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Ultra MP3/128MB USB Flash Drive Ultra MP3/128MB USB Flash Drive: We take a look at tiny MP3 player that also doubles as flash storage.
Date: September 29, 2004
Provided By:
Written By:
Price:

Music is the spice of life. Everyone likes some form of music. Having that music with you everywhere you go can make your day go from crap to semi-livable. Not everyone needs 20GB of music with them all the time, never mind the bill to go with it. For those 20 minute bus rides, or 40 minute workouts a smaller MP3 player may fit the bill.

Ultra has an MP3 player that may just fit the bill and then some. The Ultra MP3 player features 128MB of memory, an extremely small size, and a separate USB flash driver for the memory.

Specifications
"  MP3 Playback
"  High Speed USB 12 Mbps
"  No drivers necessary in Windows ME/2000/XP, Mac OS 9.x, Linux Kernel 2.4x operating system or higher
"  Built-in 128MB memory
"  Bit Rate: 40-256 bps power
"  One AAA Battery included
"  Battery life: 8 hours or more!
Output: 5mW+5mW
Frequency Range : 20Hz-20KHz
Signal/noise: 85dB~90dB
Total Distortion: 0.08%
DEL : 1 LED
Decode Format: MP3
Volume Adjusting: 32 steps
Dimensions: 93 x 30 x 22 mm

Ultra MP3 Player
The Ultra 128MB MP3 player come in some of the nicest packaging I have seen in a long time. Very crisp clear images dominate all sides of the box. Inside the box is of course the memory stick and MP3 player well protected in their molded plastic case. Under the case is where you will find the included accessories. Ultra packages the MP3 player with a USB extension cable, a strap to keep the thumb drive around your neck and a well written instruction booklet.

The MP3 player is split into two main parts. The first part is the USB flash drive. This is the storage part of the MP3 player. It features the standard USB connector on the one end. On the other end is a blue LED, it lights up solid when connected to the computer, and flashes while connected to the MP3 player. On one edge is the connector port for the MP3 player.

The other part of the MP3 player is the actual player part. The Ultra MP3 player is very nicely designed. The top features the headphone port and a scroll wheel. The scroll wheel controls the next and previous functions as well as the pause. To the side of the player is the stop and volume control buttons. On the other side is the power slider.

User Experience
I used the MP3 player for about a week and found it surprising easy to use. The previous-next slider at the top of the player works extremely well. I found that it was easy to find, and the response was awesome. The USB flash drive worked excellent as well. Simply plugging it in to any system running a Windows OS newer than ME will not require any drivers. It made dropping files or music onto the drive easily. There is no fumbling with sloppy software, you just drag the files onto the drive and you are on your way.

Sound quality was also very good. All my songs were played clearly through the included ear bud headphones. Sound levels were not the loudest, but they were adequate.

Speed wise the USB flash drive was good. It is not USB 2.0, so don't expect blistering fast transfer rates, but I was able to transfer a full album in under a couple of minutes. Shown below is the output from HD Tach on the USB flash drive showing the performance of the flash drive. As you can see it did quite well.

Conclusion
So you are looking for an MP3 player for those trips to work, or workouts at the gym. With 128MB of storage the Ultra MP3 player is an adequate solution. Ultra uses a USB flash drive for the storage which allows easy transferring of data. Simply plug the USB thumb drive into a windows system and just drag the files over. Sound quality was excellent; a little low on volume levels, but it does get loud enough. Performance of the USB thumb drive was good as well.

Pros: Sound quality, thumb drive and MP3 player in one, small size, easy to use controls

Cons: Volume level slightly low, only USB1.1 speed thumb drive

Overall: Ultra seem to have an excellent product. Good sound quality and performance, with easy to use controls even with its small size. 128MB should be perfect for those bus rides, or workouts, or whenever you need to drown out real life.

If you have any comments, be sure to hit us up in our forums.

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