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Pebble micro MP3 player

Does it rock?

Reducing security risks from open source software

First UK Review Pebbles - you can skim them across waves, 'decorate' the front of your house with them, even make phone calls with them. And now you can play songs on them too. Well, sort of. UK-based digital music player retailer Advanced MP3 Players (AMP) has come across a small, pebble-shaped device and it's chosen to market the South Korea-sourced product under its own name. Given the player's size and shape, what else could AMP call it?

advanced mp3 players' pebble

The Pebble is one of those players that make a virtue out its size - or lack of it. But wear it around your neck or your belt - a neat, adjustable lanyard and a belt-clip come bundled - the Pebble isn't meant to go unnoticed. It's bright, chrome-like face and the blue light that blinks its way around and around the circular control cluster during playback are very eye-catching.

The device's oval-shaped face is a mere 4.5 x 3cm. The control is reminiscent of the iPod Shuffle's: a central play/pause key surrounded by a four-way circular button that raises or lowers the volume, or skips tracks forward or backward depending on where you press it. Press anything and the tiny OLED screen glows through the chrome to reveal playback times and mode, song title and other encoding rate, EQ selection, battery status and so on.

The lanyard anchor loop's at the top, just in front of the 3.5mm earphone socket which doubles up as the player's USB port. Below it is a hole which too has a dual role: microphone and recessed reset button. Each side has a button too, again with twin functions - press quickly for one, or press and hold for the second. On the left-hand side the functions are track navigation and hold; on the right, they are Rec and Menu. Since the latter's more likely to be used than the record facility, I'd say it should have the short press for activation not the long one, but that's a minor gripe.

The Rec button actually has a third function: press it while there's a song on and the player changes its repeat-play setting. To do recording, you first have to turn your music off. Whatever you're using the player for the controls are small enough to be discreet, big enough to be easy to use.

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