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Philips Muse

Philips GoGear Muse

A good all-rounder to ponder on?

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Review Philips' media player range has been undergoing something of a renaissance of late. Both its Spark and Opus players struck us as a thoroughly respectable little devices that sounded good, worked well and represented decent value. Now Philips has released the Muse and, even from a cursory glance at the spec sheet, it is clear that Philips has raised its game.

Philips Muse

Philips' GoGear Muse: an inspired choice?

In the hand, the Muse looks more like a thin mobile phone than a media player. The lettering on the fascia clearly indicates that the device is supposed to be held landscape-style, with the controls to the right of the 3in screen. Yet, even after a week of use we still tended to pick it up and hold it so the controls were at the bottom.

Physically, the Muse is a solid device, and a smart one too, with its brushed metal back and sides and glossy black fascia housing a flush screen. It won't take up too much pocket space either, measuring up at 110 x 8.9 x 55mm and weighing 95g, which is on a par with Samsung's P3.

At a glance you’ll find the usual 3.5mm headphones jack, lock slider, volume rocker, mini USB port and lanyard eye, but also a less common on/off switch for the device's active noise cancellation ¬– more on this later.

Philips has still to take the leap into the world of touchscreen navigation, so the Muse makes do with more traditional controls. Interface manoeuvres are performed with a two-piece navpad adjacent to the screen. The outer part of the pad takes care of forward/back/return and option commands while the inner part looks after up/down, play and pause.

Philips Muse

Hardware navigation controls are utilised on this non-touchscreen player

The Muse boasts a far more comprehensive raft of codec support than previous Philips media players. On the audio side, the Muse will play MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, APE, RealAudio and Audible (.aa) files. Turning to video the Muse supports WMV, RMVB, AVI and MP4 files. If still images are your thing then you can use the Muse to look at JPEG, BMP, GIF and PNG files.

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