MP3 players fulfill many roles for the people who use them. For some, a portable audio device is true to form as an essential commuter companion; others turn their players into home audio systems by attaching them to speakers. But one of the most popular uses for an MP3 player is as a workout motivator, which is why companies have packed fitness-friendly extras into the devices over the years. The most recent example is found in the Haier America Trainer, a 2GB player with a surfeit of features aimed at getting you in shape. At $60, the Trainer is a … Read more
Last year, appliance manufacturer Haier America surprised me by producing its very first MP3 player. More specifically, I was confounded by the fact that the company actually made a decent one that offered a variety of compelling features most mainstream MP3 player companies had overlooked (wireless podcast updating, for example).
Now, Haier is updating its Rhapsody Ibiza line with--get this--the Mini and the Touch. Those certainly aren't the most original names (in fact, the words "blatant rip-off" come to mind), but to Haier's credit, the new players look nothing like the iPods of the same name.
First up is the Rhapsody Ibiza Mini, which will replace the current flash-based Ibiza Rhapsody. This pocketable player measures just 3.5 inches by 2 inches by 0.4 inch and features a 2.2-inch color QVGA screen dominating its face. Just below is a four-way directional pad composed of tactile controls for main navigation. Around the edges of the device, you'll find a dedicated volume rocker, a power button, and a Wi-Fi connect key.… Read more
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: an MP3 player is the perfect workout companion. There's nothing like a little music to get you motivated for a sweat session. Of course, some MP3 players even take things a step further by offering other fitness-friendly extras. Such is the case with Haier America's latest Ibiza device, the Trainer. This 2GB player includes a built-in heart-rate monitor, a pedometer, a calorie counter, and a stopwatch. Really, what more could you ask for from a gym-ready gadget? How about an FM tuner, you say? Why yes, there'… Read more
For serious music junkies, there are few things in life more satisfying than having unlimited access to Rhapsody's all-you-can-download subscription music service. For a flat monthly fee, Rhapsody users can gorge on music downloads such as Kobayashi at a hot dog eating contest.
If you really want to get the most from a Rhapsody music subscription, however, you'll want to sync it to an MP3 player with Rhapsody DNA. These players typically offer a Rhapsody menu option right from their main menu, display Rhapsody files tagged with album art, and have proven themselves worthy of Rhapsody's stamp … Read more
Home appliance and electronics manufacturer Haier America leaped into the portable media player market last year with the 30GB Ibiza Rhapsody, a jack-of-all-trades device that came loaded with features, including Wi-Fi music downloading. Even at the time, hard-drive-based MP3 players were a dying breed, so it's no surprise that the Ibiza was followed up by a flash-based sibling of the same name. The flash Ibiza Rhapsody offers most of the same extras as its slightly larger family member, but comes in a different array of colors and with either 4GB ($199) or 8GB ($229) of memory. It's large … Read more
A few select reviewers got an early hand on the Ibiza Rhapsody player from Haier, but CES was my first chance and I walked away quite impressed, and wondering again why Microsoft hadn't done this much--or more--with the 2nd generation Zune player.
The devices are not exactly objects of art--the 30GB player, available now from Amazon.com for $288, is a simple metallic block, and the forthcoming 4GB and 8GB players look like smaller versions of the same design--but the screen is adequately bright and clear, and the company is offering a wide array of downloadable skins and themes … Read more
Last week, I received an e-mail regarding the impending announcement of a new MP3 player with an impressive feature list, including Rhapsody DNA integration and support for both 802.11b/g WiFi and stereo Bluetooth. I was immediately intrigued by the product, called the ibiza Rhapsody, though I didn't recognize the manufacturer, Haier America. Always curious about newcomers to the portable media player market, I looked it up. You really had to be here to appreciate my groan of skepticism when I found out that the company specializes in home appliances. I mean, really: what could a team that … Read more