Creative Labs MuVo Slim
- Slim design, built-in FM radio with recording function
- Very expensive for so little memory, flimsy plastic battery cover
Creative's MuVo Slim 128MB is a great choice for people on the move, but don't expect to store more than a couple of albums at a time.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
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Creative's MuVo series of MP3 players emphasises portability, and the MuVo Slim is a fine example of how a portable MP3 player should work. You can play and record FM radio, a feature becoming more common on up-market players. The player's only shortcoming is its price. Compared to the similar priced 1GB Sony Walkman NW-E107, the MuVo Slim hardly seems to be a good deal.
Slightly larger than a stack of credit cards, the MuVo Slim's outer construction is combination of brushed aluminum and hard black plastic. Underneath the flimsy thin plastic battery cover is an internal rechargeable Li-Ion battery. According to Creative, the battery life is roughly 17 hours, but we found it fell short of this by a few hours. The only method of charging the battery and transferring files to the player is by connecting the MuVo to your computer using a USB cable.
The blue backlit display is capable of scrolling ID3 tags. Although on the small side, text was still legible. The controls are functional and tactile; they consist of a track forward/back dial, volume controls and a play/power button. The menu system is accessed through the receptive dial, which allows users to access features such as the equaliser, voice and FM recording feature and the play modes (repeat, shuffle and A-B).
The equaliser provides different listening qualities, with presets including Pop, Classical, Jazz, Rock and a user-defined custom setting. Sound quality was clear and well defined, only held back by the low-quality earphones included in the box. File format support includes WAV, MP3 and WMA.
The MuVo has a voice recorder, and recorded audio is stored as WAV files in a separate directory called Voice. We were only able to record clean-sounding samples when the source of sound was within one or two metres of the MuVo. Any recordings can be transferred to a PC and converted to MP3 with the included software.
Recorded voice and FM radio has a dull sound. This is due to the maximum sampling rate of 16kHz; by comparison, "CD quality" MP3s are usually recorded at 44kHz.
Copying MP3s across to the MuVo was as easy as plugging the USB 2.0 cable into a PC. The MuVo Slim appears as a removable hard drive in Windows. The included software, Creative's MediaSource, provides one-click CD ripping capabilities as well as file management. Our preferred method of transferring files was through a Windows Explorer drag and drop approach.
Users can copy data files alongside their MP3 collections, although this is limited by the miniscule amount of onboard memory. We were only able to copy about two hours of music on our 128MB MuVo Slim. Creative also produces Slims in 256MB, 512MB and 1GB models. If you hope to carry more than a couple of albums around at a time, it's a good idea to invest in one of these higher-capacity versions.
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