Monday, December 21, 2009

Mini-Review: Fun Beat EM270 MP3 Player

I recently bought this MP3 player which boasts "70 hours of battery life" and other interesting features for rather nice price (I bought 8 GB version). The reason was that I needed some player for my father to listen to classical music in his bed and I figured I could give him my older Sansa Clip and I'll keep EM270 for myself (because it seemed to be slightly more advanced).

Pluses: The packaging actually contains not only the player itself but also earbuds, wall charger, USB cable, holding strap and rubber cover! Also, the device looks quite stylish, although not as stylish as this CG render suggests:


(Image stolen from Alza.cz)

I'm afraid it's strictly downhill from here on.

When I copied about 6 GB of music to the device, the start-up took about 50 seconds! I thought this was because the device indexed my music and cached the song data somewhere but no such luck. The delay is the same for each and every start-up! EM270 also supports microSDHC cards up to 32GB for potentially 40 GB of total storage which could mean several minutes of start-up time each and every time (in theory - I haven't tried it).

All of my music contains ID3 v2.3 tags with artist, track number, genre, album and track names. EM270 allows to me to select music using these tags (meaning the songs actually are indexed using these data). However, when I actually start playing the tracks, only their filenames are displayed. Nothing else. Not even the playing time. This means that when I randomly skip between 500 music tracks, there is no way to see the album and composer details for currently playing song! If your files are named "01.mp3", "02.mp3" etc. then tough luck, you have no way of knowing which song is currently playing.

Setting play method to "Shuffle" means that tracks are played in random order, with no regard to what was already played during this session. That means you can shuffle through 20 track album and hear track #13 four times before you hear track #7 for the first time, for example.

The manual is godawful. It's in Czech and English. The Czech version is briefer and totally omits some menu items while the English version is almost incomprehensible and all screenshots are in Chinese! I was able to discover most of the functionality by trial and error. However, there is an item called "JumpSetting" with different time values in the Settings and I have no idea what it is supposed to be doing. The manual actually contains the following gem:

"This user manual can give you some useful information. Hope it will help you to operate the player well when you are using it. If there is any mistake on this manual, you are welcome to figure it out."

Obviously, I didn't try out all the functionality but from what I've seen it was quite clear to me I don't want to use EM270 for my music playing needs. Some UI choices were very bizarre, for example holding down the Play/Pause button started changing the dozen or so equalizer settings very quickly (i.e. 10 times a second), resulting in a game of roulette of sorts.

If I bought this player for myself, I'd be rather pissed off. However, it will be OK for my father and I'll keep my trusty Sansa Clip. Fun Beat actually seems to be Czech company but their firmware and documentation resembles the worst Chinese crap.

And remember: "Our company remained the final right how to explain for the manual, warranty and some related information."

P.S: This mini-review is based on latest available firmware.

8 comments:

Scrl said...

Zdravim Frantisku, muj tip na smysl "JumpSetting" je, ze se jedna o nastaveni nejmensiho kroku pro pretaceni - tj. pokud dam JS 1s, budu skladbu pretacet s presnosti na sekundy, a pokud dam JS 1m, budu pretacet o hodne rychleji po minutach. Ne ze by to na recenzi neco menilo...

rockbox_user said...

Mimochodem, Sansa Clip umí rockbox... (nejlepší hudební opensource firmware ;-) )
http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/SansaAMS
Kvůli Rockboxu jsou momentálně nejlepší přehrávače Sansa e2xx, Sansa Fuze a Sansa Clip (u každého modelu pouze verze V1)

Anonymous said...

jo tenhle přehrávač je příšernej shit. i když vlastně svojí demencí občas potěší. například dodávaný soubor HUMOUR.TXT obsahující čínské pseudovtipy v lámané angličtině je dadaistický opus desetiletí. :)

Invi said...

Stejný jsem koupila tátovi k Vánocům. Toho pomalé zapínání nerozhodí. Hlavně, že si své soubory může naladit na chatě nebo v autě na rádiu. I když je FM-transmitter docela slabý, je postačující.

Nicole said...

Tu mám! A taky mi vadí to dlouhý nabíhání :/

Marek said...

Akurat vysiel novy fw (2-2010 - funbeat.cz - je tam aj navod na upgrade) a startuje sa mi asi 4 sekundy. myslim ze uz to nacitava zoznam v prehravaci iba ked to odpojim z PC. z karty cita stale tak isto dlho. vysielac mi dosiahol cez cely byt (+ asi 4 steny) mam 3.5Jack predlzovacku, tu pouzivam. niekedy sa mi stalo (neviem ci to robi aj na tomto FW) ze vysielac sustal. stacilo ho vypnut a zapnut (niekedy vysielac, niekedy prehravac). Vcelku som spokojny...

Lukas said...

2 rockbox_user: diky za tip. Ja jsem bohuzel jel 2 roky na tom shitovem firmwaru od Sansy. RockBox je super.

Anonymous said...

Czech company - LoL - as "Czech" as Emgeton. Just go to China instead of Japan next time, buy a container of some cheap OEM shit, let them brand it "FUXOFT" and you can sell it here. That's what they do. You'd be better of buing directly from some chinese store, there is plenty of them. You'd cut off the middle man, that won't provide any service anyway.