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Review: X-Micro's 'Video MP3 Player'

X-Micro's new Video Mp3 Player is designed to show photos and video on its tiny screen. And it can play music files and radio, show lyrics and serve as a flash storage drive.
I was quite excited when I found out about the versatility of X-Micro's new Video Mp3 Player. Designed to show photos and video on its tiny screen, it can play music files and radio, show lyrics and serve as a flash storage drive.

The Video Mp3 Player comes in 256MB, 512MB and 1 GB versions that retail for $129.99, $159.99 and $199.99, respectively.

The device has a sleek design small enough to fit in a pocket - or you can make a fashion statement by using the included headphones to wear the device around your neck. It's slightly larger than a JFK half-dollar coin (2 1/8 inches in diameter) and about as thick as a box of matches.

File transfer and battery charging is accomplished via a separate USB cable using the 1.1 standard instead of the newer USB 2.0 standard. In my tests, under heavy usage displaying videos continuously, the device had a battery life of around 8 hours. You get a lot more if you only listen to music and don't use the screen for videos and pictures.

The player's one-inch viewable color OLED screen boasts the ability to display 65,000 colors. The screen is accompanied by 5 buttons for Rew, Rec, Play/Pause, Mode and Fwd. Around the edge are volume buttons and a hold switch.

The screen, although small, is surprisingly clear and bright for its size. I was able to use the device in direct sunlight and still view the screen on the device.

In order to watch video on the device, you must first convert the video to .MPX format using the included software. The software supports .mpg, .mpeg, .avi and .wmv standards and is straightforward to use. The conversion process takes around 2 minutes for a 60 MB file. The quality of video was not perfect, but good enough.

To display pictures on the player, the process is similar to video, but more cumbersome. I don't understand why but the device lacks support for .jpg and other standard formats directly. Instead you have to convert it to .PIC.

Another annoyance is that you have to make a slideshow in order to view multiple images on the device, and the process for making the slideshow is time consuming. You can't pause on a single picture during the slide show. The implementation of picture viewing is broken on this gadget to the point where you shouldn't even consider it a feature. It's not worth using.

The sound quality of music and video playback along with radio are all decent at regular volume levels and start to get a little fuzzy at higher levels. What's nice is that the player supports ID3 tag display, which looks great on the bright screen. Radio has decent reception for such a small device and allows for

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