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Q.BOX Digital Music Changer
By CPU-zilla
Category : Sound
Published by Jimmy Tang on Saturday, 21st August, 2004
Rating : 2.5 out of 5 stars  

Using The Q.BOX

The Q.BOX Digital Music Changer does not come with its own built-in memory and it requires you to purchase separate SD/MMC cards to store and playback MP3/AAC audio. Thus, it's assumed that you have a computer ready, a set of MP3s already encoded from your CDs and a card reader handy to copy these files into the memory card. Without these, you would probably not be able to use the device at all.

On the Q.BOX itself, you'll find eight SD/MMC card slots. You can insert your memory cards into any of these slots as it really doesn't matter if you don't insert the cards in an orderly fashion. Once you power up the Q.BOX, it would scan from the first slot and would then move on to the next slot if it doesn't find any card or files in it that it could playback. Once it finds a set of files to play, it will begin playing from the file list stored within the card's file table.

The buttons on the left side lets you set the audio mode, switch between cards and record/erase files.

The playback navigational controls are found on the right side of the front panel.

The playback sequence was rather unpredictable though it follows the order the files are copied into the card. So, it doesn't really matter if the entire album is alphabetically sorted in the folder, if you don't copy them in the order you want, it will just play in the order it was copied. We believe this will throw a lot of users off as one has to pay special attention to the order the files are being copied into the card, not to mention the time needed to sort through them manually. Imagine a classical piece with its finale movement played before its intro. That's going to be rather frustrating.

One good thing we would like to mention is that the Q.BOX will resume playback from the last track even after its power was turned off or disconnected from the device. This feature will save the user a lot of time as one does not need to cycle through all the tracks to get back to where one has stopped.

The Q.BOX's console comes with standard buttons for controlling playback. Standard keys like next track, previous track, play, pause, stop and repeat single/all can be found. There are also other keys which lets you select the memory card which you'd like to play and the equalizer mode applied to the audio stream. There are a total of seven equalizer modes for you to choose but of all the different settings, we think playing the MP3 files in normal mode is still the best. For most of us, we prefer music playback to be untainted. But if you have a really bad MP3 rip, you might just be able to remedy it with one of the equalizer modes though most of the modes didn't enhanced the music the way we would like them to be.

The display shows the track's playback timing, as well as display the song information.

Controls are lighted when the unit is powered up. The eight LEDs tell you which card is being accessed.

Besides MP3s, the Q.BOX will also playback files encoded in the AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) format. The AAC format has been popularized by Apple's iTunes online music store and it's good to know that this popular codec will be supported here. The Q.BOX also supports recording in the AAC format. This is useful if you have the need to make a quick voice memo while driving. However, we think this particular feature would be the least utilized since it would be pretty difficult to do so while driving. This is due to the fact that you need three different keystrokes to activate the recording mode. Even so, you may need to connect the headset to the unit and that would be troublesome if you have not prepared it beforehand.

The bundled headset lets you listen to music and record voice memos into AAC format.

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