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GeIL iBALL MPV Player


Product
Multifunction Audio/Video Player
Date
15th March 2005
Manufacured By
Supplied By
Price
Author

Introduction:::...

I remember the buzz and excitement when CDs first made their way onto the market. People marveled at the technology that allowed ten or more high quality songs, or enough data to fill over four hundred floppy disks, to be shoehorned onto a tiny disk no more than a couple of millimeters thick.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly we learn to take technology for granted, and today we barely give a second thought to the little silver disk that single-handedly kick-started the whole multimedia revolution.

The reason for the demise in status of the CD can perhaps be laid at the door of a seemingly harmless software development that allowed us to take a piece of music and compress the living daylights out of it without drastically degrading its quality. I'm referring of course to the MP3 standard, a clever little trick that can turn a 60MB music file into one that's perhaps a tenth of that or less.

The next nail in the coffin that was the CD's street cred was the plummeting price of Flash memory, or memory that retains its data even after the power is switched off. The ability to cram a minimum of 64MB of data storage capacity into a device no bigger than your thumb and at a price just about everyone could afford meant that the addition of some kind of MP3 decoding software or hardware was an obvious and inevitable evolutionary step.

Thus the MP3 player was born, and the music industry would never be quite the same again. Today we've become almost blasé about the idea of whole albums, possibly many of them, crammed onto tiny devices that can swing round our necks or, at the worst, slip into a pocket. As a result we've seen all manner of players flood the market, some cheap, some not, some pumping out crystal clear sounds, others managing a rather muddy sounding resemblance of the original. Either way, the foundations for cheap, high quality portable sound is laid and there's a mad scramble from manufacturers to be smaller, smarter, cheaper or otherwise better than the competition. Apple may have mopped up the "cult status" market with their omnipresent iPod, but the rest are left looking for something to mop up the ditherers and those who don't buy into the whole image thing.

The product I have on review today isn't just an MP3 player, it's an MPV player, which means it has video capabilities built in too. The iBall is an interesting and innovative product from GeIL, a company you may know of for its great value and high performance memory products.

GeIL's latest venture is a product line it calls DAViD, an acronym for Digital Audio Video intelligent Device, and the first product to grace this line is a tiny MPV player they've christened the iBall.

Before we see what it's all about here's a quick breakdown.

Specification

Decode the video files MPV
SP/LP digital recording function
OLED multicolor and picture icon display
USB 1.1 Flash Disk function, support USB mass storage
Digital FM radio
E-Book / TXT reading
Multi-Language support with proper FONT files installed
3D Stereo Sound Effect

 

 
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