Creative Labs Muvo V200

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Creative Labs Muvo V200

Pros

  • Voice/FM radio recorder, easy to use, full range of play options

Cons

  • Radio autoscan unreliable

Bottom Line

The MuVo V200 is a small, lightweight MP3 player that offers a much more controllable alternative to the shuffle. It doesn't come with a lot of support, but it's easy to use.

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Creative's latest update to its MuVo range of players should provide a fitting riposte to the fuss Apple has made about its iPod Shuffle. Like the Shuffle, the MuVo V200 is light, white and perfectly formed, but there's a little bit more to it than that.

For one thing, Creative has held on to the display--a small but important design detail that gives users access to the MuVo's various facilities. These include a variety of play settings--a clear advantage to anyone who wants to choose what they listen to rather than leave themselves at the mercy of their entire music collection, as is the case with the iPod Shuffle.

The V200 also uses standard AAA batteries, so finding a replacement anywhere in the world shouldn't prove a problem. The downside is that the batteries must be constantly replaced.

It's worth noting that Creative's software doesn't seem to allow you to import playlists to the MuVo--dragging and dropping files in Windows Explorer is the only way to move music across.

Although Creative internationally sells a range of sizes and prices, from 128MB to 1GB, only the 128MB model was available in Australia at the time of writing. There's about four hours' worth of music storage for each 128MB, and value for money increases with the capacity.

The V200 includes a voice recorder and FM radio--both natural additions for an ultra-portable audio device. We found the radio's autoscan function a bit hit-and-miss, though--on successive scans it found 10, 11 then 24 stations, and Radio 4 only turned up in the last attempt. It is easier to tune it by hand. On the plus side, you can record from the radio.

This last task was easy enough, as it used the MuVo's simple and intuitive slide-and-push jogdial, which also accesses the device's menu system. It doesn't take long to set up, which is lucky as all that Creative provides to help users is a 'quick start' guide. Should they need more direction, the Creative Web site has in-depth guides.

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