World’s Smallest (Most Overrated) MP3 Player Updated

No lighter or smaller. Still looks rubbish. Guaranteed to sell boat loads again.

Human beings love rubbish. Face it, Charlie Kauffman films don’t go to number one in the Box Office, Roland Emmerich blockbusters do. Arcade Fire tracks don’t get to the top of the charts, Robbie Williams and the Sugarbabes do. When was a John Updike or E. L. Doctorow novel last astride the bestseller list? John Grisham and Dan Brown never leave it. So lovers of crap everywhere will celebrate that the new MobiBLU Q-BE 2 has been unveiled.

Now let’s be fair. We reviewed the first Q-BE in January after mass hysteria following its release in the US. “The World Smallest MP3 Player” we heard time and time again, but no one stopped to ask if a cube was really the best choice of shape for such a device. Intrepid to the end, we dragged one of the little beggers into the TR labs and ran it through its paces. It was crap.

Still product cycles depend on sales, which is why Joss Whedon’s wonderful space adventure series Firefly was pulled after eight episodes despite critical acclaim and why Holby City continues to get renewed on the BBC. There will be a Fantastic Four 2 as well people and – collectively – it’s all our fault.

So does the second generation Cube actually look to be any more deserving of the inevitable sales rush that will great its release? Don’t be silly. The screen may have been updated to a OLED display and the dreadful controls superficially rearranged from an iPod stealing circle to a Gigabeat copying cross but the size (28 x 28 x 28mm – it’s ”cube”), weight (18g) and accepted file formats (MP3, WMA) are all familiar. No word on whether the battery life has been boosted beyond the 17 hours of the original though.

Still, what am I saying? If the world paid attention to me everyone would be listening to Neighbourhood 3 (Power Out), watching City of God then settling down to an episode of House. If none of those last three references made any sense to you then you’ll be thrilled to know the MobiBLU Q-BE 2 is due out in the next couple of months. Go form an orderly queue…


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