Chinese Entertainment Devices
How To Buy MP3 Players For Your Home & Car
Made In China MP3 Player
Isn't that cute? The face measures just over two inches on a side and the depth isn't much more. And it was cheap! This cost $13.48, purchased from a seller in China on eBay. If someone like Wal-Mart or Sears were to sell this, the cost would be much more, reflecting the additional costs in getting it to you.
However, the purchasing experience is different. The purpose of this page is twofold. First I want to show you this neat MP3 player and later other available items. I showed this stuff to my neighbors and they were very surprised and unaware of the existence of these products and how one purchases them. First, let me tell you about this little MP3 player.
This is not only a MP3 audio player but a FM radio. See where the telescoping antenna is retracted? The antenna only extends about 6 inches, so the station has to be fairly strong to be heard. The tuning is done by scanning the band first, and then pressing the two buttons on the right side to move through the memories. Pressing and holding those two buttons will raise and lower the volume. And this player is pretty loud!
The Tiny, But Loud Speaker
The most important feature of this cube radio is the MP3 player. This model will only play MP3 files and not WMA files. There are programs to convert one format to another. Take a look at the freeware programs on Snapfiles.
You can use a USB or a SD Micro memory card (TF) to store your files. Just copy them from your ripped cd collection or podcast downloads to the memory stick while it is in your computer. You can sort your files into directories. The player appears to play the files according to the order they were saved to the memory. An entire directory is played before the player goes to the next one. So it is possible to bunch your files in an orderly manner.
This player only shows you the playing time and file number on the red LED display. This is no Apple iPod! This is for those that are in poverty. This means no song titles or shuffle play. This brings me to the next point, what size memory to buy? The number of files you can store on a USB thumb or SD drive depends on the bit rate, but in general, you should be able to store 200 – 300 music sized files per 1GB drive. This player will accept up to a 16GB USB thumb drive or an 8GB SD Micro card. However, since the only navigation is to advance or decrease one song at a time (by quick presses of the two right front buttons), a large drive won't be too easy to move through. One great feature about this MP3 player is as long as the battery is working and you don't unplug the memory, when you turn this back on, it remembers at what file it left off from and plays on from there.
I'm buying 2GB size memory to use with my player. A long time ago I "ripped" (the term used when you copy a cd to your hard drive to allow playing on other devices) my cd collection to my computer. I then stored my cd's in a safe place and just play the digital files.
Once you have your mp3 files, just copy them to your USB or SD Micro memory. I recommend that all files be placed in directories, but not more than one level deep. You can have several memory sticks with different songs and podcasts so you can play according to your mood.
How to find these? First go to eBay. You don't need an account to look but will need one to buy. Then do a search for these terms: MP3 player speaker usb. Try TF instead of MP3 too. That should return results that are MP3 players with a speaker and use a plug in memory device.
This player has a built in rechargeable battery. It will only play a couple of hours and the ads say that you should shut off the unit after it quits playing. That is, don't flatten the battery. It charges from any USB jack. I have several USB charges and my computer to recharge. Most of the time this is plugged in to my USB jack and available for play anytime.
With the external input and output connections available, this gives me some ideas for other uses of this little box. The output jack could drive a small AM transmitter that would allow my tunes to be heard through my old radio collection.
The input connection could be used to provide amplification to my homemade radios. I'll be sure to look in to this and will report back as I find out how it works.
I am very happy with this purchase! I've already ordered a couple other ones with different features. My neighbors like these, so I'll likely get some for them too, or offer my extras. I don't need a lot of these, but I can't help myself. Luckily this is not an expensive addiction. Want to learn my experiences of buying these trinkets? Then please keep reading.
The USB and SD Micro & Input Output Connections
Buying From The Chinese
I have to tell you that my experiences buying directly from the Chinese have been pretty good. The stuff is good and it gets to me in a reasonable amount of time. One should not be timid about buying items from online sellers on the other side of the earth. But I won't make expensive purchases! About $25 is what I am willing to spend. I know there are really no warranties and due to the Chingrish one sometimes has to guess what is really being said.
Never assume anything. Look at the pictures and the descriptions and read them several times.
How come this stuff doesn't cost much? Without getting technical, let's just say that the exchange rates are fixed in a manner that makes China imports very attractive. The Chinese have a lot of people to keep busy and this helps. Although in the case of these little players, I suspect there is a lot of robot assembly. There aren't all those pesky manufacturing restrictions and regulations either. I am willing to take advantage of this situation. Wal-Mart is, why can't I be my own mini Wal-Mart?
It appears that the postal rates are very cheap. This, of course helps exports a lot. The only one making money is eBay. But that is none of my business.
There is a lot of product available! So don't be in a hurry to buy. They will always make more. Look for sellers with good feedback. If it is over 99.5% with thousands of transactions, that seller is for me. I don't get too excited about this as after all, I'm not spending much money. I always give real good feedback. I'm really not too willing to beat up anyone over a 15 buck sale. Generally only misrepresentation will get me to give a less than perfect feedback.
If you like gadgets on the cheap, give the Chinese sellers on eBay a try. On the next couple of pages I'll add more of these little devices. I hope you will find my descriptions as a useful buying guide.