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TrekStor vibez: Body from Baywatch, name from Crimewatch

TrekStor's vibez MP3 player bursts out of Germany with a lovely set of features, support for open-source codecs and a lovely shiny body. Sign us up!

With small MP3 players being all about the flash memory these days, it's interesting to see one crawl out of the water with a hard drive instead. That's what the German company TrekStor has done with its new vibez player.

Yes, it's an appalling name that deserves to be beaten with the wet end of a severed limb, but once you get a look at the specs you may regret dismembering anyone for such a purpose.

The vibez is a 12GB MP3 player that not only supports the usual MP3, WMA and WMA DRM formats of music, but also plays OGG and FLAC. If you don't know what the latter two formats are, you needn't worry unless you want to become a member of the open-source in-crowd.

The vibez has a curvy back plate made of metal, and looks delightfully shiny. The player has support for album art and if you're a radio fan, why not get the FM receiver chip inserted into the circuitry? It's not clear whether you do this yourself, which would be ridiculously impractical, but it's an optional extra. There's also a direct encoding option and a dynamic playlist creator that builds lists of songs the player thinks you'll like.

Whatever you think of vibez initially, we think it's rather splendid. It's eye-catching and has some great features, and available now for about £150. We're looking forward to testing one out for ourselves and you can expect a full review here on soon. -Nate Lanxon