Eco Media Player

Description:

Wind-up MP3 player, image viewer, phone charger, torch and radio in one little plastic bundle. I think mine is the 1GB version, although there’s an SD slot to expand the memory. Newer versions have a bigger memory.

Opinion:

Pros

This was a (pleasantly surprising) birthday present, although I’d been making noises about it because I’ve had a Baylis radio for a few years and they’re pretty robust.

I’ve had the eco media player for a couple of years now and it’s been really useful when cycle touring/camping. And, to be honest, I think it’s in travelling away from the grid that its strength lies.

The dynamo for charging the player itself is pretty effective. Not sure if it lives up to the claims of 40 mins playtime for 1 min of turning, but it’s not bad. Another feature of this product I like is the torch, which again is useful when you’re camping. I’d rather the torch stayed on when you press the button though, I’d prefer to be using this than my head torch to light up the tent.

The other bonus of this player is the external speaker, just loud enough to fill the tent with music. Quality isn’t great, but nonetheless useful.

Aside from its travel credentials, you can plug the eco media player directly into your CD player, so you can record your music collection with very little hassle.

Cons:

The media player includes a mobile phone charging facility, though I found it to be pretty poor. A lot of effort for very little return, although perhaps better than nothing in an emergency.

I’m dubious about the word ‘Eco’ being attached to any consumables and this is no exception. It was made in China for a start, so it’s carbon debt at one year of age is already worse than mine, having travelled from there to the UK. Also, a conventional mp3 player charged by a solar panel is no doubt just as ‘green’ as this product.

Conclusion:

If  you ignore its slightly silly name and, more importantly, you want a reliable source of entertainment when on the move, which you can easily charge then the eco player isn’t a bad option. The price for the early version of this player has also become very competitive. Mine cost £130, you can now (Dec 09) get them on Amazon for £75.


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