Fans of AM radio have largely been left out in the cold by MP3 player manufacturers. The excuses are many, but the main reason most device makers avoid the feature is due to the relatively large space required of an AM antenna, thus inhibiting the overall compactness of the final product. PoGo Products briefly came to the rescue with a line of AM-friendly MP3 players, but the company ceased production of the line after only a few years. Filling the void is the C. Crane Witness AM/FM MP3 Player, a basic radio-cum-MP3 player reminiscent of the Radio YourWay LX. Even with its throwback design and monochrome display, the Witness will cost you a pretty penny--$229.95 for 2GB--but AM radio fans have little other choice, and will likely be plenty pleased with the features on offer.
True to its AM radio roots, the CC Witness player has a simple, utilitarian design that feels sturdy in the hand. The case is matte black with a metallic sheen and silver trim wrapping around the edges. The right side offers up a dedicated volume rocker and hold switch, while a look at the left reveals a built-in mic, a line-in port, and an SD-card expansion slot--a necessity, given the paltry 2GB onboard storage. Two external speakers live on either side of the device as well, while a boatload of shiny plastic buttons deck out the front of the device. There are dedicated keys for accessing the menu, stepping back through functions, adjusting the play speed, setting A/B looping, recording, editing, and playing/pausing. A four-way control pad surrounding the play/pause button allows for hassle-free navigation through the extremely basic menus.