I think itís safe to say that the time of real portable music listening has truly hit us. Just take a look around you next time your utilising public transport (those of you with the cash to make your own ways of travel, give it a go just to see what your missing!), and I can guarantee that youíll spy at least half a dozen people with a pair of earphones stuck into their heads. Usually, of course, with the delightful white cord outside their jackets, so they can show off the fact they possess an iPod to the world.
But here come Olympus making there way into the world of the tiny MP3 player with the m:robe MR-100. A 5GB MP3 and WMA player.
5 GB internal hard disc storage
Touch panel control
Audio support: WMA, MP3
Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port
Up to 12 hours of music playback
Hard Disc Drive Music player
Docking station with Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port
Earphones with extension
m:trip multi-media software
The big selling point about the MR-100 is its aesthetic appearance. With its small, but most certainly well formed design, itís quite easily the most visually appealing MP3 on the market. The single piece of glass that covers the front of the unit looks and feels almost perfect. There are no poorly constructed edges, obviously Olympus havenít scrimped on the cost of putting the whole unit together. The back of the unit is metal coated with a touch of white paint, which compliments the pure black front quite nicely indeed.
The 12 hours of music playback seems to be a little optimistic, with playback testing resulting in a time nearer to 10 hours. Perhaps the lighting up of the screen takes up more juice than youíd first predict.
Track selection on the player itself can feel quite unwieldy at first, with a not so simple method of backtracking through menus. After a few hours though everything becomes second nature of course, but it doesnít feel as easy to use right from the off as some other players on the market.