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MSI MegaStick1 MP3/FM Radio/USB Drive
MSI MegaStick1 MP3/FM Radio/USB Drive - PCSTATS
Running on a single AAA battery the MSI MegaStick1 stores up to 128MB of data, allows you to listen to the radio when you run out MP3s, or even just to make a quick verbal note.
 78% Rating:   
Filed under: MP3 Players Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Oct 05 2003   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > MP3 Players > MSI Megastick 1

Audio Quality and Playback

Alright, so we have MP3 playback, but what does it sound like, and what are the restrictions? Well MSI don't say very much when it comes to 128-bit, 196-bit, or VBR MP3's, but all of the files we dropped onto the unit played back just fine.

To freshen up the sound of stale MP3's, a rudimentary equalizer is included, with pre-set configurations such as normal, rock, jazz, pop and classical. And if you have difficulty pumping up the "pop" in the wee hours of the night, a built-in electroluminescent backlight does come in handy.

Hitting the function key allows you to sample specific segments of a song, for when the MegaStick1 is in music mode this key acts as a A-B repeat key. The Jogdial takes on the task of fast forward, and reverse, so you can key through the seconds of the song for specific times.

Switching over to radio provides good sound if you are in the city, but as this is a digital receiver, it doesn't seem to handle weaker signals as well. The the audio quality of the radio is pretty sharp, but without much bass.

Voice recording is one of the little features of the Megastick1 where there are more options than you would have expected. Recordings are made in ADPCM format, and you can select from the following sample rates; 8000Hz, 11025Hz, 16000Hz, 22025Hz, 32000Hz, 44100Hz, or 48000Hz.

The difference in voice recording quality between 8000Hz and 48000Hz is pretty substantial, and while there was a slight ting of spectral aberration leaking in at the higher setting, it was not overly significant for a device of this class.

In fact, recording little voice clips at 48000Hz (which will require more memory) is about as good as you would expect from a dedicated digital voice recorder. To find out how much space you have left on the Megastick1, whether for a voice recording, or for transferring some files from a notebook, hitting the menu key > about will yield the firmware version number, total memory size, and remaining memory amounts.

Once you're done listening to some tracks on your MegaStick1, turning it off is a little more interesting. After navigating through the menu for a minute or so we found the setting that allows you to disable the MegaStick1 from shutting down, or set it to turn off after 10, 5, or 1 minute of inactivity. The default setting of disabled meant we kept having to rip out the battery from the back of the unit - not a very professional way to manage battery life.

The MegaStick1 defaults back to MP3 playback each and every time it shuts down - so if you're in the middle of digital voice recording session, no matter, once the Megastick1 is powered back up it will return to music playback.

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Contents of Article: MSI Megastick 1
 Pg 1.  MSI MegaStick1 MP3/FM Radio/USB Drive
 Pg 2.  A closer look at the Megastick
 Pg 3.  — Audio Quality and Playback
 Pg 4.  Does the MegaStick Sink or swim?

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