Sunday, August 30, 2009

The new Philips ipod

I got a Philips GoGear Aria 16GB portable MP3 player. It has a 2-inch screen for pictures and videos, and is much nicer than the ipods made by Apple. Much cheaper also.

It is much easier to use than an Apple ipod because you can just plug it into a computer and it looks like a disc drive. You can just copy your music on, unplug it, and play it. No need to use Apple iTunes or anything like that. It can use MSC or MTP mode.

The one odd thing about it is the behavior of one of its buttons. The player has seven buttons in front, and the one in the middle is used for Select, Play, and Pause. It must be operated with a very brief tap. A slow press does nothing. I thought that the button was defective, so I called Philips tech support, and the guy advised me to return the product. He was not aware of the problem. So I got another one, and it works the same way.

Now that I know that the button works this way, it is not really a problem. I tested the player on two friends of mine, and one of them thought that the button was defective. I don't know whether the Philips engineers intended this behavior or not. I think that they should either change the firmware or put some warnings in the manual, or else they will get a lot of returns. On most devices with a Pause button, you can press Pause as slowly as you wish. And even on this Philips player, a slow Pause works just fine to pause watching a movie.

I am posting this to notify others that the Philips ipod is not really defective, but it just requires a quick tap on the Select/Play/Pause button. It might save someone else from returning it.

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