MP3 Players for Summer 2005 Part II

By Richard Menta 6/12/05

For those of you who read part one of our coverage of the latest round of digital audio portables on the market here is a follow up. Of course, Fall is the most exciting time for new players as manufacturers gear up their latest greatest for the holiday season. Those announcements are still a few months away, but until then these summer introductions will do.

Nasa Industrial Lipstick MP3

Nasa as in Taiwan manufacturing company not NASA as in US space agency. With their introduction of the Lips (as in lipstick) MP3 player, the company is taking a page out of the Jens of Sweden book of marketing and aims its player squarely at the ladies. Laugh if you want, but as Jens' successful sales prove women like products targeted at them, even if they seem equally sexist at times. Call it the femininity factor.

Otherwise, the Lips is an average player offering voice record and an FM tuner. The Lips plays the WMA and MP3 formats and comes in 128MB, 256MB, and 512MB capacities. No US pricing yet, but figure the 512MB to be priced near that of the iPod Shuffle.

Nasa Lipstick MP3

iRiver T10

iRiver T10

iRiver's T10, due this July, associates color with the units capacity. The 256MB player is lime green, 512MB is cherry red, and 1GB is orange yellow. So what happens if you want a 1GB player and hate the yellow? There's always those white earbuds.

The T10 comes with a 1'' color display that displays BMP files and can play the MP3, WMA, OGG, ASF codecs. The unit has an FM tuner and can record from FM as well as voice.

Kenwood HD20GA7

Like the Bose TriPort, the folks over Kenwood are selling their latest player to those looking to get better sound out of their MP3 collection. Just because it is a lossy format, doesn't mean MP3 tunes have to sound too deficient.

The new Kenwood HD20GA7 features a digital amplifier that is supposed to drive higher quality sound. The amplifier sounds nice, but our question is what about the quality of those earbuds attached to the Kenwood. Ear gear is the weakest link on all portable audio apperatus, because that is where much sound quality is lost. Bose addressed this problem by attaching its superior TriPort headphones to its new player. Time will tell how good the buds are on the Kenwood.

The Kenwood HD20GA7 sports a 20GB hard-drive and a 2.2 type QVGA color display. The unit supports MP3 and Janus-laden WMA files (look ma, now I can play music from Napster on a portable). The Kenwood measures 2.4 x 4 x 0.7 inches and weighs in at 4.9 oz

Kenwoo HD20GA7

Creative Zen Vision

Creative Zen Vision

Creative's newest personal media player already looks like a step up from its predecessor the Zen Portable Media Center. With the latest offering from Archos and the Sony PSP out there it better be better.

The Zen Vision has a 30GB hard drive and uses CompactFlash cards for added capacity. The unit plays MPEG4, WMV, DivX, and XviD video files on its 640 x 480 pixel LCD display. Additionally, the Zen Vision has an FM Tuner and playsMP3 and WMA audio files.

Dell DJ 30

25% smaller than the original Dell DJ, the Dell DJ 30 offers (as you may have already guessed) 30GB of capacity for a very reasonable $239 price tag.

The Dell DJ 30 eschews the common FM tuner/voice record combo common in many non-Apple MP3 portables for a fairly simple and streamlined profile. The 6.5 oz player is still slightly heavier than the iPod, but well within reason. The unit's dimensions come in at 4.0 x 2.5 x 0.7 inches.

The DJ 30 supports the MP3 and WMA codecs including Microsoft's Janus technology for the PlayForSure version of WMA.

Dell DJ 30

Jens Of Sweden MP450

Jens Of Sweden MP450

We have to say that Jens loves his market niches. First it was women for whom he offered pretty MP3 players, some with mirrors to help those lovely ladies apply their makeup. Then Jens aimed for the elite with a $1,200 gold-plated MP3 player. Now Jens is going after the comic book set.

I guess Jens found out something like fans of players that utilize the Ogg Vorbis codec are also X-Men fans. Who knows? The JOS MP450 offers a gig of memory, FM tuner and MP3, WMA, OGG support, just like most of the other players offered by the company. But hey, no white earbuds for you NY subway riders.

Samsung YP-T7

Samsung Yepp YP-T7

It says Digital Audio Player on the side, but it's shaped like a phone (which it isn't) and plays video.

The Yepp YP-T7 is a flash based unit with a 2GB top end. Offered also in 256MB, 512MB, 1GB versions the player has a 1.8-inch TFT LCD display, an FM radio and voice record.

The Yepp YP-T7 handles the MP3, WMA, ASF and Ogg formats, the latter codec which has seen significant adoption by the Korean manufacturers since last fall.

Dimensions are 1.7 x 3.3 x .61 inches. The unit weighs in at just under two ounces.


The Sony PSP is available on Amazon

Other MP3 stories:
MP3 Players for Summer 2005 Part I
Sony PSP As Personal Media Player - Review
Sony PSP Movie Sales Strong