"Is there any reason not to buy an iPod?" It's such a common question for us, and the answer is usually, "Yes and no, but mostly yes." There are heaps of other players out there that don't cut the condiment, but more and more are starting to compete. An illuminous contender for your digital music pounds this month is TrekStor's daftly named i.Beat move S, from the company that brought you the pseudo-racist i.Beat Blaxx.
This is a flash-based MP3 and video player with support for MP3, WMA (including DRMed stuff) and WAV only, though it wouldn't actually play our CD-quality WAV files. Little AVI videos can be converted using some bundled software. It's also got a radio and comes in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities, but isn't expandable.
We've got one in to look at and we're not exactly blown away. The 38mm screen is about as attractive as Kelly Osbourne bathing in rotting organs, and the interface conjures similarly grotesque emotions.
We want to ask, "What's the point?" It'd be a great player for 2005, but not the second half of 2008. There's no single feature that stands out at all and nothing to be excited about at all.
But you should be able to pick up an 8GB model for about £50, which is an excellent price and probably the most compelling reason to be interested.
Bear in mind it's not hugely intuitive to operate, it sorts music based on folders and file names instead of by artist and album as described by embedded ID3 tags, and with a 10-hour battery life it's not breaking any endurance records.
It sounds alright though, and if you're not planning on upgrading the bog standard earphones that come bundled, you won't complain.
There are dozens of competing players that offer better functionality and usability, but if you're after an affordable 8GB player and don't care about anything else, the i.Beat move S may suit. It should be available from Amazon in September. -Nate Lanxon