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It may seem that MP3 players are being eclipsed by the all-purpose media player, but SanDisk is betting there’s a place for an inexpensive dedicated audio player that also takes voice dictation and receives/records FM radio. The Sansa Clip Zip MP3 Player, available in two capacities and several colors, features a 1.1-inch color screen that exhibits album art but doesn’t do video or show photos.
What these budget players do well is let you enjoy a variety of audio formats including MP3, AAC (DRM-free iTunes), Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WMA and Secure WMA. You can load music, an audio book or a podcast. You can also program up to 40 presets for tuning in FM stations. And if you’re suddenly inspired to dictate a memo or a shopping list, the embedded mic takes in every word.
The large built-in clip takes up the entire back surface of the player and lets you attach the Sansa Clip Zip securely to your clothing for hands-free purposes, such as motivational jogging. There’s even a stopwatch function for tracking your time.
The Sansa Clip Zip comes with 4GB or 8GB of internal memory, but either version is expandable through a microSDHC expansion slot. (The memory card, such as a SanDisk 8GB microSDHC Card, is not included.) The 4GB version comes in black, blue, gray, orange, purple, red or white; the 8GB version in black or gray. A 4GB player stores up to 1,000 3.5-minute songs compressed in 128 kb/s MP3 format.
The included earphones double as an antenna. Pressing the Options button while listening to radio lets you set the recording duration from 5 minutes to 2 hours.
The internal lithium-ion battery provides up to 15 hours of typical use. Though a USB cable is included for transferring music from a Windows or Mac computer and charging the battery, you may want to opt for a dual-use charger like the GGI Home and Car Charging Kit for USB Powered MP3 Players. That way, you can charge the player more quickly, and you don’t have to be near a computer.
Also included is a Starter CD that has both a Rhapsody Software link and the Sansa firmware updater download link. Rhapsody is a subscription music service that affords access to millions of songs. You can transfer songs to the Sansa player and listen to them as long as you remain a member. The Sansa Clip Zip is also optimized for use with eMusic and Napster.
|Internal Capacity||4 or 8GB|
|Memory Card Slot||microSDHC|
|Display||1.1" color LCD|
|Formats||AAC (DRM-free iTunes), MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WMA, Secure WMA|
|Connections||USB, 3.5mm earphone|
|Rechargeable Battery||Up to 15 hrs|
|Dimensions||2.25 x 1.42 x 0.6 in|