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>> This is Donald Bell, Senior Editor for digital audio and mp3. Today we're going to take a first look at the MPIO FL500. It is a little triangle shaped mp3 player. It also does FM tuner, FM recording, voice recording. It gets noticed. It's really cool looking. It's got really big, you know, knobs and dials. It's all analog looking. Kind of looks like your old 70's hifi receiver. I also kind of think it looks like the car from Tron. It looks a lot better than it actually feels. The scroll wheel, even though it looks really cool, kind of feels like your mouse scroll button. The player has relatively good sound quality, which was surprising for its size. It sounded as good as a lot of the other players we compared it to. The transport controls for play, pause, fast forward are on the side of the player, which means if you're shoving this in your pocket it would probably be accidentally triggered or cause all kinds of mayhem. Aside from its looks it's not the best thought out design for a player. One feature I did like about the MPIO player here is it has a dedicated switch on the front for switching between mp3 modes and the FM tuner and recording modes, voice recording modes or FM recording modes. Other players I've played with by MPIO had these features buried in menus but it's nice to have a dedicated control right on the front to use. On the back of the FL500 you'll see a clip so you can clip this on to your clothing or your belt and look really cool taking this thing around. The clip also comes off. If you don't like the clip you can take the clip off by unscrewing this bolt on the front and you can rope, you know, a necklace or a lanyard through it and wear it as a necklace, which wouldn't look quite as cool. I think when you clip this thing on it looks like you've got a beeper from the future attached to your belt or something. The MPIO FL500 comes in 1GB and 2GB capacities. The 1GB goes for around 99 dollars. The 2GB goes for about 110 dollars, which is not the best prices. This is Donald Bell and that was a first look at the MPIO FL500.
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