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Truly MP310 (512MB) review: Truly MP310 (512MB)

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The Good Solid controls and interface; lots of features, including photo viewing.

The Bad No playlist support; slow JPEG and BMP rendering and USB 1.1 transfers; does not support DRM-protected WMAs; large for a flash player.

The Bottom Line Thanks to a new set of controls, the photo-friendly Truly MP310 is a nice improvement over its predecessor.

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6.7 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 6
  • Performance 6

Truly MP310

Available in capacities of 128MB, 256MB, and 512MB, the Truly MP310 is a sweet little device that packs a lot of features into a clean, PDA-like design. It's a significantly improved version of the MP301 with a more intuitive interface. This hybrid MP3 player is larger than the usual flash player, but the benefits are obvious: a sizable, legible color screen and the atypical features of photo and text viewing.

Built around a 1.9-inch display, the Truly MP310 is bigger than most flash devices at 3.1 by 2.0 by 0.5 inches but is still light and comfortable at 1.8 ounces. At this size, it evokes the term microdrive rather than flash, and those looking for more than 5GB of storage will be disappointed. But the MP310 is a vast improvement over the MP301 in terms of controls, which are located at the bottom and along the right spine, adding to the overall PDA-like look and feel. The backlit LCD is bright and colorful, featuring 65,536 colors at 160x128 resolution. You'll find icons for the nine main functions on the menu, with a text prompt for the currently selected icon at the bottom.

Controls are straightforward: the central five-way key provides navigation and commands play functions (up/down, left/right, and Enter), the power/escape button moves back through menus and folders, and the Menu button pops up options, depending on the mode. On the side, EQ and A-B loop buttons are overloaded with special functions. For example, while playing music, hold EQ to power off the display; when you're listening to FM radio, press A-B to start recording; and if you're reading an e-book, press EQ to set bookmarks or A-B to enable accompanying music or FM playback.

Via the special USB cable and power supply, the MP310 utilizes the line-in jack to juice up. You can recharge the device through the USB port but at a slower rate.

The Truly MP310 supports MP3 and WMA formats but not DRM-protected WMAs. There is no playlist support, and you'll have to select a song by navigating the tree-style folders. You can simultaneously display song lyrics; they're prepared as text LRC files synchronized to time codes using the Lyric Editor software on the included CD. The MP310 also records to MP3 at 32Kbps, 128Kbps, and 192Kbps via either the built-in mic or the line-in jack; you can record from FM radio as well. In addition, you can designate up to 30 presets either manually or by using the autoscan function on Truly's good-sounding FM tuner; you can even edit presets and station names with the included FM Station Edit app.

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