Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gearing Up Again with the GoGear Vibe

It was late December last year when my GoGear Vibe SA1VBE04K/97 stopped working. I got in touch with Philips and to cut the long story short, I got my replacement unit already. It's still a Vibe, but a different model. The process may have taken some time, but it's quite understandable. Actually, I'm just satisfied to finally have a music player again. So thanks, Philips Consumer Care!

I've been using this unit for several weeks now, and it's time to share with you some of my thoughts on the Philips GoGear Vibe SA2VBE04S/97. For product specifications, check it out here.

First Impressions. While it looks good, I still dig my previous GoGear's all-black appearance. The lanyard slot is misplaced and is an inconvenience (it would have been better if it was placed on the bottom area), but maybe it's not meant to be worn on the neck. However, it has better graphics, and its function buttons provide faster and more friendly navigation.

But It Skips! I was so frustrated when I found out that the player occasionally jumps a few seconds on some songs, making it sound like I'm listening to a scratched CD. It happened 11 times in the first few hours I was using it before I lost count. A disk reformat didn't solve the issue, but eventually, a firmware upgrade did!

Video support. From the previous model which only plays SMV videos, this GoGear is better since it can play MP4 files, a more popular format. I haven't really tested this feature though, I have only played the sample video that came along with it. My guess is that I'd still have to convert the videos to a compatible MP4 setting to get the Vibe to play it. But then, I won't really be watching videos on this anyway as its screen is only at 128x128.

Other Stuff. One thing still missing is the ability to play the songs by genre or year, but it may just be me looking for this feature. I like that the FullSound setting is back, as I prefer to use this over equalizer settings. (It was on the Spark, but not on the black Vibe.) Also, their Songbird software not only allows you to check for and upgrade to new firmware versions or reset your GoGear, it also allows you to manage and organize your music library.

So far so good for this GoGear Vibe SA2VBE04S/97, I'm enjoying what I'm hearing. I can only hope that this would last long and grow old, so it could serve its purpose well.

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