Plugged into a computer, it looks like a USB Mass Storage device (as expected); in particular, like a hard disk containing one VFAT partition. It came with about 4 MP3s preloaded onto it, including the Thievery Corporation remix of GusGus's Polyesterday, as well as some naff country song, a generic electronic number and a track by a (presumably) French band which I've yet to listen to. (Aside to indie musicians: now there's an idea for a promotional technique...) With USB 1.1, it is rather on the slow side, but the device does USB 2.0 as well; time to get a USB 2.0 card, methinks.
Taking it for a spin, the sound quality (from 192kbps MP3s) is quite good, and the interface is quite usable too. (In case you're wondering, the first thing I played on it was Minimum Chips' Freckles EP.) I haven't tested the recording function yet. I've installed the Rockbox firmware on it, and it works quite nicely.
The only drawback I've noticed so far is that the manual seems a bit vague and short of information; for example, it doesn't tell you what the two LEDs mean, or indeed whether the S/PDIF socket is optical, coaxial or both (as it is on my old MiniDisc).
The unit ended up costing me some AUP650 in total, including shipping from France. (There was no import tarriff, as recording devices are tariff-free in Australia. If you decide to buy one and UPS tell you Customs want money for it, remind them that it's a recording device and they'll let it pass untrammelled.) That's almost 400 pesos less than an iPod costs here (and that's not counting the cost of a FireWire card one needs for talking to an iPod), and unlike the iPod, it does recording too. All in all, I'm quite pleased with it.
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