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MPIO HD200

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MPIO HD200

The midsized MP3 player (4 to 6 GB) seems to be the current favorite among MP3 aficionados. Almost every manufacturer has an MP3 player of this size the 1000 songs+ category. Most of them are quite similar -- a decent sized screen, fairly good sound specs and simple controls for navigating and setting up the player.

In addition, most of them have a USB 2.0 interface for connecting to the computer. This allows you to use the player as a removable data device for storing any kind of computer data.

The MPIO HD200 has all these features with a few extras to make it stand apart. For one, it can handle the Ogg Vorbis audio format. This is similar to MP3 but offers better sound quality and smaller file sizes. OGG files are not as popular as MP3, but OGG users are devoted to this format and are sure to be pleased with this MP3 player.

The MPIO HD200 also has useful inputs for recording various sources. There is a built in microphone for voice recording, and a line input allows you to record audio from sources like a CD player or tape recorder. There is also an FM radio and an equalizer for customized your sound.

The sound specs on this player are quite presentable. The signal to noise ratio is 90 dB and the power output is rated at 10 mW.

The MPIO HD200 can handle a wide variety of bit rates -- 8 to 320 kbps. This makes it ideal for non-music audio applications like recording lectures or business meetings. You can store hours of voice recordings on this player, but you still have the option of high bit rate playback for great sounding music.

The navigation system on this player is clear and straightforward, but the controls are the little bit awkward. Rather than being on the face of the player like the Apple iPod or the Creative Zen Micro, they are on the side of the unit. This creates a nice clean look and the controls are functional enough.

A small drawback to this player is the relatively short battery life. The lithium-ion battery gives you 10 hours of playback time -- a bit on the short side when compared with other MP3 players of this class.

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