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VFM player that has it all
Apr 21, 2009 05:55 PM 6281 Views
(Updated Apr 27, 2009 03:18 PM)

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I purchased the T.sonic 630 back in August 2007. Let me not dwell too much on specification which you can always get hold of. First of all I will go over why I decided to buy this one.

I already had a Sandisk Sansa which I had purchased from the states earlier. Unfortunately it got stolen at the Churchgate branch of McDonalds where my daughter's college bag disappeared. Having already bought and used a MP3 player, I was more or less clear what I was looking for.

A lot of hype surrounds the iPod but I am not enamoured of products that are sold mainly on brand equity. I always look for VFM. The iPod is clearly poor VFM. I wanted something which would, besides playing MP3 music, also have FM and a good recorder. I had previously compared the sound quality of a Creative Muvo and an iPod mini and happened to prefer the Creative.

Among the branded MP3 players available in India, the features that I wanted happened to be in two players: The Creative Muvo N200 (If I remember correctly) and the Transcend T.sonic 630. One major difference between the two was the power source. While the Creative used a AAA cell, the 630 used a built-in lithium cell that would charge when connected to the USB port. Creative sales support were not able to confirm definitely whether the Muvo would work with rechargeable cells. So it appeared that the T.sonic would work out cheaper to run regularly.

So finally I decided on this one and purchased the 1 GB from Sify for Rs 2150/-. It was pretty simple to set up and use. No need to even look at the manual. The music files can just be dragged and dropped by treating the T.sonic as a USB pen drive. No drivers are needed if you're using Windows 2000 or later.

The first thing that attracted my attention when I turned it on was the brilliant OLED display. The bright white display is visible under any lighting conditions. Tuning the FM stations is pretty straight forward too. However, I suggest you make sure you are in the open when you do auto tuning as it might fail to tune in to some stations. The sound quality is quite superb and you have a decent equalizer if you want to play around with it. I found the bundled earphones sound much better than the HPM 70 that Sony Ericsson provides with their walkman phones. As many have pointed out, the wires look a bit flimsy but I have never had a problem.

My main need was voice recording and it does the job admirably. It has advanced recording features far better than the earlier 610 model. It can be set to record in memo or meeting mode. Memo mode is for speaking close up into the microphone and meeting, as you will understand, is if you want to catch all voices in the room. Another advantage of the T.sonic 630 is that it has a line-in input besides the microphone for recording. I have used this to connect it to my cassette player and convert all my old music to digital. Simply connect your cassette player through a phono jack to the line-in of your 630 and go ahead to record.

You can set various bit rates for recording and I generally use the lowest quality of 8 kbps when I do voice recording because it gives me adequate quality with very small files. I use higher quality when recording music though. Recently I found that Transcend had updated the software and I was able to flash it to the new version. The new software changes my model number to MP630 by the way. This update is meant to fix some bugs.

If you are looking for a MP3 player that does excellent voice recordings, this one is for you. Great if you want to record lectures in college or when you attend talks, trainings or seminars.

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Transcend T Sonic 630