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Philips DC910 Docking Entertainment System
I've looked at a number of Philips products recently and all have exhibited something of a trend; they were priced and performed just above the budget brands but did little to distinguish themselves, which is a shame considering Philips is a company we'd normally expect better things from. So it is with the product I'm looking at today, the DC910. This is an iPod speaker dock with built-in FM radio and it just about epitomises this trend I've witnessed, though it does have a few tricks up its sleeve that could prove attractive to you.
Starting with its styling and we can see it's rather attractive with a sleek single black speaker grill on the front and slim silver surround to set it off. It's simple but classy and it's a look that works just as well in the flesh as it does in the glamour shots. The fit and finish is also good quality with none of the usual tell tale signs of cheap products - things like the little marks that can be left behind by the moulds that are used to shape the plastic.
One of the DC910's two standout features is its iPod dock. Quite simply, it can rotate so, when using an iPod Touch (it's not officially compatible with iPhones and they do struggle to fit in the adapters that are used to hold the iPod in place), you can watch video in landscape mode. Now that may sound like a bit of a gimmick and for the most part I'd probably agree - certainly I wouldn't see it as enough of a feature to recommend this device over any other. However, it's a nice extra to have for those half dozen occasions when you might want to use it.
Another thing that's likely to be only of occasional use is the DC910's inclusion of a USB socket and SD card slot. These can be used to play music stored on USB drives and SD cards, which can be formatted in either FAT12, FAT16, or FAT32. File format support is not brilliant, with DRM tracks not supported for a start, but the basics of mp3 and WMA are there.
There is a structure to the way the DC910 reads the music stored on USB and SD devices, though it's not as comprehensive as you may hope. Essentially it will follow an alphabetical file and folder structure, up to a depth of eight folders, and cycle through the whole lot in order. Unfortunately, while you may know what order your music may be played in, there's no way to browse by folder, you just have to cycle through one track after the next until you get to where you want to be.