Telefunken TMP-888 mp3/4/5 media player (review)

by subacati

About two weeks ago, I had a slight problem. I had just found a source of ebooks. But the rules of the prison where I work does not allow me to have my cellphone with me inside the prison, and using my netbook during the day shift is impractical.
Thus I suddenly had a need for a pocketable device that was not a cellphone!

That's when I saw an advert fold-out in the local newspaper from GAME Discount store.

This Telefunken mp3/mp4 player was advertised for only R699.
Now the advert didn't mention anything about it being able to display text files or pdf's, but I took a chance that a touch-screen device may actually have this function and went to the store to see. :up:.
As I had suspected, it did have an ebook function. The small cardboard 'pricetag' listed this amongst its other functions even though the newspaper ad neglectede to mention it. :happy:.
They could have lost a sale had I not gone to check for myself! :rolleyes:.
Of course, I couldn't help noticing how much they tried to make it look like an iPhone. Even the menu screen as an iPhone look to it! :lol:. And, of course, they made is as non-functional as an iPhone as well! :rolleyes:.

Now you may also notice that it's an mp3/4/5 player! :left:. Now I know that mp3 is an audio codec and container package, and I know that mp4 is an audio and video container package, but what is mp5? :confused:.

Well it seems that mp5 is a new buzz word which vaguely means that it can play some other video codecs and formats like avi or wmv without having to convert them to a special mobile format! :rolleyes:.
So basically, it doesn't really mean anything! :irked:.
Anyway, I discovered that it's very fussy about which mp4 video's it will play. It won't play some of my mp4 files. Others it plays, but it won't play the sound track. If I extract the sound track, it can play it seperately though, so it's not a codec problem. It just doesn't cover the full mp4 specification.

It also has a PAL video line output (erroneouslly labelled 'TV-OUT'). It has both PAL50 and PAL60 settings, as well as NTSCM setting in it's menu. Don't ask what those are, because only the PAL50 option is available with this one's firmware.

The mp3 option will also display lyrics if a suitable lyrics file is available. The lyrics file is a standard text file with file extention .lrc
I think this might actually be some recognised standard, but even if it's not it's fairly easy to make your own if you know the lyrics and the one sample song provide includes a .lrc file to serve as an example. :up:.

The 'ebook function' is a basic text file reader. It reads file with .txt and .lrc extentions but it baulks if you don't specifically add an suitable extension to the file name.

One Quibble I have is that it doesn't display letters like 'ç','é' and 'ê' and just leaves a blank space. Unless you switch to another language that is. :rolleyes:. So, again, it's not a matter of it not having the character set to handle these letters, it simply chooses not to display them when the user interface is set to English! :irked:.
Considering how often such letters crop up in the English language, and especially since this seems to be a uniquely South African model from a German Manufacturer who's motto is 'Born Perfectionists', this is an unforgivable oversight! :irked:. (I would have forgiven them if it was either an American product or a product specifically intended for the American market)

Overall, the device serves the one speciffic perpose that I bought it for. But I wouldn't recommend it as an mp3/mp4 player. It has no built-in speaker at all and must be used with earphones, and the touchscreen is very awkward to work with! It is also not a scratch resistant surface which is kinda silly for a resistive touch-screen. :rolleyes:.

I give this device two stars out of five and a noddy badge for trying to be an iPhone. (and almost succeeding! :up:)

P.S: I almost forgot to mention, the 'User Guide' is only 3cm by 3cm square with 2mm high letters. So you will need a jeweller's eye-glass to read it unless you have exceptionall eyes! :up:.