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CyQ've WalkieMusic MP3 Deluxe
By Robin Ang
Category : Sound
Published by Jimmy Tang on Saturday, 24th August, 2002
Rating : 3 out of 5 stars  


A Walkiethrough the Product

Opening the box, you will get the following 7 items.

1. The Walkie Music MP3 Deluxe Player
2. The Manual
3. The Carrying Pouch
4. The Earphone
5. The AC Adaptor [Input : 120 VAC Output : 4.5 VDC]
6. 5 pieces of 8cm blank CDR media
7. 2 pieces of NiMH rechargeable batteries rated at 1600mAh

Specifications for the WalkieMusic MP3 Deluxe
Weight
  • 160g (without batteries)
Dimensions
  • 106mm(L) x 85mm(W) x 25mm(H)
Playable Music Format
  • Playable Audio / MP3 CD Discs
Support Format
  • Media: CD-R, CD-RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM (MP3, MP2, MPG) VCD (Audio only)
  • Music Format: CD-Audio/ Layer 2 and 3; for Mpeg 1, Mpeg 2, Mpeg 2.5  
  • Storage: Max. 8 levels and 760 files
  • Diameter: 80mm
  • Capacity: 185/200 MB
  • Access Time: 4~6 sec. average
Compatible Discs' Format  
  • ISO 9660 or Joliet/Track at once/Session at once/Multi-session
Sampling Frequency
  • 8k - 48k Hz
Bit-Rate
  • 8k - 384k Bps
  • Maximum Variable Bit-rate: 50% (VBR 50)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (S/N)
  • >90dB
Buffer Memory
  • 8 MB SDRAM
Shock Resistance
  • CD-DA: 180 sec.
  • MP3: 480 sec.
Playtime
  • 12 - 15 Hours for MP3 Continuous Playback
  •  7 - 8 Hours for CD-DA Continuous Playback
LCD Display
  • Dot-Matrix LCD Panel
  • ID3 Display: ID3 V1 and ID3 V2
Power Source
  • AC Power Cord; 110/220V, 50~60 Hz, Output DC 4.5V or
  • 2 X AA 1.2V DC, 1600mAh, Nickel Metal Hydride Rechargeable Battery or
  • 2 X AA 1.5V DC, 1600mAh, Alkaline Battery
Functioning Details
  • Play Modes: Direct Play/ Directory Play/ Random Play/ Introduction Play/ Program Play
  • Equalizer: Normal/ Classical/ Pop/ Jazz/ Rock
  • Repeat One/ Repeat All/ Repeat One and All/ A - B; Peer-to-Peer Repeat


The color scheme used by the WalkieMusic MP3 Deluxe might not appeal to all.

The color scheme of the player might be a put off to some especially the guys amongst us. This is because the player has a pinkish/silver chrome color combo, and as the color pink is usually associated with the fairer sex, some guys might not want to carry this around for fear of unwanted associations. Thus, I believe this product will appeal more to the ladies for reasons which are obvious. An option for varying color combos for the player would have been a nice touch here and would cater to those with differing tastes.

The manual is flimsy at best and I think it is rather incomplete. It is essentially a piece of paper folded into 6 parts front and back. The FAQs and explanation of the basic functions of the player, as well as the definition of what MP3 is, are written in Taiwanese Chinese script only and not in the simplified Chinese script that some Chinese students are taught in (probably because we received this direct from Taiwan). Thus, this will be a problem for those who are not users of the language. Thinking that there will be manuals that are more detailed and written in English in the CD-ROM, I accessed both disks that were provided by CyQ've, and there was no documentation to be found. Hoping that I can find more information on the player by accessing the homepage for this product as stated in the box has resulted in about the same information as that is printed on the box.

We were not told what does the revolutionary peer-to-peer repeat functionality and its language learning ability meant. If I am to hazard a guess, I would say that the peer-to-peer repeat functionality simply means that it is able to do a "random repeat all" or "random repeat song directory" function. While the language learning ability might be that you can rip and transfer audio learning content from your language learning tapes or audio CDs to the player, and thus from there, you get language learning abilities. Oddly enough, the box is more detailed than the manual, in explaining the specs and where the buttons are located.

Notice that the side of the pouch has been left exposed to allow access to the hold switch on the left side of the player.

The pouch itself is made of a decent and strong plastic material, and it is fastened with the use of a Velcro strip. The player fit snugly into the carrying pouch that is included in the package, but there is one caveat. The opaque surface of the front side of the pouch only shows the lower half front side of the player, and not the upper half where the controls of the player are located. As such, this means that normal controls (play / pause / stop / next song / previous song) will be effectively covered. In other words, you are pretty much stuck to whatever song or mode that you are in, before putting the player into the pouch. However, if you prefer, you can remove the top flap of the player and access the controls from there, but to some, this might be too much of a hassle. Additionally, the pouch is not water proof, because the sides of the player has been exposed to allow for easier access to the volume controls and the hold button. One wonders why they could not do the same for the upper front side of the player as well.

When I did an informal test of slipping the pouch on to my belt, and doing some light walking around the lab, I felt that the player does exert some downward pressure on my belt due to its weight. The extra weight around the waist might be a problem to some, but for those fitness fanatics who goes jogging with it, the extra weight might simply be extra exercise for them (not that it's terribly heavy anyway).

The earphone unlike the one depicted in the manual does not come with volume controls or a clip.

The earphone that was shown in the manual is not the same as the one that was depicted in the manual. The one that was depicted in the manual seems to have a volume controller and a clip. In actuality, the one that I found in the box was just a plain vanilla earphone that does not come with either clip or volume control. In terms of sound quality, I believe that it will suffice for most listeners but there are some obvious shortcomings. Firstly, the mid-tone and treble seems to be over-exaggerated so much so that even when the player is not playing any files, I can detect a hissing sound in the background. Additionally, when reproducing very high tones, the sound coming out from the earphone will be distorted. In fact, the bass can barely be detected even when I use the equalizer functions that increases the bass of the song playing. For those who find this irritating, it is advisable to buy a decent pair of earphone or headphone to replace this one.

The WalkieMusic is capable of charging a pair of AA batteries using the integrated charger.

The adaptor, in conjunction with the player provides a charging platform for the rechargeable batteries that were included in the package. However, there are some obvious disadvantages here. For one, there isn’t a presence of an indicator that shows if the battery is in the process of being charged or if the battery is fully charged. All we get is a warning that advises us not to overcharge the batteries by more than 8 hours. However, does this mean that the battery is fully charged by then? This is not made clear to us. In fact, does the integrated charger even discharges the batteries? Once again we do not know. As a rule of thumb, it is best to just make sure that your rechargeable batteries are fully depleted before you begin to recharge them. Additionally, the AC Adaptor that came with the player is rated at an input of 230VAC and an output of 4.5 VDC. This means that it will be incompatible with the power sources of certain countries where AC power sources could range between 110-120VAC. Thus, this will affect its portability if you intend to bring this overseas.

However, it is nice of CyQ’ve to have provided 2 NiMH batteries rated at 1600mAh that can be recharged instead of the cheaper alternative of 2 alkaline AA batteries. It is also good that they see fit to include 5 units of 8cm CDR media so that the consumer can start to use the player immediately.

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