New Toys

Nomad II MP3 Portable Player from Creative

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I received the Nomad II, a wonderful new way to enjoy music. Music that you can record, program and archive all made possible by the MP3 format. MP3 music files, once you have recorded or downloaded them, can be "ported" over to the Nomad by way of the included USB cable. Since I did not have USB on my computer, I used my Smart Media Card programmer to store the MP3 files on the removable Smart Media card included with the Nomad. Smart Media cards, available up to 64dB sizes now, are used in a lot of the new digital cameras and the Nomad uses the same standardized format.

Either way, it is easy to get music into the Nomad and I found the included bass enhanced headphones, remote controller and the icon-based backlit LCD navigation window were easy to learn and use.

About the size of a beeper, the Nomad II is a totally solid-state recorder/player so there is never any skipping like portable CD players. The 32Mb Smart Media card holds up to 30 minutes of highest quality 44.1kHz/128Kbps MP3 audio and you can carry more cards for additional hours of music.

This is a welcomed feature as compared to some of the early portable MP3 players that only had a fixed, built-in memory. If you get tired of the music you have saved on the cards, just turn on the built-in FM radio and pick any of the 32 user-programmed, preset stations. Furthermore, if you need to quickly record a voice message to yourself, there is a built-in microphone for recording directly to the media card. The included card will hold two hours of your raps in a low resolution format.

Some other features include: optional docking station for recharging the optional rechargeable battery, Nomad II Manager Software for creating and organizing audio files from your CD collection and future reprogrammable firmware to support future digital audio formats, standards as well as digital rights management technologies. The Nomad II sells for $99 without a Smart Media Card, $229 with a 32Mb card and $330 with a 64dB card that would hold up to an hour of highest quality MP3 song files. Contact Creative Labs at: 800-998-1000 (Customer Service).

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