- Page 1 Decktron i-MPIA 4256 MP3 player
- Page 2 Decktron i-MPIA 4256
Another negative is the 4256’s Windows software. Called Manager Plus, it amounts to no more than a glorified Windows Explorer with a third column added to show the contents of the player. Given that you cannot access music saved to the desktop from Manager Plus and the device shows up as a standard removable drive, it is actually easier to bypass the lot and just copy and paste the files instead. Manager Plus also doesn’t let you check the capacity remaining on the drive.
Whether you use Manager Plus or not you’ll find that it takes a while to transfer files as the 4256 is limited to USB1.1 and requires a propriety data cable as well, so unless you are prepared to carry the cable around with you, you won’t be uploading any music from your friends’ computers on your travels either. I can only assume this cable has a negative effect on the upload rate because even with the USB 1.1 interface it should not take anywhere near nine minutes to upload 100MB worth of MP3s.
All of this is a shame, because other aspects of the player are actually very good. The FM auto-tune works at a lightening pace and handily will automatically store the first 20 stations to presets from the frequency you specify upwards. FM reception, was crisp and clear, at least where I live, but it wasn’t quite so impressive in the poor reception area of the TrustedReviews offices. The microphone is good, and so sensitive, it picked up music being played by a builder across the road. General sound quality is very good indeed, although you will need better headphones than the ones supplied to appreciate this – these are in fact, the worst bundled headphones I’ve ever come across. The shuffle mode is a welcome feature though.
Unfortunately, for every positive, the 4256 has a negative. Battery life is a reasonable eight hours and the device switches off after 20 seconds to conserve power. However, when you restart it always begins in the root directory, meaning you have to trawl through the menu again to find the folder for the album you were playing.
Presumably to help carry the player around, a small plastic hook at the top of the 4256 has been provided, but it’s too small to thread through anything but string. And while the player feels solidly made when you pick it up, when I shake it the jog wheel rattles. In a final blow, the £109.95 asking price does the 4256 no favours. This is over £25 more expensive than the excellent MSI MEGA Player 515 we reviewed in June. At the end of the day, even excluding the high price tag, there are too many design faults in the 4256 to possibly recommend it.
Had a little more care gone into it we might have had a very good player in our hands. Though the 4256 is stacked with features it’s far too troublesome to enjoy using them. My search for the ultimate digital music player goes on.