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Monday, May 26, 2008

Pixxo PV-C205SV2 MP4 / MP3 Player review


Fry's had these for $34.99 out the door for Memorial Day. I predict other sales on it later. This one's gonna be pretty short. If you have a PC, it's probably decent.

*ESPECIALLY*
if you want to use it as a voice recorder, you should probably consider it.

If you have a Mac, don't bother, unless you perhaps wouldn't mind being limited to the space on a Mini SD card.

The pluses:
Metal construction. The case is all metal and the back is brushed. Really nice. Easily used as a voice recorder, as it has a mic AND speaker built in. The speaker was good. Good screen quality. We didn't test playback due to the Mac limitation (and it's MAJOR), which we'll reveal in a bit. Mounts as a removable drive (unless you have a Mac, more on that in a bit). Expandable via Mini SD. (Just get an easier to find Micro SD and use an adapter. Extra features: Tetris clone built in, text file 'ebook' reader built in, plays back MP4's.

The minuses:
Mini SD. Could we have done Micro or regular SD? Weird choice IMHO. Weirder choice: it has a 2.5mm headphone jack! REALLY?! Who thought that up? Yes, 2.5, not the standard 3.5mm that pretty much every other personal audio device in the known universe uses. The menuing system takes a but to get used to and some choices are even worse: you have to hold the 4 way button down for 2 secs, then press it again, THEN press left or right TO CHANGE THE VOLUME. Come on. The flap over the Mini SD slot does just that, flap. It sort of hangs out and isn't secured at one end. Don't give me a Hold button but I need a dedicated on/off switch? Was this a high school design project?

The huge minus for Mac users:
When you do reads or writes of much size (even like 1 megabyte) it self ejects! Unusable unless perhaps you wrote to the Mini SD card you have and just used that for storage, but then you're wasting the onboard 2 gigs.

We even tried firmware upgrades, and reformatting. No dice. An exchange unit wouldn't even nearly mount on the Mac.

Note: When you download the firmware from Pixxo, the date doesn't change on the player, nor does the version. Is it earlier? Later? Who knows. Didn't solve our problem and it's indicative of shoddy work. Another reason to be wary.

Summary: Some really bright spots (metal construction, built in speaker, great screen, fairly feature rich) and some DUMB mistakes (doesn't work with Mac, so would it really work on other OSes?, MiniSD, 2.5mm headset jack, goofy controls, choppy MP4 playback.)

PC user? Maybe. Definitely if you need a voice recorder with a speaker that also does other things. Mac folks? Neh. It's a shame, I really wanted to like this one!

8 comments:

Nate said...

Hey Rob. We met at the Fry's (in line) when they had that big sale. Sorry it took me so long to get back with you. I can be reached at natebarrs@hotmail.com
Keep up the good work... I'll be trying that Mexican rest. to see how good the food is!!!

Rob said...

No big rush. I will email ya...

Dan said...

FYI, I make excellent videos for the Pixxo PV-C205 video player using the following on Linux, or any OS with mencoder (like Macs). I use the following as one long command line...

mencoder -quiet -noodml myvideo.orig -of avi -vf-pre rotate=0 -vf-add scale=176:224 -vf-add expand=176:224:-1:-1:1 -oac lavc -lavcopts acodec=mp2:abitrate=96 -srate 44100 -af volume=8 -ovc xvid -xvidencopts bitrate=600:max_bframes=0:quant_type=h263:me_quality=4 -ofps 20 -o myvideo.avi

So the input file in this case is myvideo.orig, and can be just about any format of video. And the output file is rotated, fixed, etc. into an AVI file called myvideo.avi, in this case.

Enjoy!
dan at linuxtrader.com

Rob said...

Thanks for that. I hated to give it a bad review, and with a few tweaks it could be a great player.

As a voice recorder that does other things, it'd be great.

Oh well, even Honda and Toyota used to make not so great cars, and look where they are.

This is like an early 80's Hyundai. But look at the new stuff!

Anonymous said...

Mencoder worked great. I downloaded it for windows from this site: http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/dload.html

I downloaded the one that says "MPlayer 1.0rc2 Windows outdated" and then I scrolled down the page and downloaded the codec pack "Windows x86 20071007". You have to put the codec pack into the codec folder of the application.

I just tried my first file using that exact line, and it worked great! I couldn't get the software that came with the player to work.

Thanks for the tip. It worked like a charm.

Anonymous said...

kazur111"at"wp.pl
I have dead this MP4 and tried download firmware for PV-C205 from Pixxo website but in "Download" no longer exists any firmware. Can You help me Rob???

Rob said...

All of Pixxo's downloads seem to be hosted at

http://76.162.156.26/download/pixxo/

It won't give you a directory listing, and looks like it requires a real password for an anonymous login via ftp.

Try contacting Pixxo to get a listing of that directory or maybe an anonymous password. Or maybe they will just email it to you.

I'll try to remember to poke around this later. The wife and kids are being a PITA now.

Anonymous said...

Thank You, i tried i.a. PV-C205SV2_Firmware.rar but does NOT match. Maybe Rob remember the name of firmware or Pixxo support send me email.

 
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