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AVC Soul MP3 / WMA Player
Portable CD based MP3 / WMA player and inline remote.

By Jon Deragon, Visca Consulting
Tuesday, November 6, 2003; 3:00pm EST

It has been a long time dream of music heads around the world to place their entire collection of favorite songs onto a single CD for on the go listening. That is now a reality thanks to the new Soul MP3 / WMA player. What looks to be a regular CD player, in fact has awesome MP3 and WMA music file format decoding underneath its sleek design. Meaning, those music files you have been collecting on your computer from "ripping" (copying tracks from regular CD's and saving them as music files); music sharing services such as Morpheus, Napster and Limewire; and files from MP3 sites you can now play on the road with the Soul portable player.

The process is as simple as gathering all your favorite music files on your computer (approximately 20 hours worth depending on the sampling rate of the music files), "burning" (copying) them onto a blank CD-R, or CD-RW disc, and popping that newly created disc into your Soul Player and your ready for 15 hours of music on just 2 AA batteries! The great part about its compatibility with CD-RW (re-writable CD's) is that you can simply re-record (like cassettes) your mix of music to accommodate all the newest music without having to buy a new blank disc!

Once your new disc is in the player and your ready to listen, navigating your way through all the music is easy. The player is well laid out, buttons are easy to use and understand. A hold button prevents accidental button pressing. A large backlit 3 line dot-matrix display conveyed all the necessary information. The generously included in-line remote control that is part of your headphone cable is an excellent way to use the player, as it has all the major functions you need.

Once you're into the music, the sound quality is surprisingly good. Mid and high range are accurately reproduced and have a somewhat decent sound stage. It excels as you get higher in the frequency band, as bass is not its specialty. The bass in dance and pop tracks was somewhat flat and lifeless in comparison to the vibrant and energetic sounds of rock and jazz it produced. However, sound distortion was excellent, as there wasn't any. Even at full volume there was not even a hint of distortion which was a definite ear blasting treat! And yes, it plays regular CD's too!

Where this player really starts to shine, is its shear wealth of features and included accessories for its substantially lower price than competitors. Not only do you get the player, but AC adaptor, car adaptor kit, the remote control, headphones, CD burning software and a nicely made case with room for player and a few CD's. The player its self packs all the latest features you need for a pleasurable experience. Anti-skip memory (120 seconds for MP3 CD's and 40 seconds for regular CD's). Compatibility with not only the popular MP3 format, but the newly emerging Windows Media format which actually compresses files even smaller for more music space. Equalizer allowing you to select presets optimized for different music styles such as "Normal", "Rock", "Classic" or "Jazz". Bass boost equalization is also an option. Upgradeable internal firmware to keep the player functionality up to date. Output line for connection to amplified speakers.

All of this with a very easy to handle $149.75US price tag. Overall, the unit offered exceptional functionality, solid sound, standard build quality and an array of tantalizing accessories that makes it easy to recommend. It is also easy to recommend it over the more costly but less music capacity Flash RAM based MP3 players that hold no where near the amount of music the Soul can on a single CD. Great product, great price and Easy Buy 2000 (its reseller) offers excellent customer service to individuals interested in purchasing the product online.

About The Author
Jon Deragon is president and founder of Visca Consulting, a firm specializing in web site design, development and usability for businesses of all sizes. His many years in the technology industry has enabled him to write quality, in-depth product reviews to assist businesses make more informed technology purchases. He welcomes any questions or comments you may have regarding his company's services, this review or interest in having your company's products reviewed.


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