Grundig Personal Media Player 

This is a device for recording and playing back music, video, pictures and voice. It is also an FM radio. However much as I have tried it always refuses to make the tea do the washing up or the ironing

It is 11.5x8x2.5cm and weights less than 300grams in the supplied protective case. The screen is 7x5.5cm. This is a 30GB unit so lots of space for all those pictures and MP3 files as well as any short videos you might take. It comes with a leather case and while it should be possible to use it in the case as all the controls are accessible I tended to remove it. However when listening to music I can see having it attached to a belt would be an advantage and the case has a belt fitting that can double as a support like on a picture frame, oh the wonders of Velcro.

There are four buttons and a five position wheel on the right of the excellent screen. To the left is the on/off toggle and two LED's. Switch on and the front screen displays which mode you are in and the other modes can be accessed by moving the five position wheel to the left or right. The top has the camera - slightly recessed - the built in microphone and the record button. Left side has Line In and Line sockets. The right side has earbud socket and under a rubber bung the mini USB and DC input. For those who would carry this in a pocket there is a hold button on the back.

The modes are FM Radio, Audio Play, Audio Record, Video Play, Video Record, Image Play, Image Record, Text View, System Setup and Time Set.

To use the FM Radio you need to attach the earbuds (if you already have a favourite pair it should also work with those) as the aerial is the lead. The FM tuner display starts from the lower end of the scale but even if your favourite channel is at the top end you can get there quite quickly and it also has presets.

Audio Play can be any MP3 file downloaded to the unit and while the Audio Record can be used as a 'voice recorder' using the built in microphone this only records in .mp3. It would have been nice to record from an external source - there is a line in - via an external microphone and .wav

Video Play utilises .avi files while these play fine other formats would have been nice. Video Record uses the built in camera that fits top left of the unit this can be rotated through 180 degrees and should you wish you can record yourself while viewing on the screen. Considering the default is 640x480, quality is quite good and it also takes good quality in poor light. You can also record direct from a TV this uses MPEG4.

Image Play covers still images and these display on the excellent screen at 704x576 that is around 6.5x5cm certainly a lot larger than on any digital camera, it is easy to make a screen show and should you wish using the supplied leads these can be displayed on your TV. Image Record can capture images at 1024x768 using the same camera that captures the video images.

Test View is perhaps a little strange on what is an entertainment device but you can download text files and store them in the data directory for viewing on the screen.

While the quality of recording from the pinhole microphone was good and the images and video more than acceptable. On the face of it a 30GB MP3, photo, video etc device for the price is good value and if it appeals far be it from me to say no. Everything it does it does well, the menus are easy to negotiate and when all else fails the 'Esc' button can back you out.

Finding it on sale other than on the Grundig site given below was a problem, I did find one link but there price was more than double than from the Grundig site that offers free speakers and free delivery, so at their price of £129.99 it's a bargain.


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