Fire it up, and the cheap but cheerful theme continues. Again, this is no iPod, and it doesn’t support swanky extras such as cover art, but the 2in 220 x 176 colour screen is bright and clear, and the menus aren’t over-complicated or too difficult to understand. It’ll also do the basic things you’d expect a small, video-enabled MP3 player to do: it supports MP3, WMA, protected WMA and WAV audio files; you can play back simple AVI files on the colour screen and video doesn’t look too bad either, though files converted using the bundled software are limited to around 18 frames per second.
But where the Clip and GoGear players both offer convenience, great ease of use and performance, the TrekStor is, unfortunately, found wanting. I’ll start with the headphone connection: bizarrely, on the right hand edge of the player is not a standard 3.5mm socket, but a 2.5mm one. There is a converter included in the box – fair enough – but it adds to the bulk of the player in your pocket. Plus, you can pretty much guarantee you’re going to lose it at some stage and buying another one could well cost half as much as the player itself.
It’s not the easiest of devices to use either. Copy a load of albums to it, either by simply dragging and dropping them in, or by synchronising via Windows Media Player, and the player refuses to display them in any kind of sensible order. Instead, album folders and tracks are displayed in the order you transferred them. Shuffle a few hundred random tracks onto the i.Beat Motion and you’ll quickly find it nigh-on impossible to find anything. After this, it wasn’t surprising to discover that the i.Beat motion doesn’t actually display music based on ID tags at all – your only option is to navigate via folder.
The same impenetrable logic applies to the operation of the FM radio tuner. I had to refer to the manual to decipher all the different button presses required before I could even start listening to a station. You need to press the play button for around a second before you can switch mode to scan for stations, then you need to tap the same button again quickly to activate that mode – completely barmy. It’s a shame as FM reception is pretty good.
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