Philips GoGear Muse 3 PMP
The iPod alternative?
Safe and sound
Another feature is the SafeSound volume analyser, which displays a warning if the level of any track is enough to contribute to potential hearing damage. It's optional, and it’s up to you to spot the visual alert. If the player is in your pocket, you won’t. However, it also shows your weekly usage in a bar chart. There seems to be an auto-limiting setting but it had no effect with my review sample.
Apart from three keys on top, everything is controlled through the capacitive touchscreen
Video playback looks decent within the confines of compatible resolutions, formats and frame rates but it can be glitchy, so take care if you're playing HD and/or 24fps material.
Getting content onto the player proved to be awkward and unpredictable. The player has its own media manager software based on the open source Songbird, though in a Windows-only version. Windows Media Player recognises the player too, which is what you’ll need for transferring DRM-protected WMV files.
The cross-platform DoubleTwist can also sync to the player and allows you to easily transfer most of the GoGear’s supported audio file formats but seemingly not video. With Audible audiobooks you’ll need to use that service’s own download manager.
Philips bundles a custom-version of Songbird for transferring songs
For manual transfer of files from any computer, the GoGear also appears as a USB device using MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) or the standard mass-storage class (MSC).
The GoGear Muse 3 has plenty to admire, especially the high-grade audio compatibility and Micro SD slot. Its Sound Personalisation control is a user-friendly addition but in other areas the interface could be much more intuitive. DRM-protected content has to be managed through various different pieces of software. If you can overlook those inconsistencies, it’s a good player. However, it is less slick than its big competitor and lacks the vast accessory market that supports Apple gear. ®
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