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Software development, running, music & beer

Another gadget

While on the subject of gadgets, I will give an endorsement to my latest purchase, the SanDisk 256 MB MP3 player (link). When my big, klunky Sony Walkman cassette player finally broke down, I needed something new to take with me to the gym when working out. My top requirement was an FM tuner as the TVs at the gym broadcast audio through FM frequencies so different people can watch different TVs and not try to crank the other person out of the room to hear their program. And my next requirement was size. I have a big, bulky hard drive based MP3 player that would be a workout in itself to wear to the gym.
So, looking at my options, I quickly settled on this little red gadget from SanDisk. It had what I was looking for, an FM tuner in a very small package. I found it on Amazon for (at the time) $35 cheaper than the local electronics stores, so I was sold. After it arrived (via Amazon’s “free shipping”, which basically means they wait an extra 5 days to ship it, hoping next time you’re impatient you’ll remember this exprience and actually pay to have it shipped in a timely manner), I was able to get it loaded up and take it for a test run that night. It has a simple USB interface, and all you need to do is drag-and-drop the MP3s onto the device, and you’re ready to go. No special software or compression or anything else. And it comes with a nice armband which works really well for runners. I cannot attest to the battery life yet, but it claims 15 hours on a single AAA, which I can live with. Obviously it is in competition with the new iPod Shuffle (link), but for me, I need the FM for the gym, I like having a display to navigate and change things, and the armband is included and doesn’t sell for another $30.

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