What's Hot

WHAT'S HOT

August 05, 2004|By Kevin E. Washington

Key014 perfect for music on the move

Wearable MP3 players have been the rage for years now, but many of them that carry a significant amount of music have seemed a bit bulky to me. I don't mind bulky because I haven't been getting nearly enough exercise - which means that nine times out of 10, I'm sitting down somewhere listening to the player.

But if you're really interested in an MP3 player that you can wear easily on a hike through the woods (to block out all that nature and silence), you won't go wrong with Philips Go Gear Key014 Digital Audio Player ($150). It hangs by a lanyard around your neck, and its lightweight magnesium alloy body is only 31 grams. The device also comes with in-ear headphones.

You can use your Universal Serial Bus connection to get music in and out of the device and you'll also get the battery to recharge using the USB port.

The Key014 has about 256 megabytes of space for about eight hours of music. You can play back MP3s and WMA files or store and carry data files from one computer to the next. Oddly enough, I like this feature most of all since I like to show people pictures I've shot on their computers by simply plugging in the Key014 and clicking on the images on the Key014 designated drive.

Information: 800-531-0039 or www.thingstodoyour thing.com.

Cell-phone global TV offers news on the run

Television on your cellular telephone is not something that most people are clamoring to have. But that doesn't mean that it isn't awe-inspiring. Sprint is offering Idetic Inc.'s MobiTV, the first global network for watching television on cellular telephones, making it easy to catch up on the news or watch a little television when you have a moment or two.

You don't want to watch I Love Lucy or Alias reruns on the MobiTV, not that they're available. Much of what is available, once you download the service into your cellular telephone, are news channels and educational channels, such as Discovery, TLC, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC News, FOX Sports and CNET.

You'll have to tweak your telephone a bit to get this to work well. For example, you'll want the back light to always be on - set up easily enough - so that you can see the image. And I liked turning the volume up as high as it would go so I could hear everything. But despite the tweaks, you'll not find MobiTV to be difficult to use. There are no confusing menus to navigate. Once you know to go to downloads and then applications, you're pretty much watching television. All you need to do is get into a menu with the channel and volume.

It should be said that while MobiTV bills itself as television, it is more like a slide show or the film strip projectors we had when I was a kid. You're not getting the regular digital video of 30 frames per second, but one frame per second. So don't get too excited about the highlights on Fox Sports.

On the other hand, if you wanted to be updated routinely about the Democratic National Convention last month with a few images to go along with the audio, MobiTV couldn't really be beat if you were in airports, at bus stops or in the backs of cabs.

MobiTV costs $9.99 a month. PCS Vision subscribers can get credit toward MobiTV depending on the Sprint plan they've signed up for. A host of telephones support the video mode for MobiTV, including Sanyo 5300, Nokia PM-6225 and Samsung VM-A680.

Information: 510-981-1303 or www.mobitv.com.

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