Panasonic e.ware SV-SD75

Panasonic's e.ware SV-SD75 is a portable digital audio device that, as its name suggests, can be worn - around your neck, on your wrist (you can even use the player as a watch) or around your waist. Its minute dimensions make it one of the smallest portable digital music players on the market and its build quality is very solid, although it does contain a couple of hinged parts that may be compromised if care is not taken. It runs from a single AAA sized battery, which in our tests produced four hours of continuous playback. The player's screen size is large and clearly readable, and although it's not backlit, it does provide a contrast adjustment.

The e.ware is an SDMI-compliant player and contains two built-in decoders that give it the ability to play MP3 files as well as the copy-protected AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) file format. AAC files are said to be of a superior quality to MP3 files with a 30 per cent reduction in file size. In my casual listening I found this claim to be pretty much on point, although the supplied headphones seemed to struggle with low frequencies at high volume settings.

The AAC compression allowed me to dump about 86 minutes worth of music onto the e.ware's 64MB SD memory card at a bit-rate of 96Kbps. With the bundled RealJukebox software, you have the ability to encode MP3 files up to 96Kbps and AAC files up to 128Kbps. The interface can be overwhelming to the first-time user, but the supplied booklet, as well as the online manual, should have you encoding, re-encoding and transferring files to your hardware device in no time.

A USB reader/writer for the SD memory card interfaces with your PC and, in addition to transferring audio files, it provides you with a 64MB dumping ground for data files that acts much like a large-capacity floppy disk drive. The SD memory card features write protection.

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