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Creative I-Trigue L3500 & NOMAD MuVo NX 128MB



With the addition of the
LCD on the MuVo NX, the need for a manual when you are looking for that function
has been taken away. The scroller button has replaced the forward and backward
button on the original MuVo to make way for the LCD. I am one person that
is really huge on user interface, and I am happy to say that the MuVo NX
user interface is quite intuitive, and the LCD makes it a cinch as you know
exactly what you are doing this time round as compared to the original MuVo.
In fact, I managed to decipher the majority of the functions within the few
minutes of fooling around with the player and was soon up to speed with the
rest of the functions in half an hour. There is a couple of nice touches
put in by the Creative people, namely the abilty to flip the LCD display
the other way round if you are a left-hander and the inclusion of Equaliser
presets (custom ones if you prefer your own sort of sound). It is the attention
to little details like this that makes the customer feel really good about
their purchase.

There was also an inclusion
of an armstrap with a holder for the mp3 player. This allows you to go jogging
with it, and with its weight, you don’t even realise it’s there! One of my
colleagues took it out for a run and as was usual for solid state mp3 players,
there was no skipping (we would be worried if there was any!), and he was
really happy with the weight and the functions. In fact he plans to plonk
down his money on one of these babies as soon as he gets the money!

The MuVo NX is also one
of the first mp3 player from Creative to include a voice recording function.
While it would not get you CD quality recordings, it is quite adequate for
lectures, short memos, reminders and what not. The MuVo NX records in mono
at 8kHz, 4-bits, which will give you up to eight hours of recording.

As you know the MuVo NX
serves a dual function, besides being a mp3 player, it also serves double
time as a USB flash drive. You basically just plug it into the USB port and
it shows up as a removable drive, enabling you to drag both mp3s and your
own files into it for easy transport. We did an informal speed test, and
found out that it takes about 3½ minutes to transfer around 120MB
worth of files over to the MuVo NX, which works out to about 585KiloyBytes/Sec.
On the other hand, it takes about 2½ minutes to transfer around 120MB
worth of files from the MuVo NX into the computer, which works out to be
about 983KiloBytes/Sec.

On the software front,
MediaSource is Creative’s answer to Real JukeBox or MusicMatch Jukebox. I
would not go much into it here as the features of these software are very
well-known. The usual ripping from CDs into MP3s/WMA, burning mp3s into CDs,
managing of mp3s on your harddisk, a functional player with playlists, etc
are all present. However, one of the features that MediaSource had caught
my eye. It is called SmartFit. It basically does what its
name says, to fit as many songs as you want (to a certain extent of course!)
into your mp3 player. This is achieved by converting your mp3s on the fly
to WMA format before transferring them to the player. There would be a performance
hit though, in the sense that transfers will be much slower (due to the encoding
to WMA).

Creative I-Trigue

The I-Trigue L3500 basically
functions like a pair of normal speakers with a subwoofer. No surprises there.
There are two very distinctive features though. One, a line-in on the Audio
Control Pod. This basically allows you to plug in a mp3 player, a radio,
discman, etc into the speakers without having to unplug it from the computer.
However, if you are looking to use it as a line-in for the computer, you
are still out of luck. It is purely an auxillary line-in for the speakers

Two, M-PORT.
What does the M-PORT do? From Creative’s marketing literature, The unique
and patent pending M-PORT allows you to playback music from compatible Creative
Audio players (such as the Creative NOMAD MuVo NX) – without the need of
additional cabling on the PC. When the player is docked to the M-PORT, power
is supplied from the M-PORT. Thus, saving your battery pack power until you’re
mobile again.

It is basically a USB (in
form but not in function) port on the side of the Audio Control Pod. To work
it, you just take out the MuVo NX from the battery module and plug it into
the M-PORT. It definitely proved useful when I hooked up the speakers in
standalone mode. However, in real world usage… unless you own an all-Creative
solution, or else you will be looking at the line-in on the Audio Control
Pod instead.

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