The creation of the external hard drive revolutionised the way in which data and entertainment could be handily transported – which was a lifeline to both business people and students. What began as a solid brick-like unit diversified into slim USB flash drives and what was just a data ‘warehouse’ transformed into a multimedia player. Acme’s MP-01 Portable Media Player is the logical result of this expansion policy. When you take it out the box, you’re presented with a smooth, silver, rectangular aluminium casing with rounded edges and black plastic end-stops with a number of inputs and outputs. Measuring 142.5 x 85 x 23 mm, it closely resembles a hip flask and will fit neatly inside a jacket pocket or handbag.
USB 3.0 connectivity
Unlike an external hard drive, though, you can’t draw power via a USB lead into your laptop and the power unit that comes in the box unfortunately is of the Continental two-pin variety, so you will have to shell out for a suitable adaptor. What you are supplied with is a manual on CD, an AV cable for connecting to a TV, a remote control and a USB 3.0 cable to enable fast transfers from suitably equipped PCs and external hard drives. Circling the MP-01 Portable Media Player you’ll find an HDMI port to connect to an HD monitor or HDTV, a USB 2.0 port (in addition to the USB 3.0), AV out and a memory card holder which alas is only for an SD card. Beside the power button there’s a separate Copy button which is purely for transferring data from an internal HDD and all operations have to be carried out via the remote menus.
However, the remote is very small, the buttons are clunky to operate, transitions feel slow and certain menus are not user friendly to navigate. There’s also a general feeling of being underwhelmed in choice, which extends beyond the lack of options with memory cards. For instance, only JPG, JPEG and the rarely used BMP image formats are supported – no room for TIFF, GIF, PNG or RAW. Most common forms of videos are available though (AVI, MOV, MP4, MPG, WMV etc.) and the most popular basic audio files (MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV). HD movies up to 1080p can also be stored and the 1TB capacity is more than sufficient for a hefty movie and stills collection but with its limitations, it’s doubtful whether consumers who are after portable entertainment will go for the MP-01 Portable Media Player as their first choice.
- USB 3.0 capability
- Restricted file formats
Although the MP-01 Portable Media Player is stylish, includes USB 3.0 fast transfers and has 1TB of storage capacity, its limited range of formats and memory cards plus awkward remote controls are disappointing.