The DAP supports MP3, WMA, and DRM-protected WMA formats. You can drag and drop files to the player or use the included Musicmatch 9.0 Basic, a splendid music manager/store. (We highly recommend downloading version 10 from Musicmatch.) In our tests, files zipped from PC to player at the impressive rate of 6.54MB per second. Better still, the DAP played for more than 16 hours before needing a new battery. Of course, we'd still prefer a rechargeable cell, even if it means a bit less play time.
As an FM radio, the DAP delivers strong reception and a handy automemory feature that quickly creates presets from stations in range. However, you can't record radio, a feature available in many other players we've seen. The DAP includes a microphone for voice recording in WAV format, but you're limited to 32Kbps, 8KHz recordings--and they sound terrible.
Music and radio sound much better, though not great. We quickly ditched SanDisk's painful hard-plastic earbuds in favor of our stock Shure E3c 'buds, but even then, the DAP couldn't compare with other players we tested. Music came through flat and muted, though certainly loud enough for noisy subways and the like.
While the Digital Audio Player isn't a bad choice for the athletically inclined or those who have a hard time reading most flash-player screens, it has a few too many strikes against it for us to give a wholehearted recommendation. But for those looking for a bargain, the SanDisk Digital Audio player is ripe for the picking.
Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more.