on the net. It invovled getting a board custom made (where you get it done is up to you) and soldering chips onto the board by hand. I'd think anybody who is adept enough to do the previous couple of steps probably doesn't need a lot of help in building their own player, other than the helpful list of free components you can get from different companies as samples.

    In the end, the guy pretty much admitted that an iPod shuffle would only be marginally more expensive and way easier to get. There is a certain panache with running an MP3 player out of an Altoids tin, but it's definatly a project you do because you find soldering/building fun, not because you want an MP3 player.
  • by Cranky Weasel (946893) on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:03PM (#14761784) Homepage
    "CURE-alpha is an MP3 player that supposedly emits alpha waves which calm and rejuvinate the brain"

    If you want to sell a product that does absolutely nothing - like a great many holistic or naturopathic remedies - without worrying about being called on it, just couch the claims in soft language. "Rejuvenate", "revitalize", "recharge". If you can't measure it, you can't say it's false. For bonus points, refer to "aura" or "essence".

    Makes me grumpy. Perhaps I need to take something to improves "wellbeing".
    • No doubt the CURE-alpha's special calming, rejuvenating alpha waves are specifically designed to calm and rejuvanate that part of your brain that says, "Wait a minute, I paid money for this bullshit?"
    • Makes me grumpy. Perhaps I need to take something to improves "wellbeing".

      Nope. I think you just need to design a product that "replenishes the user's natural essence by rejuvinating the energy of the conscious mind and realigning the aura of the subconsious mind in concert with the natural harmonies of the universe" and sell them for 3 easy payments of $19.95 each. Maybe a suit coat with magnets in the lapels or something. (Not that one, though; I just patented it.)

      I'm sure your big piles of cash will hel
  • This link got posted to both /. and digg within 30 minutes of each other. That server has no chance in hell of surviving.
  • More useful (Score:1, Redundant)

    by chinton (151403)
    A high capacity webserver in an MP3 form factor...
  • MP3 toilet (Score:5, Informative)

    by splatterboy (815820) on Monday February 20, 2006 @02:10PM (#14762280)
    The MP3 toilet doesn't actually exist - it was an april fools joke played on employees at TOTO - the Japanese company that makes bidet style washing seats and thrones. I guess the link or pics got out into the wild or somebody decided this was a good idea... There are worse uses for mp3 technology.
  • "TechEBlog lists the top 10 strangest MP3 players ever, with pictures."
  • CURE-alpha is an MP3 player that supposedly emits alpha waves which calm and rejuvinate the brain.

    Sounds like AutoZen [linuxlabs.com]
  • All that brain wave stuff is complete crap. It was started by the Monroe Institute and is based on sending sine waves at different frequencies to each ear, with the difference between them forming a "beat pattern" and supposedly inducing EEG at the frequency of the beat pattern.

    The problem is, this is all based on measuring EEG (essentially a microvoltmeter) while wearing headphones. What's happening is the electrical signal from the headphones is being picked up by the EEG electrodes.

    When you use air-condu

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