The power button sits on top next to the headphone socket with the hold switch in between them. The rocker in the centre moves left and right for navigation and up and down for volume. The button the right is used for selection while holding it down brings up the menu. Here you can adjust the backlight timing and the screen contrast and perform automatic of manual scans for stations.
In MP3 mode the screen will display bit-rate, sample rate and the EQ settings. It can read tracks in the root or albums played in folders. There’s no card slot so you have to plug the device into the computer via USB to copy tracks over. (Remove the headphones or the PC will not see the device). Windows 98 drivers (heaven forbid) are provided but for those with us in this millennium in should just be a case of plugging the device in and having it pop up as a drive letter. It should then be a simple case of drag-and-drop. Unfortunately, on our review sample tracks refused to copy over to the player, bringing up a memory error. A replacement unit is winging its way over as you read this and I will update the review with information on how it fares with MP3 as soon as I can. Morphy Richards assures me that this is just a one off glitch in this sample.
(”’Update – 14/11/2005”’ – I had no problems copying MP3s to the replacement player. Pleasingly, it was perfectly happy with VBR files as well as standard bit rate files, even displaying a VBR icon on the screen. Unfortunately, the files were clearly copying over at USB 1.1 speeds, not 2.0, so it will take a while even to fill up the relatively small 256Mb capacity.)
Overall though, there’s no denying that the Morphy Richards loses out by not supporting WMA and by not having the ability to record radio, a feature that we enjoyed on the MPIO and integral to the Pure Pocket DAB 2000. Considering that the MPIO is arguably better looking, better featured and cheaper, it leaves the Morphy Richards player as something of an also ran.
The Morphy Richards 29200 takes the plaudits for being the smallest DAB radio we’ve yet seen. However, as it lacks the features of the competition while being more expensive, it wouldn’t be our first choice of portable DAB player.