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
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 reliance on the 33x24x1mm
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
|The second MMC port is located on the underside.
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
In our case, we were
able to load 6 MP3's onto the included 32MB MMC card, which is not that bad at
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
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.
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.