Go Video's exercise-friendly Rave-MP Sport
For a flash-based audio player to compete against high-capacity hard drive players such as the and Creative Zen Micro, it had better dish out a wealth of sexy features--and do it for an impulse-buy price. The GoVideo Rave-MP Sport AMP128 packs an FM tuner, a voice- and radio recorder, and even an expansion slot into its cute, little case, then goes the extra mile with an armband holster, exercise-friendly earbuds, and other goodies--all for $99.99.
As you may have guessed from its name, the AMP128 offers only 128MB of storage. For a mere $30 more, you can buy the AMP256 and double your storage space--or spend about the same money on a 256MB Secure Digital (SD) memory card, thereby tripling your available space. Either way, it's great to find an expansion slot in such an inexpensive player.
A tad larger than a Zippo lighter and sheathed in a deep, glossy red, the AMP128 manages to look simultaneously cool and cute. Controls consist of a five-way navigation/playback pad in front and volume, menu, Hold, and power buttons or switches on the side. Coupled with refreshingly simple onscreen menus, these intuitive controls make the AMP128 a breeze to operate. The SD slot resides in the same rear compartment as the single AAA battery.
We particularly liked the player's high-resolution screen, which uses a large font to highlight the song title and packs in a wealth of information: artist and album title, elapsed time, volume level, equalizer setting, a battery gauge, a progress bar, and so on. All of this appears onscreen at once--no annoying scrolling as with many other flash players.
The AMP128 can play MP3, WAV, and WMA files and is among the first players we've seen to support Microsoft's PlaysForSure initiative. Consequently, we had no trouble copying DRM-protected WMAs from Musicmatch Jukebox and Windows Media Player. The player includes Shuffle and Repeat modes and an equalizer with five presets and a five-band custom setting. We found audio quality to be better than expected and quite excellent overall. Our only complaint is that the maximum volume level isn't nearly loud enough to compete with certain kinds of ambient noise, like trains and planes.