2007-07-13

Insignia Video (NS-DV4G)

Here's a review of my new MP3 player. By my experience, this review is nearly spot-on, though he seems to consider it a bulky device and I can't imagine why. I have yet to experiment with the FM recording option or the line-in feature, which I look forward to trying as a memo-recorder and/or for importing from unusual sources.

For it's size it has a large bright screen. I occasionally seem to get distorted audio but I haven't determined if my files might be to blame because most of the time it's crystal clear. [Now listening to "Because" from "LOVE", the remixed Beatles music for the Cirque du Soleil show of the same name, and the sound is perfect.] My primary need for this device is for in-car listening via cassette adapter. It works like a dream.

Originally I'd been using an old Rio MP3 CD player ($55 when I bought it new at Best Buy) and my own custom discs for this purpose. It was awesome but finally the player croaked and my first thought was to replace it with a like device. To my great distress such things seem to have gone the way of Laser Disc movies and the few MP3 CD players I finally found specs for were either completely unsatisfactory or completely out of production. Dead End.

Once I accepted the fact that my custom MP3 CD collection (quite impressive, I must say) was now nothing more than a set of future drink coasters I began exploring the far more expensive world of disc-less players. I have a huge collection of (legal) music and needed a player that could accommodate it. 4GB was my initial target but I couldn't afford things in that range at the time.

I settled on a 2GB Samsung YP-U2J. Even at half my desired capacity I found this little gem a pleasure. It was easy to use and worked very well but it was barely larger than a thumb drive and the display could not be read at a glance while driving. No big deal, though, because the controls on the thing were great, so if something came on that I wasn't in the mood for I just hit [>>] and that was that.

I'm not at all sure why the YP-U2J died. It didn't actually die, but it did stop playing music. It's possible that I hit some sort of capacity sore spot because I kept it loaded to the point of trying to find song X that would "just fit" in the space available. One morning after a fresh sync I turned it on and it began it's loading sequence, "Building MLDB", the screen would read after a sync. This time it took longer than usual, noticeably so. When the message disappeared, the player shut down. I have another theory that static may have played a role in it's death. I used to wear the thing on a lanyard between my regular shirt and an undershirt. I never noticed a shock, but it could have happened. Pleh...

WARRANTY!!! YAY!!!

My lovely and wonderful wife reminded me that we'd only had the thing about 9 months and we headed to Best Buy to look around. As with the loss of my Rio Volt MP3 CD player, I began looking for an exact replacement. No Samsung YP-U2J MP3 players in racks... has it been discontinued? {shudder} So I pulled myself together to find something similar, ignoring anything that didn't look like a thumb drive in the mistaken belief that they would all be too expensive. I was soon corrected by the $129 price tag on a 4GB device. I didn't expect it to play video, but it does. Bonus! And it was only $20 more than I had in credit for the Samsung. SWEET!

So, with 4 days of use under my belt I can honestly recommend this device to anyone looking for a good value. I know... 4 days is hardly a marathon test drive, but there's not the slightest hint of trouble yet. I didn't even have to install any software to use this puppy with Windows Media Player.

Oh, yeah, that reminds me... I'll have to post later about the sad death of MusicMatch at the hands of the evil Yahoo! empire. You do know that Yahoo! is partner with AT&T broadband services, don't you? AT&T's logo has been called the Death Star more than once. See the connection? Or as Buckaroo Banzai would say, "There! Evil PURE AND SIMPLE by way of the Eighth Dimension!"

In summary, if you need a decent little MP3 & video player get yourself one of these [see the official product page here]:
Insignia :: All about affordable and well designed technology - Insignia 4GB* MP3 Player - Black


This Ramble, Rant, and Rave is officially kaput.

2 comments:

Disorder~ said...

The only problem I've had with the NS-DV#G is the screen. It's too fragile for basic falls and slips. I've had to replace it once and I just recently have broken it again. This time I am planning on buying some refurbed(broken) ones off of ebay and re-soldering a new(different) screen from one of them into the current one.
Not for beginners. It is also reccomended to make your own faceplate for it out of plexiglass or something similar, and fitting it under an already made case, or that's atleast what I plan on doing.

BonK said...

No doubt, the kind of repair you describe is certainly not for beginners. I used to "fix" various electronics of mine all the time, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to attempt repairs on most of today's devices.

The last such experiment I tried involved a digital camera. I had fried it by using a general purpose power adapter set on the wrong voltage. The camera required 3.3 V input and somehow the adapter had been switched to 5 volts, or something like that. The late time I smelled that kind of smoke was when a friend mis-installed a math co-processor in his then newish 286 MHz PC. But I digress... I opened the camera and began visually inspecting it to see if I could tell what, exactly, had fried, trying to determine if it was something I could fix. There was no warranty because I bought the thing "as is" from an acquaintance. When I couldn't see anything right away I grabbed my mini screwdriver set and started poking around inside. I found the capacitor in short order and the numbness in my arm and hand caused me to abandon the repair. Two stupid mistakes within minutes made me give up a burgeoning hobby of modern electronics repair.

My player has been dropped at least one time that I can specifically remember, but that was on a carpeted floor so no harm was done and all's well.

Not so long ago, however, I nearly dropped my phone in a toilet. It was a comical event of involved bobbling that I couldn't appreciate at the time because of my state of panic. Fate stepped in and I was able to firmly grasp the phone as it began to drop into the bowl. Note that. My hand was IN the bowl! (But not the water.) Finally, the phone had left my fumbling hands and slid about one quarter of the way around the rim. That split second slide allowed me the moment I needed to acquire and contain the moving target. The thought of using a "swirly phone" was so repulsive that I actually altered the way I handle my personal electronics in physical space. There is now little to no chance that the dropping of any of my devices will occur without some sort of outside influence, or if I become afflicted with an ailment that prevents me from controlling my own movements.

I admire the self-help spirit which you've reminded me I once had. I also thank you for reminding me of this new product review. Now that I've had the thing for a full season I can update my review with authority rather than speculation, something I had planned to do at that time.

I was going to suggest a lanyard just now, then I remembered... I wore my old, much smaller, player on a lanyard around my neck. One day I leaned over a table to pick up a book and cracked it's screen, and maybe more. It's the one I replaced with the Insignia NS-DV.

For the record, a quick note. I still recommend the NS-DV.

Thanks Disorder~. The spare parts idea is always a good one. Good luck with your repair work. I hope your NS-DV continues to please you after it's been repaired. :)