MSI MEGA Player 515 – MP3 Player Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £85.00

MP3 players are quickly replacing the humble Walkman, be it tape, CD or even the MiniDisc, they are all loosing ground quickly. The only problem is that most MP3 players are fairly expensive if you are looking at anything over 128MB. But with flash memory prices coming down, this is swiftly changing and 256MB players are starting to become far more affordable.

MSI is one of the first companies to bring out a truly affordable 256MB MP3 player with its brand new MEGA Player 515. The 515 might look like a miniature soap dish, but it has a lot to offer for the money.

At first glance the MEGA Player 515 doesn’t look all that remarkable, finished in green metallic and silver plastic with two big white buttons and a black mirrored display. But once powered on you realise that there is something different with this device as the tiny display looks very different from any other MP3 player I’ve seen. The reason for this is that MSI is using an OLED (organic LED) display which is much clearer and easier to read than a backlit LCD. There is no need for a backlight because it’s the text itself that is emitting light rather than the text of an LCD blocking the light out. The main text colour is green while the bottom row of the display is yellow and although the screen is tiny it is very easy to read in any light conditions.

The MEGA Player 515 is also very easy to use and pretty straightforward to navigate. The play/pause button doubles as the power on/off switch, while the second button switches on the built-in FM Radio and also doubles as a repeat button. Between the two white buttons is a small joystick that acts as volume control when moved up and down. Move it left and right and it will skip forwards and backwards between the tracks – you can also use it for scanning through a tune. Press the joystick inwards and you get to the menu, where you can change a wide range of settings such as the equalizer, repeat options, the recording quality, the language and the start up logo.

On the right hand side is a record button that launches the built-in recorder, with which you can record to wav format. As the MEGA Player 515 has a built in microphone you can use it for voice recording, but you can also record radio programmes, although both voice and radio are recorded in wav format so there is a limit on how much you can fit into the 256MB memory.

Next to the record button is a hold switch that prevents accidental button presses. The microphone is located at the top left hand side of the front of the MEGA Player 515. At the top side are the headphone socket and a mini USB 1.1 port. This is the one major flaw with the MEGA Player 515 as USB 1.1 isn’t exactly blisteringly fast at transferring files and we would really expect to see new MP3 players sporting a USB 2.0 interface.

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