A combined USB memory card reader, pen drive and MP3 player, the player is based on Fuji's xD-Picture Card memory card format, and as of which carries no on board memory of its own, but instead relies on an additional (not included) xD card to run.



This gadget will store, transport and transfer all types of digital files and includes an MP3 player and headphones. Like the Fujifilm Pen Drive. It works as a plug and play device via USB, for both PC and Mac. The dongle is hidden by a slip off cover, but you may need a USB extension cable, depending on how your desktop is set up. All be it in an unusual shape, it is a wearable device and the pack includes headphones, AAA battery and Roxio software (Windows 98, Me, NT4.0, 2000, XP), enabling transfer and playback of tunes via MP3 and ripping/burning to CD/DVD.

If your card is from a camera, supplied by another manufacturer, chances are the card is pre-formatted for images only. As a result, the Card reader won't be able to recognise the allocation table and will fail to play the MP3. Also, it doesn't like WMA files much either.

However even once we managed to get the files onto the card we still ran into problems. One being that you must ensure you are using MP3 files composed by the included software. If not, the card reader will struggle to locate them, even though you can see them in the folders on your computer.

The problem here is that the unit doesn't actually contain any storage. As a result, we are at the liberty of other manufacturer's formatting and may well fall down the familiar memory card hole. ‘Most' normally means not the variant you have, so please check. As a caveat, the technical and customer support from Fuji was better than average.

Verdict

An odd device- a memory stick MP3, without any memory. That said, aside from really only being able to use the Fuji formatted cards it works pretty well, despite the lottery of whether your xD card will be recognised.



Fuji makes an interesting digression from the norm and have perhaps unearthed a more sensible method for reading and transferring files. MP3 wise, it's no better and no worse than a sub £50 pound player. It doesn't have a screen, but when you're running off a solitary AAA battery, can you really expect one?