Nomad II MG Portable MP3 Player from Creative Technology

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Nomad IIMG A wonderful new way to enjoy music, the new Nomad II MG is an updated version of the popular Nomad II that lets you record, program and archive all your own music using the MP3 format. MP3 music files, once you have recorded or downloaded them to your computer, can be "ported" over to the Nomad by way of the included USB cable. The Nomad II MG has a 64Mb internal memory and a slot for excepting Smart Media Cards for up to 128Mb of total storage. Since I do not have a USB port on my trusty old MAC, I used my Smart Media Card programmer to store the MP3 files on a card I already had in my digital camera. Smart Media cards, available up to 64Mb sizes, are used everywhere these days and the Nomad uses the standardized Solid State Floppy Disk Card or SSFDC format, so I didn't have to re-format and lose any pictures. Either way, it is easy to get music into the Nomad and I found the icon-based, electro-luminescent backlit LCD navigation window simple to use.

About the size of a beeper with a magnesium case, the Nomad II MG is a totally solid-state recorder/player...there is never any skipping like portable CD players. The 64Mb memory holds up to 60 minutes of highest quality 44.1kHz/128Kbps MP3 audio and you can carry more Smart Media 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, you can listen and/or record songs from the built-in FM radio...just pick from any of the 32 user-programmed, preset stations. Furthermore, if you need to quickly record a voice memo to yourself, there is a built-in microphone for recording up to four hours of speech-grade audio that you can upload later to your PC.

Another feature not found in the Nomad II is the ability to vary the speed of voice recordings up to two times faster or slower without affecting audibility or clarity. The Nomad II MG is the first Personal Digital Entertainment (PDE) Internet Appliance in the NOMAD product line to offer this time-scaling feature. This is great for quickly scanning through those long and boring college lectures you have recorded.

Some other features include: Secure Digital Music Initiative or SDMI-compliance; docking station for recharging the battery; NOMAD II Manager Software for organizing files in your player and computer; Creative Digital Audio Center (PC) that lets you encode, decode and archive high-quality MP3 files and Windows Media files as well as convert CD tracks; SoundJam MP (MAC) enables you to easily build custom music playlists and sort through music by artist, track, song, music style, track length, or date recorded; and the NOMAD Music Content CD, a compilation CD with more than 70 free MP3 songs from popular music Web sites.

Selling for $299 MSRP, the Nomad II MG is from Creative Labs at: 408-428-6600 or 800-998-1000. Web sites are: www.creative.com where you can buy and www.nomadworld.com where you can download NOMADWare updates to keep your player current with the latest digital audio formats, standards, and software extensions. For additional information, go to: www.nomadworld.com


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