Feeds
75%

Pebble micro MP3 player

Does it rock?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Pebble employs a decidedly old-fashioned icon-based menu system. The tiny display permits only one icon at a time, so you don't know what you can change until you go and look for it - unless you want to carry the manual's menu map around, of course. Oddly, there's enough room for full-length menu titles, but the player adopts abbreviations.

One other grumble: if you wear the player around your neck, the controls and screen are both upside down when you lift the device up, so you have to twist it round. It would have been better to put the lanyard loop on the bottom, stopwatch style. Speaking of which, the Pebble has a stopwatch mode just in case you find yourself adjudicating athletics meetings while you're out and about.

advanced mp3 players' pebble

The Pebble's bundled with a USB-to-3.5mm-jack cable to connect it to a host computer and both transfer tracks and recharge the built-in battery. The player's a USB Mass Storage device, so it should operate with any operating system. It ships with an application called Music Friend, but since this just calls up Windows to transfer tracks, it's as easy to do it manually, especially since Music Friend is so weak. There's a music player, but you can't select a track and press play - hitting the play button just invokes the Open... dialog. And there's an unnecessary photo tweaking tool - redundant for a player that can't display photos.

But I shouldn't let poor software drag down the hardware. As I say, the Pebble mounts on your desktop ready for tracks to be dragged and dropped over. I tried it on a Mac but even with the Mac OS' metadata files removed, I still kept getting 'MP3 ERR' appearing on the display. Some songs did play, though they were all encoded as 128KBps MP3s in iTunes from CD. I re-ripped a couple of CDs in Windows' version of iTunes and these played just fine. The gadget can handle MP3 and WMA files - but not, it seems, DRM-protected WMA tracks.

Playback can be augmented with the usual set of EQ pre-sets, some of which exposed the "limitations of the source tape" as CD booklets used to say. There are two entries in the list of EQ pre-sets for user-defined equalisations made using a three on-screen sliders.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.