By Peter Griffin
Well, it seems Legend now does. The company makes computer memory modules and, as well as supplying the likes of Acer and Dell, has its own line of budget mp3 players, DVD recorders, LCD screens and personal media players.
Legend is typical of the less well-known brands coming out of Asia - they shy away from competing with the Apples and Sonys on styling and instead pack as much functionality and as little annoying digital rights management software into their devices as possible. The Legend Media Player is a prime example.
It's no video iPod. The Legend's 100-gram body is sturdy but rather uninspiring, the stiff buttons push down with an audible 'clunk'.
There's no scroll wheel or touch sensitive dial here. The full-colour, 2.4-inch screen is of a reasonable resolution, good enough for watching short video clips, and the menu system is comprehensive but not too intuitive.
But the Legend Media Player plays mp3, wma and wav audio files and delivers decent sound. Its 1.3-megapixel camera will record reasonable-quality photos and video clips in daylight, about as well as a mid-range camera phone. It has an FM radio tuner and comes with a 1 gigabyte Multimedia Card to go with the 128 megabytes of onboard flash memory.
The device also has a few useful extras, including line-in recording for use with a microphone or other recording source, and an AV-out port to play the photos, music and video stored on the media player through an LCD computer monitor or regular TV.
It supports mpeg4 video files, but DivX movie files didn't seem to be compatible. It records video in the .asf file format and chews up memory at a rate of 6MB per minute.
The player's Lithion-ion battery supports up to six hours of video playback and 15 hours of audio play. It connects to the computer via a swift USB 2.0 cable and is immediately identified by Windows XP, appearing as an extra drive in Windows Explorer. The user can simply drag the files wanted from the computer into the appropriate folders on the player.
The player's colourful screen menu is its weakness. Viewing the memory card's contents is clunky and navigating tedious.
The device also doesn't have an independent volume control, which is annoying. Instead, a 'mode' button switches the main jog control between volume, equalizer and play functions. I'd rather have an easy to reach volume control seeing as there is none built into the head-phones cable.
But the Legend Media Player is after all a cheap little gadget that's multi-talented. Once it's in your pocket, you'll forget its little quirks. Plug it into your TV set and suddenly a tiny little box is your entertainment hub. It claims to be nothing it isn't, and is one of the cheapest devices of its kind on the market here.
Legend Media Player
* Pros: Line-in recording; AV-out.
* Cons: Poor menu lay-out; average styling.
* Price: $293.
* Herald Rating: 7/10.
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