First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- — 27 July, 2000 15:43
The JazPiper's capacity can be expanded to a total of 96MB via its SmartMedia card slot. This can be filled by using the supplied Desk software, which is easy to use thanks to the well-designed interface. Tunes or files can be easily placed on the JazPiper by navigating your hard drive and dragging your selected files to the player. Non-MP3 files can be dragged from the player to your hard drive in the same fashion. The popular and fully featured MusicMatch Jukebox is provided for encoding songs.
Sound reproduction on the included headphones is excellent - the JazPiper would also have to be one of the loudest personal stereo devices I have ever heard. Not only is it an MP3 player and an FM radio, it also has a built-in microphone and the ability to store phone numbers. The JazPiper's 64MB memory can be used in other ways, too, such as transporting large documents or presentations between work and home.
Functionally, the hardware contains the usual offerings, such as digital signal processing and repeat functions, but it also includes an erase button that can be used to eliminate any tracks that bore you - without needing to hook up to the PC.
Speaking of hooking up to the PC, our review JazPiper relied on the good old parallel interface to transport information. Unfortunately, this is unreliable and also inconvenient if you have to keep swapping your MP3 player with your printer. Getting the JazPiper to communicate with the software took at least a couple of attempts - even on brand new computers. The JazPiper gets its power from two AAA batteries, and the unit's playing time is very good. The LCD panel on the front displays the play mode, battery life, volume level and DSP setting, and also scrolls the title of the current song playing. Unfortunately, it isn't backlit.
Priced at $349, the JazPiper also comes with a one-year warranty.
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