It seemed like they'd never arrive. For those of you who have been waiting for the Pine USA "SM-200C" D'Music player'music/sm200c_features.htm
patiently, you might be interested to know that GENICA has already released a portable mp3 player that reads from CD, CD-R and CD-RW. This means no more 300 dollar little flash memory type portable players that only have an absurd 64MB of memory. At a confusingly light $99 a piece, they are hard to beat in the price department. Though the device is still apparently pretty plain-Jane, the second edition of it will have more features. Check it out at:
A review, since I now own one:

The Good:

  • Plays CDRWs, even though it says it can't.
  • Has nifty features, like a 50 second anti-skip buffer, which you can record in using a microphone if you want.
  • Has a decent car kit that you can buy for it. Get 'em at the same time, save on shipping.
  • Plays all sorts of Mp3s.
  • Even plays off of multisession CDs, although the directory order gets a little strange. But that means you can add more tracks onto a multisession cd later.
  • Has a built-in battery recharger, so if you plug in the AC adapter, it'll recharge your batteries while you listen to music.
The Bad:
  • Poor documentation. And I mean poor documentation.
  • Ditch the earphones that come with it.
  • A little odd to navigate directories, even more odd to program them.
  • Doesn't save any settings if you power it off.
  • Kinda cheaply made; even the cd spindle is a little wonky. Spin it by hand if you want the cd to settle right.
  • A little bit sensitive to shock. This must be why it has 50 seconds of anti-skip, but those seconds aren't filled instantly. It's not that hard to skip it. Seems to be worse with CDRWs.
  • Gets a little confused about where tracks begin and end, particularly with CDRWs. This can be a little odd in random play mode.
The Ugly:
  • Automatically powers off if you open the unit. This means it loses all settings and has to rescan the cd, even if you don't change it.
  • Poor manufacture quality. Some of them look bumped and scraped even coming straight from a new box.
  • More poor manufacture quality. On mine, the lid doesn't seem to fit completely correctly. Basically, the plastic they used is really cheap. Be careful with the unit.
  • Really confusing controls. Almost all of them play double or triple duty, depending on how many times you press them or how long you press them for.
Well, what can I say, it's the first mp3 cd player on the market. It does its job, without much fanfare. Takes a little getting used to. But it's portable and plays mp3s from CDRs, and is really cheap. But you get what you pay for, and the casing is obviously where they cut corners. Be careful with the unit if you want it to last. I predict a cult following, with people coming up with jury-rigged fixes and improvements. Let the hackers at it for a few months, and we'll see all kinds of hacks.

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