Electronic Review Memorex MPD881BLK MP3/WMA/CD Player with AM/FM Radio

When my younger brother damaged my last mp3/cd player beyond functionality I began to look into purchasing a repacement. I was willing to spend a maximum of fifty dollars, and I checked K-Mart, Wal-Mart and Target for a new one. What I chose was the Memorex MPD881BLK, a mp3/wma/cd player with an am/fm radio, a “remote” and a set of headphones for on thirty-five dollars. This small cd player’s sleek, simplistic design had only five colors on the enire thing, two shades of grey, silver, green, and of course, black, all blended in perfectly. The only green part was the headphone jack, which helped to distinguish it from the line out jack which was right next to it.

The cd player itself is completely round, with no corners sticking out of it like some other cd players that I’ve seen. The top contains a IDE3 LCD display on the left, and on the right is the typical round setup for control: the play/pause/band button in the middle, surrounded by the mode/clear button, next/tuning up button, the stop/off button, and the back/tuning down button. Between these two circles is the small logo, a prog/enter button, an esp/enter button, the preset up button, and the preset down button. The along the center line of the player is the radio/cd switch, the sliding open switch, the double bass boost switch, the volume knob, headphone jack, line out jack, hold switch, and the 4.5V AC/DC adapter plugin. On the underside of this nifty device is the logo, standards met box, the model number and serial number. The case was plastic but fairly compact. In it was the cd player, the headphones and the “remote”. The remote is supposed to be plugged into headphone jack before the cd player is turned on. Then, the listener can control the volume, pause, stop, listen to the previous song, or advance to the next. Also, by pressing and holding the forward button the listener can fast-forward through parts of the song, and vice versa for the back button, a nice feature that some cd players lack.

The headphones themselves are nice too. They’re a wrap-around behind-the-head set, so you don’t have to worry about having them pop out of your ears like earbud headphones, or having them sliding down your head like older headphone sets. They have no noticable distortion unless you turn up the volume louder than is safe for your eardrums (about 90 db). The band connecting the circuit board and the controls on top is curved with slack even when the player is open, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking like some panasomic players. The player has a long battery life, so go ahead an play music for hours at a time. The player is capable of playing both standard cds, burned cds, and 3” singles. If the player isn’t used in 60 seconds (i.e. you leave it on all day), it’ll turn off to conserve battery power. At most, it takes 30 seconds to read a mp3/wma cd even if it is filled with music. You can repeat playback of up to 24 programed tracks, the whole cd or individual songs. It has ESP (electronic skip protection) that you can turn off for regular cd to load them faster (you can’t turn it off for mp3/wma cds). For regular cds the esp works for 45 seconds, and for mp3/wma cds it lasts two minutes. It also has auto resume, a feature that will resume playback of the previous track you were listening to before you turned off the player. In addition, you can play any cda, mp3 or wma track on any cd, including data cds, without hearing the “noise” a regular player makes when you try to play a data cd, since it ignores all but those formats. It will play any mp3, cda, or wma file that is between 32 and 384kbps MPEG rate. The FM radio works perfectly if a normal radio will pick up the station, but the am radio only works properly if you set the player on a flat surface and rotate it to get better reception.

To sum up the good and bad points…
Pro: Low cost, really good headphones, ac/dc adaptor, fm radio, esp, fast-forward/rewind, battery life, simplistic design, auto resume, and mp3/cda/wma regular cd and 3” single compatability.

Con: Volume knob instead of buttons that can be locked with the hold, the model numer and serial number are on stickers on the back, so cover them with clear masking tape when you open the package. Otherwise you won’t be able to have any extended warranty fix it. Also, the player’s esp drops down severely if you have it vertically instead of horizontally. With it horizontally you won’t notice any skips unless you’re on a rocky road on a bike.

In short, a good buy if the specs fit your standards. It fit mine and I’m satisfied. I give it a 9 out of 10.

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