EGo MP3 Portable Player

I mentioned MP3 music files in one of last year's Corners, and I still run sometimes receive emails with questions about this rapidly evolving technology. I recently ordered a new product on the Web from a portable MP3 player they call the "eGo".

There are several versions available, but I bought the basic version on sale for $99. This does NOT include a memory card, which is required to store the files, but I already have a CF card from my digital camera as well as an IBM MicroDrive from my handheld Cassiopeia computer. The unit arrived about 4 days after I placed the order from a hotel room one night, and it works like a charm!

It's a little bigger in all dimensions than a pack of cigarettes, but small enough to fit in a pocket or briefcase easily. It includes a surprising array of accessories at no extra cost, including:

  • USB cable for power and for file transfers
  • 12V DC adapter cord to power it from an auto or boat
  • Windshield mounting bracket
  • Adapter to play it through a cassette player
  • Headphone adapter cable to play it through a home or auto stereo, or through portable speakers
  • Belt clip
  • Headphones
  • Neoprene carrying bag
  • Software to convert CDs into compressed MP3 files
  • Software to convert email to voice and read your email to you!

It runs on two AA batteries [included], or on an optional AC adapter. Most of these accessory items cost $10-$20 each, so for the entire package including the player to sell for less than $100 is really quite remarkable!

If I didn't already have one to charge my cell phone, I would have purchased a 120 volt to 12 volt converter from Radio Shack for less than $10. This device plugs into the wall outlet, and then you plug the cigarette lighter adapter into the receptacle. You can find one at

The eGo has two slots for CF memory cards or the MicroDrive, so you can have as little or as much memory as you care to buy. The MicroDrive has recently been expanded to 1 gigabite of storage, so this should be sufficient for hours and hours of music from multiple CDs. Frankly, I can squeeze about 3 hours of music onto a 192MB Flash Card and that's longer than the longest domestic flight I am likely to take.

It has a decent-sounding built-in monaural speaker, but the sound through the headphones is very good: clear, broad range, and nicely separated. Over the holidays, I played Christmas carols through a set of amplified speakers in my home office, and it sounded great! If I ran to the store, I could take it with me in the car and use the adapters to continue playing the carols through the car stereo. If I really wanted to be a nerd, I could even have dropped the eGo in my pocket and listened to the music through the headphones as I shopped!

There are a number of MP3 players now on the market in the $100-$600 range. [Go to for current reviews of this hardware and prices.] The more expensive ones have much more memory, up to 6 GB. But, for a relatively low cost yet versatile portable MP3 player, the eGo is hard to beat. To check out the Ego, click over to

You can easily convert your own CDs and carry your favorite music with you, or you can go to and download free tunes from budding blues artists on CPO Services internet radio station. Happy listening......

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