Time to put on your disco shoes as we take a look at the MPMan digital MP3 player

MPMan MP-F20
Andrew Albrighton

24/06/00

 

Minimum System Requirements:

  • Windows 95/98
  • P100
  • CD-ROM
  • Enhanced Parallel Port
  • 10MB Hard Disk Space
  • 32MB RAM

MPMan Homepage:




The first thing that grabs your attention about the MPMan MP-F20 is its stylish looks and excellent build quality. The case has an almost suede like feel to it, and you have the feeling that if you drop it, it will not break, unlike other portable players.

The MP-F20 has the usual run-of-mill features that you would expect from an MP3 player such as play / stop, fast forward, rewind, volume, mode and info buttons, but that is about it. The mode button allows for repeat, random and normal play, and the info button allows for three different sound qualities: normal, mid bass and mega bass. The player comes with 32MB of built-in flash memory which is enough for about 30 minutes of CD quality music. The player also features a memory expansion slot which can take 8,16 and 32MB flash memory cards, giving you a potential maximum of 64MB or about an hour of CD quality music.

The sound quality is not too bad in normal and mid bass mode, but it is terrible in mega bass mode, leading to massive distortion in the supplied headphones. However, when tried with a better pair of headphones the distortion was not so apparent.

The download software supplied was fairly easy to use, using a drag and drop interface, and the download times to the player were pretty fast. However, the player does require the parallel port of the PC to be set-up to ECP (Enhanced Communications Port) in Windows, which can mean having to play with your BIOS settings, if this is not set up already. The software which is supplied on CD-ROM did contain a couple of bugs, one them being MP3s cut short by a couple of seconds when placed on the player. Nevertheless, an updated version of the software was available on their web site, which rectified this problem. The supplied software also allows other file types to be downloaded to the MP3 player, which means it can also be used as a small "Zip Drive". 

So in conclusion, although the MP-F20 has robust and stylish looks, its lack of  features and sound quality let it down. Which is why have I given it a 3 out of 5 star rating. 

Features:

  • 32 MB Built-in Flash Memory.
  • Optional Memory Cards (8MB, 16MB, or 32MB)
  • Powered by Single AA 1.5V Alakline Battery, or a 3V 500mA DC Jack (3.5 PH)
  • Weight 60g (2.1oz)
  • Dimensions 70mm (W) x 91mm (H) x 18mm (D)
  • PC Interface 25-to-18 pin parallel cable
  • Max. Output Earphones: 2.5mW x 2
  • Frequency range 20Hz - 20 KHz
  • Distortion Rate 0.01% ~ 0.1%
  • S/N Ration 90dB
  • Mega Bass Enabled 10dB (100 Hz)

Romulus 2 Rating:

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