December 03, 2006

Another Reason I Love This Gig

A blogger's work is never done. This weekend I had the tough task of reviewing yet another gadget sent to me by my buddy Charlie. Specifically, the Insignia Sport MP3 player. Nose to the grindstone, I poked, prodded, charged, loaded, and listened and I can now pass along my verdict.

This little sucker's pretty cool. A little smaller than my cell phone (a Motorola Razr) and quite a bit lighter, I have to admit, I wasn't expecting much. But I was wrong.

Booting up the unit brought me to a pretty comprehensive splash screen where I was able to navigate through the several categories of media the player supports. Audio book, video, photo and audio files are all available from this screen. Navigation to each is simple using the navigation wheel. I was most curious about the video playback so I checked that out first. The video is crystal clear and, despite the relatively small screen (about the size of a standard cell-phone screen), details are sharp. Next I tried the audio, having loaded a few MP3s. Sound was strong, bolstered by enhancements made through the equalizer onboard the unit. The only drawback noted here was in the navigation between artists, albums and songs. It wasn't completely intuitive and took a while to get the hang of. Perhaps the greatest selling point? A built in FM radio. I know, I know...no one listens to the radio anymore but it's nice to have the option.

The storage - 1-2 GB with a MicroSD expansion slot for even more storage - is impressive. The rechargeable battery stays alive for quite a while (the box advertises 18 hours and I've found nothing to prove that wrong). Headphones are provided, as well as two separate ports to plug the headphones into so you and whoever you happen to be hanging out with can listen. A USB cable is provided as is additional software. Of course, I couldn't tell you anything about that. I installed nothing. It's true plug and play. The MP3 player acts as an additional hard drive; drag and drop your media files into the appropriate folders and you're good to go.

I have an iPod. It's got 40 GB worth of storage and I love the way it operates. This won't replace it for me. But if you're in the market for a nice MP3 player that won't break the bank, this is a good investment. My caveat? I've had this thing for a week. Who knows how it'll work over time. From my point of view, you're getting a lot of features for $80.00.

While we're talking about stuff from Best Buy, it's probably worth mentioning that the Best Buy Blue Shirts are hosting a chat session on December 15th at 1:00 PM. If you're wondering what to get all those people on your Christmas lists, give them a try. You can check them out at www.askablueshirt.com Some additional info can be found at YouTube. In addition, Best Buy's launching The Wow Factor Finder as a gift-giving resource for the holidays.

Now, never let it be said no one told you how to find cool stuff to give for the holidays!

Posted by Chris at December 3, 2006 10:28 AM
Comments

Sounds cool. How do I get a friend like Charlie?

Posted by: Josh at December 3, 2006 12:21 PM

Sounds great - I am jsut loading things on my new ipod as we speak!

Posted by: Sue at December 3, 2006 02:06 PM

Sounds like a good gift for my daughter. When is Mia getting one?

Posted by: Dennis at December 3, 2006 10:26 PM

BTW, I think the comment prior to mine needs to go on your wall of fame!

Posted by: Dennis at December 3, 2006 10:27 PM

I wondered about the Razr as we are both in need of new phones.

Posted by: Maribeth at December 4, 2006 07:22 AM

Man... you need to share that Charlie guy. We got the daughter a Sansa e150. Talk about tiny.

Posted by: Karen at December 4, 2006 04:32 PM