Pentium 133MHz or faster
Windows 98/SE/ME/2000/XP/Mac OS
My search to find the coolest MP3 player continues with the MPIO-DMK Digital Music Player from
digita@lway which is available in a 128MB
internal memory version with 3 colors choices of Silver, Blue and Gold.
Digital Audio Format: MP3
Internal Built Memory: 128 MB Flash Memory
Host Interface: USB 1.1 (5.5 – 6Mbps file transmission speed)
LCD with blue back-light
Power: 1 AAA (~ 10 – 15 Hours Playing Time)
Size : (W x H x D): 3.5 x 1.14 x 0.91 inches
Weight: 1.4 oz with battery
Looking like something that is a cross between a Star Trek medical device and a
lighter, the DMK is an unusual shaped player that is small enough to fit in any
pocket or gear bag. Made of plastic and aluminum, the player feels solid but a
casing also flexes and creaks very slightly when squeezed.
The face of the player has a one line LCD in the middle which isn’t the
easiest to read due to the size and the reverse blue backlight. This backlight
will shine for 5 seconds or so before turning off due to no activity. Pressing
any button will cause it to turn on again. When the backlight is off, the
display is similar to the black on green LCD of a mono Palm PDA, but it is hard
to view due to the fact that the display sits quite a bit lower than the lens.
When you’re trying to view it, you have to tip the player back and forth till
you can get the best viewing angle due to glare and shadows. For the most part,
you’ll be using the display to scroll thru the songs stored in memory. Since the
display is so small, you can either view the songs by time left to play, or by
title (which scrolls across the screen) while the song plays.
Above the LCD is a round bead type button that serves as the power on/off,
play and stop control. Pressing the button once turns the player on. Pressing it
again will play the first song in memory. Pressing the button a third time will
stop the playback of the current song. While pressing and holding the button
will cause the player to power off.
The left side of the DMK has the USB connector which has a soft rubber cover
to keep dust and dirt out. Below it is the ear phone jack, hold switch and
volume control buttons. The earphone jack is a typical stereo jack. The hold switch when
slid to the On position, disregards all button presses so that you can’t
accidentally activate or change settings while listening to music. The + or –
volume buttons raise and lower the volume level. A
level indicator will be displayed briefly on the LCD while you are performing
the adjustments. The volume level can be set from 0 – 40. I found that a level
of 10-15 to be more than loud enough.
On the right side of the player is jog button. The jog button is an easy to use
spring loaded lever that
can be pivoted up or down to do such tasks as moving to next or previous songs.
Pressing the button in allows you to go into a setup mode where you can choose
equalizer settings, repeat settings, backlight
For the equalizer, you can choose presets such as Normal, Pop, Rock,
Classic and X-bass.
The repeat settings can be set to:
Normal: Plays all stored files one at a time in order.
Repeat One: Repeat the current file.
Repeat All: Repeats all stored files.
Shuffle: Please the files in random order.
Intro: Plays the first 10 seconds of each file.
The other feature that is accessed thru the jog button is the Backlight setting
which allows you to adjust the length of time the backlight shines when a button
is pressed. The maximum time is 10 seconds.
On the back of the DMK is the battery compartment and the neck strap
swivel eyelet. An unusual set of ear buds that are built into a gray woven neck strap are
included with the player. Although the sound quality thru the ear buds is good,
I didn’t find them to be very comfortable.
You can also wear the DMK on your arm with an optional arm band, or on your
belt with the included belt-clip. Depending on how long your torso is, you might
not be able to use the included ear buds while also wearing the DMK on your
[Left to Right: Arm Band, Belt Clip]
In order to transfer music into the DMK, you have to install the included MPIO Manager desktop
software and attach the USB cable.
This is a really easy to use this drag and drop type program. You can use the file
manager to navigate to a folder on your PC that has MP3 files stored, and then
drag them to the internal storage. File transfers are very fast thru
the USB cable.
You can also change the play order of the songs by dragging and dropping.
The MPIO-DMK is a fun little MP3 player. The size is
fantastic, the controls are easy to use and understand and the
sound quality is fine. What would make this player better
would be a larger LCD, more internal memory and a lower price. $209 for a 128MB seems very
expensive for a player that has no external storage.
Available thru DGN Depot.
Very good sound quality
LCD is small and hard to read
No external storage
Does not support WMA file format