The Eco Media Player claims to allow you to play music and videos on the go, without the need for a wall socket for charging. A wind up handle lets you charge up the device easily, and 1 minute of winding should provide about 45 minutes of playing time. Fully charged, the device is supposed to last 55 hours. There is also a connector which allows you to charge your mobile via the device.
How does it work?
Powered by neodymium magnets, the wind-up generator is twice as effective at charging than other budget windup radios for example. Other than that, it works like any other mp3 player, with USB compatibility to plug into your computer, 4GB of memory with an option to add a 16GB SD card to boost capacity. The lithium battery means that once charged, it will run for just as long as an iPod or equivalent.
How did it work for me?
The first thing to say is that this is not an iPod. If you think you are getting a state of the art mp3 player with all the bells and whistles, you’re not. The ‘Spin’ however, isn’t really meant to be that.
Out of the recycled packing the Spin comes in, you will find quite a bulky looking device (110 x 60 x 25 mm). The screen is only 2” in size, and the buttons are a bit unwieldy looking, but perhaps we have all been a bit spoiled by the iPod.
The good news is that there are some great features. There is a full range of compatibility that apple devices lack, so you can play MP3 / WMA / OGG / AAC / WAV audio files, plus AVI and WMV video files. It also comes with an FM radio and the ability to charge mobiles, which comes in really handy when you are using this when out hiking or away from civilisation.
For those who don’t want to bother with the winding up, there is the facility to charge conventionally and this means your battery will last up to 55 hours. It is only 4GB memory-wise, but you can add a 16GB SD card to increase the size.
So how to sum this up? It really is a bit of a love it or hate it kind of product. It is ideal for someone who is always on the move, and can’t be bothered to keep worrying about charging their player. If you do lots of camping trips, or long walks, this could be a good gadget. If you want to be really green and use less grid electricity, then this is also a good gadget, but there are a number of negatives that mean the average consumer is going to go for an iPod or other slimline modern mp3 player. This just isn’t stylish enough for many people I’m afraid. Having said that, it does have its charm, and I will happily keep using this when I’m away from home.
Unfortunately these gadgets are now about 4 years old, which makes them a dinosaur in computer years. They are still on the market, but the lack of any update or replacement means that these have obviously not sold particularly well. The future looks bleak for eco media players if this is anything to go by. It’s a shame because it is such a clever gadget.