Ministry of Sound MP3/MP4 player (MOSMP100X10)
This is a small black box from the Ministry of Sound, it weights only a little over 100grams and is 8x7x1.7cm. The TFT screen is 7x5.3cm. It comes with a slip case so it can easily fit in to a pocket, bag or purse.
The base and back have no buttons or connections. On the right side is the built in microphone and the up/down push jog control for the menus. Next the top that has six black push buttons that control the unit all clearly labelled on the back edge in a silver/grey text. This leaves the left side and here are the external connections. Mini USB, AV out, AV in, headset, DC input and finally the all important SD/MMC card slot. All the stuff you play or show is stored on this the only internal memory is the system to control the unit.
I made comparison to an Archos unit I reviewed last year this of course had an inbuilt hard disc, the comparison was made solely because of what this MP3/MP4 unit can do. It can play Video, Music, Photos, Ebook and Record. There are two other menu items Audio Recorder and Video Recorder. Yes plug the supplied composite leads into your TV and the 2.5mm jack into unit and whatever is coming from your TV can be recorded onto the unit. It is also possible to reverse the process to view the output on your TV. I found that the quality on the unit was perfectly watchable from around 40cm away the sound was fine through the earbuds and ideal for watching last nights TV on your way to/from work. In my tests around 780MB of hard disk space was needed per hour of TV.
The unit is supplied with a 1GB SD card and these cost only around £8 each. It has been tested with 2GB cards. While 4GB and I believe 8GB cards exist I cannot tell you if these will work with the unit despite asking the question the only answer I got was that 'it has not been tested'.
However a range of cards for the various different tasks should certainly suffice. I can certainly see a market for slots in the units slipcase with card slots allowing you to carry say four different cards.
The unit is supplied with an WMV video produced by Ministry of Sound. While this plays fine I could not manage to successfully transfer any of my - non protected - WMV files to the unit. The actual transfer under WMP (Windows Media Player) 9 or earlier is described. WMP10 works a little differently allow syncing with files on the unit meaning you can always have the latest version on the unit, especially useful with the Ebook facility. Both WMP9 and WMP10 transferred the WMA files without problem. When I tried playing them all I got was 'Error Invalid Format' This also sometimes occurred with .jpg images that I transferred but here it was not consistent as the same files would display correctly sometimes and then give the error on other occasions.
The audio recording can either be from an external source using the supplied composite lead or for speech using the pin hole microphone. There are three quality choices all easily changed from the onscreen menuing system.
If my questions had been answered regarding the larger card sizes and the WMV import problem had been resolved then a 5x5 award could have been on the cards. One so called technical expert even told me that the unit does not support WMV and I should use AVI. When I told him there was a supplied WMV sample file on the unit and that the small 48 page manual clearly mentions WMV I did not hear from him again.
Doing my Internet searches found a best price of £54.38 from Amazon, including shipping.
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