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Innogear MiniJam MP3 Springboard Module

Innogear MiniJam MP3 Springboard Module - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: With MP3 players becoming the defacto standard for portable music it was only a matter of time before someone decided to take advantage of Handspring's Springboard Platform.
Filed under: Mobile Devices Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Innogear Jul 13 2001   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Mobile Devices > Innogear MiniJam

Innogear MiniJam MP3 Springboard Module


With MP3 players becoming the defacto standard for portable music it was only a matter of time before someone decided to take advantage of Handspring's Springboard Platform - in the name of music. In this instance we see a company called Innogear has developed a portable Springboard-based MP3 player.

The MiniJam MP3 player comes with a 32MBSanDisk Multimedia card (MMC), a pair of bud headphones, cary case, and software for managing your portable music collection on the PC/MAC. The device costs ~$200USD and can be bought from Innogear's site.

How much music will it store?

The MiniJam has 2MB of internal flash memory that's used to hold the software it needs, although that memory can also function as an extended memory upgrade for the HandSpring Vison.
The second MMC port is located on the underside.
The reliance on the 33x24x1mm SanDisk Multimedia Flash memory as the main storage facility limits the total possible music storage to two MMC cards, or currently 128MB. There are two docking ports for the memory cards, one located on either side of the unit.

128MB of memory should ideally be able to store about 4 hours worth of music according to Sandisk, but as the size of good quality MP3's is generally 3-6MB, that can equate to between 22-40 MP3's.

In our case, we were able to load 6 MP3's onto the included 32MB MMC card, which is not that bad at all.

As will all Springboard modules, all the software necessary for them to operate in the PalmOS is included onboard. A true plug and play device the MiniJam need only be dropped in to the Springboard port before it can be used.

On the PC, a software program called MJLoader is used to upload and managed files on the flash storage media attached to the MiniJam. To access the stored MP3's on the MiniJam the Visor just has to be docked in the cradle, and the file transfer procedure initialized from the Visor. From our experience with the unit it, takes a minute or two for a typically sized MP3 (5MB) to be uploaded over the USB connection.

The music can be controlled from the screen, and settings like Bass and Treble moderately adjusted. Additionally, the module has a set of control buttons on the top for quick indexing, or for use when the Visor is off. With the buttons on the module the user has the ability to control volume, play/pause, FF/REV track selection, and a moderately customizable equalizer.

Sound quality is quite good, but the effects of base and treble are not exceptionally accurate. Sound quality generally seemed better when we didn't try to tweak the settings ourselves (including the presets for pop, rock, dance, etc.).

As if that weren't enough to pack into a package that measures only about 15mm out from the socket, the unit can also store images, and even e-books via Peanut Reader. A versatile feature to be sure, but most users will be really only be interested in the MP3 playback features.

Overall, the MiniJam is a very cool HandSpring add-on that brings some well earned musical life to the Visor. For the office-going crowd this would a be great piece of kit to have, but for the determined MP3 aficionado the CD-MP3 players that are starting to be introduced would be a much better option - and one that doesn't necessitate the need to carry around a Visor. Still, if you have Visor and have a craving for some tunes, the MiniJam is one of your best options.


 

Contents of Article: Innogear MiniJam

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