I once moaned in a laptop review I wrote when still freelancing for TR that some of the fun had gone out of write ups because nothing was really that bad anymore. The days of sheer joy spent kicking the crap out of a useless, overpriced, technologically retarded piece of kit were gone. Well, they’re back for one last outing. GET IN!
The worthless piece of junk that delights my (too long dormant) spiky and malicious side is the god-awful bilge that comprises the Ministry of Sound MP3 player (*spit*). This worthless, soulless, step back into the Dark Ages should never have seen the light of day, but greedy marketing men have pushed it through and now it has to face me.
Measuring a monstrous 102 x 66 x 20mm this 20GB festering mess has a bigger footprint than a 20GB colour iPod and is fatter than the already portly 60GB edition. At eight hours, the battery life is hysterically inadequate and equates with where the industry was four years ago. Format support is rubbish, playing only MP3 and DRM protected WMA files, while Jpegs, bitmaps and gifs can be shown on the 2in screen, but why someone would want to frame their holiday snaps with something so horribly brick-like is solely a question for their councillor to guess.
Naturally, the control panel is a complete afterthought with the play/pause, fast forward/backward, up/down and menu buttons squashed down one side. Just what good are teeny scroll buttons when trying to slide your way around 5,000 tracks?
Given that only Apple can get away without supplying an FM tuner in its players, Ministry of Sound has decided to omit one from its stink pile, but you do get a docking station (word is it’s a vomit bag).
The final piece de resistance is that no online retailer worth its salt seems to be stocking it, so you can only buy it from Argos (which incidentally asks customers to “Please note that this product is excluded from the 16 Day Money Back Guarantee”). I wonder why?
So, is there any reason to purchase this player which at £219 makes it the most expensive player on the market (the iPod did hold that title at £209)? Yes actually, I can provide you with a few: You hate yourself, you hate your friends, you don’t want to have friends anymore, you want to clear a space around you during the London rush hour, you are scared of being robbed, you like to make people laugh, you skipped to the last paragraph in this article…
The beautiful, stunning, technological marvel that is the Ministry of Sound’s well judged, cleverly timed entry into a largely uncompetitive and substandard MP3 player market is on sale now for a bargain £219.99.
(Darn, that felt good!)