On Thursday I bought a $99 (discounted from $199) MP4 player from Aldi (a German supermarket chain that has recently opened up here). The player is a Tevion model M6.
By a long way it’s the cheapest and nastiest piece of consumer electronics that I have ever owned. It has very flimsy construction (feels like it will crumple in my pocket – not like a solid iRiver) and poor design all around. The viewing angle of the LCD screen is very small, so if I hold it close to my face then the viewing angle will be wrong for at least one eye. There are two power switches, an electronic one on the top (which is also sometimes used as an escape key for menus that don’t recognise the key labelled as ESC) and a slide switch at the side. When I use the electronic switch to turn the power off the back-light will usually flicker – I guess that they wanted to have an electronic switch and then put a mechanical switch in the design when they couldn’t get it working.
The menus are strange, they have a game menu that only has Tetris – why not have a Tetris menu instead?
The FM radio function doesn’t seem to work and the option to select a European frequency range is lost when the power is cut, along with all saved station frequencies.
I never got around to testing the voice-recording function (one of the reasons for purchasing the device) as it failed in too many other ways.
The device has an AVI of Barbie Girl by Aqua and also a MP3 with a text file that has the lyrics for Karaoke, this is probably the only good feature of the device. Unfortunately it appears to have some sort of DRM as it gave a padlock icon and stopped working after I played it a few times (fortunately it’s unable to store settings so a power cycle solved that problem).
When I connected it to my PC via USB it showed two devices, /dev/sda and /dev/sdb. /dev/sdb gave an IO error (apparently due to not having an SD memory card installed) and and /dev/sda was not in any format recognised by file -s /dev/sda.
I’m going to have to return this, even $99 is too much for a device of such quality. Maybe I’ll buy an iRiver to do this if they sell one without DRM.