Pros Accepts WMP Playlists, Decent Sound, Talking Stopwatch
Cons Battery LIfe, Easy to Accidentally Hit Controls
Summary When I read the CNET review that stated this device accepts WMP playlists I wanted to be an early adopter...my mistake.
The design is nice and yes, it does accept WMP playlists flawlessly, provided you know how to import the playlists, BUT the battery life is awful. On a run this morning, it beeped and proceeded to shut down after an hour and a half. Two caveats: 1) It was a cold day (40 degrees) and 2) I used the battery included with the PSA 232 so the freshness of the power could be questionable. Also, I used the stopwatch and adjusted the volume twice.
But, even if a new battery clocks in at 3 hours, this is just horrible, especially for a supposed SPORTS player. I go for runs of 3 to 4 hours on weekends and nothing upsets me more than having my player cut out.
I would avoid this player unless Philips can perform a miracle software update that would increase the battery life 600%.
PS. Does anyone know of any other flash players that accept WMP playlists. Does the new IAudio U3 take them?
Pros Low initial cost
Cons Low battery life, no Vista support, FM capability marginal
Summary As a very satisfied long time user of the Philips PSA110, I was interested in trying the 232 with its added MP3 capability. And a new 232 can be had for less than $40 from several different sellers.
But I have been quite disappointed on 3 points:
1) I use rechargable akalines in the 110 and get at least 10hrs of playtime. The 232 manual cautions - rechargables will display lowered power in the battery status icon. True, and also they last less than an hour! Useless. (And moving to expensive lithium batteries after successfully using rechargables is really unattractive.)
2) The 232 must be used with XP, it cannot be used with Vista, the Philips web site does not have an upgrade available as of Nov 2007. So I cannot use my Vista-based home computer to load up audio tracks before a weekend run, I am restricted to rounding up an XP computer whenever I want to modify my playlists.
3) The FM functionality of the 232 is really a kludge compared to the 110 - very fussy to load the presets that you want initially, and then tricky to tune in while on the run.
In summary: I didn't find this a usable product, I'm sticking with my 110 for now.
Pros Interface, buttons
Cons Battery Life
Summary I've gone through 2 batteries in 4 hours. And AAA's are not cheap.
Pros Unbelieveable headphone bass capability (The best earbuds I've ever used); low cost; expandable memory
Cons I didn't like that you need to take off the back to access the USB port, Armband may be too small for you above average weight-lifters
Summary **NOTE: I lot of my review is in reguard to the other posts and how I am of a different opinion.**
My roommate came to me and said the battery died right away, (he has the same player) so I hooked him up with some loud MP3's and some e2 Lithium batteries and he hasn't had a problem since and neither have I. (I've ran on the same battery since January and I just change the battery today! (March 21) Using those batteries gave me battery life that has lasted a LONG time.
Good rule of thumb: For many new electronics you should try using e2 Lithium batteries (Digital Cameras, Remotes, MP3 players etc.) NO, I don't work for a battery company.. it's just a fact these new batteries are not the same as the everyday alkaline batteries that we are all used to seeing. Some devices can make good use of the Lithium capabilities in these new batteries. My camera is a GREAT example, alkaline batteries... 15 - 20 pictures then all 4 batteries are dead (absolutly pathetic). After using the recommended e2 Lithium batteries I was able to take Hundreds of pictures (even while using a triple flash). (HUGE DIFFERENCE)
I can see how they may have had some problems... more than likely they used alkaline batteries, and...
I've noticed that the radio stations come in at a low volume, to hear the music you will need to turn it up which DOES kill the battery faster (especially if it's classical music, no joke, classical stations are notoriously quiet). So all in all it really matters how many volume bars you stack up while listening, even if it doesn't seem loud to you it may still be putting out a high volume level. Also if you are using the bass boost and the screen illumination for more than the minimum; these are also factors. Plenty of storage space, easy to use, nice arm band, expandable memory. Overall I would say it's a hell of a lot better than buying an iPod.
Pros Accepts SD cards, Nice interface
Cons Battery life extremely poor, annoying USB access
Summary Could have been a nice MP3 player, but I'll be replacing it due to the battery life. Get rechargable batteries if you get this player, otherwise you will use close to a battery per day.