Goodmans Personal MP3/WMA Player 

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This is more than the title says as it is also a voice recorder, it is also small and gives around 10 hours on a single AAA battery and it is also very light.

It is basically 7x3x2cm, I have to say basically as it is not truly rectangular in shape. The weight with battery is only around 40grams. It has a 3x1cm normally two line LED display and while the top line is rather small, any track info is displayed on the second line and this is easier to read.

For such a small device there are quite a few controls. Starting bottom left with the neck strap anchor point, then the 3.5mm earbud input, then five buttons, close together but their purposes are clear and marked on the domed chromed buttons. Now the button that will require you to look at the display the Menu. Next is the mini USB socket. Now just past the top on the front edge the inbuilt microphone and finally a Hold slider. The outer edges are slightly proud that makes it sit very stably and in a semi clear white plastic to offer some protection. The design does mean that the microphone will be a couple of centimetres above what you place it on thus enabling a clear sound transfer away from any papers or small objects on a desk or table.

When you first turn on or press the on/off button the semi clear edges have a blue glow and the backlight is switched on. I found the size and ease of transfer between modes ideal when you need to record some speech. When in voice mode you actually have a four line display and it is not that easy to read but all you need to know is that it is recording.

In my tests the actual pointing of the device was not that critical, by default the files are 32k .wav files and that’s about 1MB per four minutes of recording. So a rough 15MB per hour means that the device can have music to get you to and from your meeting and still have plenty of space to record your conversations. Playing back through earbuds was fine as indeed was playing through speakers once you have transferred to the PC.

Stated as 256MB the actual amount of space available to take recordings or for pre recorded MP3 or WMA files is 240MB. That’s around 4 hours or reasonable MP3 or twice that if you like WMA.

However this unit can also play DRM10 encrypted files but before transferring them make sure you have set the time and date on the device as some files are date sensitive and if the date/time are changed they will refuse to play. In fact the setup menu allows lots of items to be changed, to find out what RTFM.

There is a small 36 page manual and it is also on the provided CD but you are unlikely to need this unless you are running Windows 98SE where it has a driver that needs to be installed. However the .pdf manual is probably easier to read than the small manual.

For such a small device this has good quality sound, the supplied headset is reasonable and while I used my own over ear earbuds for a lot of the tests I also found the supplied ones okay. File transfer is just drag and drop as Windows gives it a drive letter in My Computer. There are three models 128–256–512MB I saw the middle one. The Goodmans GMP 315current price is £29.99 at Argos.

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