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iRock! BLiNG MP3/CD/FM Player: If the 128MB MP3 players don't provide enough storage, and the 5GB drives are too expensive, nothing beats the price/storage ratio of CDs.
Date: January 28, 2003
Catagory: Miscellaneous
Written By:

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The BLiNG resembles a standard CD player in that they are about the same size. That's where the differences end however, as this unit can also play MP3s from CD, as well as allowing you to tune into your favorite FM station. One criticism I do have is the unit doesn't feel all that sturdy since it's made up mostly of plastic. There isn't much rubber to protect the unit from accidental drops or bumps, but unfortunently, this construction seems to be the norm among most manufacturers.

Powering on the unit requires you to press down on the play pad, which also turns off the unit, and skips forwards and backwards through tracks. Just above the play disc, you have your equalizer, which allows you to choose pre-programmed formats such as jazz, and pop. The volume controls are also located in the upper right, and at maximum volume, it can get quite loud.

The lower buttons are the more advanced navigation tools. You have the A-B/Program button which you can use to setup a group of songs to play. The File/Directory button is used to cycle and search through your MP3 CD. It goes alphabetically, and can be useful to pick out tracks.

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The BLiNG works on either 2 x AA batteries, or you can use the included AC/DC adapter. Other than powering the player on its own, it also recharges the unit if you're using rechargable batteries. Be careful to keep the switch on the bottom of the player off though if you're using standard batteries. You will kill your batteries, as well as damaging the BLiNG.

The Hold button keeps the unit from switching tracks or stations accidently. Basically, it locks the button functions on the player, so if it's bouncing around in your pocket, or bag, the volume won't suddenly spike up.

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Sliding the Open button will pop the unit open. Although it is easy enough to figure out, it is almost too easy. There is no lock, so there is nothing to prevent you from flipping it open while the BLiNG is playing.

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The BLiNG can support any device that uses a standard 1/8" sound jack. This includes most headphones, and most PC speakers. A set of ear-bud headphones are included, and they do an adequate job, but if you're serious about your music, you'll probably want to use your own set of headphones.

The remote has all the functionality of the BLiNG buttons, which is quite a feat considering the number of controls present. It also serves as the FM tuner, and it's needed if you wish to listen to the radio.

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iRock! BLiNG Portable MP3 Player

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