Thanks to unimpeded capitalism, there are so many music players available that deciding which one to buy might make your head 'splode. In fact, only two players really count — iPod and Zune. Everything else is just marketplace clutter. The question is, can a third player break through? Little-known MusicGremlin is trying to get traction with its MG-1000 player. Since June, it's offered something that Zune only recently did (and iPod never did): Wi-Fi. And, it does it better than Zune.
WHO WANTS THISMobile listeners who are tired of Coke and Pepsi.
WHYYour Mom has a Zune, your Grandma has an iPod, and you have cablephobia.
WHAT'S COOLAbility to download music directly to the device from the MusicGremlin music service.
WHAT'S LAME Its best feature (Wi-Fi) locks you into the MusicGremlin's service; it's only 8 GB, not a lot for the price.
FINAL MARK: B+Capable and sexy, but still a bit overpriced for just
PRICE: $299For details see MusicGremlin's website.
But I digress. MusicGremlin charges you $14.99 a month for unlimited subscription access, or 99 cents per track. Of course, that's on top of $299 for the player. You can use Wi-Fi to grab music from MG's site or your own computer. Open Wi-Fi is easiest; protected hotspots require passwords, which are a royal pain to enter on the non-keyboard MG. Downloading from the site is pretty quick — a minute or so for a song — and the company's celestial jukebox holds about 2 million songs.
You don't need to worry about Wi-Fi messing up sound quality. The bits fly through the air just fine, and quality is determined by the compression ratio of the file itself. The player's fidelity is similar to that of other players, and as with other players, you'll probably throw away the supplied earbuds and buy something better.