In theory I like the idea of convergence. You’d imagine it would be more environmentally friendly – as far as possible just carry a load of extra batteries for a single piece of kit and go about your business.
Until now there have generally been four things in my bag that play MP3s (Samsung NV3 camera, Palm Tungsten E PDA, Nokia cellphone and iLiad iRex. You’d have thought I could have made do, but I couldn’t. Not now I listen to podcasts from places like Little Atoms and the Royal Society of Arts.
But despite all this if I want to listen to MP3s while I roam the North of England at the end of the month, I need something I can easily fiddle with with if I’m half way up a mountain and the wind starts getting loud (I wreck headphones and I can’t seem to find a reasonably priced pair with sound isolation and integrated volume control) or a depressing song comes on, or I’m listening to a podcast and want to replay a bit. And my problems are:
- The iLiad is too big and the interface too bad to play on the move.
- I need my Samsung NV3 to take photos and record voice notes about the grid reference etc. I take lots and lots of pictures. The NV3 can’t scan forward and backward in a recording (big disadvantage) – plus it has an irregular subminiature headphone jack requiring an adaptor which stops it slipping in and out of a pocket. It’s also difficult in the rain. It is an amazing little bit of kit though.
- The phone’s interface is poor, ditto the sound.
- The Tungsten E is old, the touchscreen and battery are effed, plus it has a bad interface like the others
So, for £29.99 I got a 2GB Sansa Clip which though Window oriented, works on a range of platforms, has radio, voice recorder, tiny dimensions, 1″ screen, good on-device track management, 15 hour battery life, playlist function, a clip, support for MP3 and WMA (including protected) and excellent sound:
“… the Clip – SanDisk’s long-awaited rival to Apple’s Shuffle, and Creative’s Zen Stone range of players – not only manages to better both in almost every respect, but has to be one of the best value pocket players we’ve ever seen here at TrustedReviews.”
It’s charging now and I’ve synched Easy Star All-Stars’ latterday classic Radiodread along with Beirut’s The Gulag Orkestar.
UPDATE: Wow, it records its own radio. And I didn’t mention its Sleep function. Also, if you don’t have a computer to charge it from you’ll need a USB mains adaptor (we have a universal travel plug from Milletts).