by Ken Knight | 2007-01-30 01:13:00-07
In 2004 Alan Dixon wrote about the High Gear Trail Audio. That MP3 player let you bring the audio world of the recording studio with you on your backcountry treks. But it was a very far cry from perfect. For those who want to add a touch of World music to their outdoor world, or bring some ambient music into the ambiance of their landscape, want to rock and roll their way through serious river rapids, or listen to their favorite (Backpacking Light we trust) podcasts an alternative now exists.
Freestyle Audio has created the Fusion Digital Music Player. This is a compact shock-resistant and waterproof MP3 player that is designed to take the punishment an outdoor enthusiast might dish out. The unit weighs 35 grams. You can buy the MP3 player in 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB versions. That translates to up to 350 songs. The player is waterproof up to depths of 10 feet. If you feel the desire to shoot the rapids while listening to your favorite tracks you need not worry about water wrecking the earbuds because they are waterproof too. The player is also shock resistant so dropping it on a rock will not bother it. The battery, though not field replaceable, is rechargeable with a supplied USB cable. Just attach the player to your computer to charge it. Freestyle Audio claims up to 40 hours of listening time per charge.
Operation is simple enough. Two buttons on one side control the volume. The other two buttons let you skip forward and backward through your songs one song at a time. To cause the unit to stop playing remove the earbuds (or your own headphones if you prefer to use them). This does limit your control somewhat. But the goal here is clearly simplicity. This extends to how you load music on to the MP3 player. Just drag and drop MP3 files from your computer on to the player icon when it is attached to your computer. The songs you will be listening to later on are played in the same order as you dropped them on to the device.
The Fusion Digital Music Player is priced at $139.95 (256MB), $169.95 (512MB), and $199.95 (1GB).
"Freestyle Audio Fusion Digital Music Player," by Ken Knight. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/02781.html, 2007-01-30 01:13:00-07.
You must login to post comments.
(ForumMP) - BPL Staff - F
|Freestyle Audio Fusion Digital Music Player on 01/30/2007 01:13:02 MST|
Companion forum thread to:
Edited by bugbomb on 01/31/2007 21:14:52 MST.
(crazypete) - F
Locale: Above the Divided Line
|Re: Freestyle Aduio Fusion Digital Music Player on 01/30/2007 14:32:50 MST|
Ipod shuffle is lighter(15.5 grams) and has 100x the market presence, and is over $100 cheaper than the comparable 1 gigabyte Audio Fusion Model.
Edited by crazypete on 01/30/2007 14:39:51 MST.
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife
Locale: Northern California
|Re: Re: Freestyle Aduio Fusion Digital Music Player on 01/31/2007 09:40:16 MST|
But the iPod shuffle is not waterproof--though it would probably do OK in casual rain. I'd take my shuffle (though I've never taken music on a backpack trip before) and take my chances--if it "dies" you can replace the main body of the shuffle for $59 (at ipod mechanics) and so could buy 2 more before you'd equal the price of the Freestyle.
Edited by ksawchuk on 01/31/2007 09:42:55 MST.