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The Outrageous SoundMaster MP3

The product
  • Dimensions: 62x58x18mm
  • Weight: 40g approx
  • Storage: Memory card
  • Signal-to-noise-ratio: 85dB
  • Distortion: 0.01 ~ 0.1%
  • Playback Frequency: 20Hz ~ 20KHz
  • Battery: AA Type x1

(+,-) $100USD

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The MP3 media format has been around for a few years now; the MP3 standard is an extension of the Moving Picture Experts Group or MPEG. The MP3 format uses compressed audio to output near-CD Quality. Now thanks to the Internet, millions of PC users all over the world can share their music online.

As the MP3 format is legal and becoming so popular in the online music industry, several companies decided to take the wild ride and manufacture their own portable MP3 players. One of the first ones was Diamond Multimedia with the RIO player and then followed the big sound giant Creative, with the NOMAD player.

Of course such units werenít and still arenít cheap, with price ranges starting from $250USD, not everybody can afford it. Absolute Multimedia a new based company, introduced their first MP3 based product in late 1999, the Outrageous SoundMaster. Their main goal was to introduce a lower cost player than their competition. They sacrificed some features that todayís state of the art players use, to keep the production costs as low as possible.

The Design

What impressed me more about this player Is itís size, itís only 3cm Square and less than 2cm thick, probably the smallest mp3 player on todayís market. It weights about 40g without the battery. Absolute Multimedia offers different colors to choose from. The casing is build with standard colored plastic, you have the choice of silver, Black, IMAC Blue and IMAC red, it also includes a belt clip located at the top of the player. The general exterior looks are pretty positive.

Front View (Player)
Front View (Writer)
Side (left)

On the top of the player you find all the controls. It starts with a stop button, that basically acts as a power button, then you have the music scrolling controls (up and down) and followed by the play button that at the same time can be used as pause when clicked during a playback. Not to forget to mention, the volume controller is situated on the main face of the unit, followed by the SRS button; an option that can be enabled or disabled by the user, the SRS feature is emulating surround effects and renders the audio quality, resulting in richer audio output. I was satisfied enough with the comfort, as the player is small, it fits on the palm of your hand. With the applied design, all you need is one hand to control it.

Going to the left side, you find the audio output used by the headphones, and a little three way switch (Rock, Hold, and Jazz) Like other MP3 players, the SoundMaster comes with a digital signal processing (DSP) that offers two equalizer presets: pop and jazz, Each preset differs in bass and treble levels. The hold option locks all the buttons. On the right you find the two covered memory card inputs. Unfortunately, the player doesnít have a LCD display, which some may find frustrating as you canít see the track or description of the data. The player operates on a single AA battery, up to 10 hours of continuous playback. The kit comes with a 16mb memory card as a standard. The player it self can house up to 128mb of memory; using two 64mb cards. The data transfer is made using the parallel port, the speed averages at around 0.15MBps which isn't fast. A USB connection would be a much better choice for it's higher versability and faster transmission speeds.


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