Win A Finis XtreaMP3 Waterproof Digital Music Player


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It’s time to clear some shelf space and what better way than with some contests. Companies send a lot of products to me to review and I can’t keep them all, so I need to give some of this stuff away to make room for more stuff that I can review for you. To do this, I will have a new contest every week until I run out of stuff to give away. Let’s get started with the Finis XtreaMP3 waterproof digital music player.

FINIS XtreaMP3 player

I took this guy on a 7 day hike along the Paria river from Utah to Arizona where there was a lot of dirt and plenty of water. It did great, but all my music listening is at my computer or in my car. So I cleaned it up and it’s back in the box, ready for one of you to win.

Entering is very easy. Just use the widget below to enter here on the blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and don’t forget to tell a friend. The more exposure each contest gets, the more contests we can have.

Elmedia Player Pro Review And Giveaway


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Online video accounts for an astounding percentage of the internet’s traffic. YouTube, alone, sees about 48 hours of new video uploaded every minute and about three billion video views per day. Still, we find ourselves often looking to third party applications to handle video tasks our base operating systems don’t do – or at least not well enough. A good example of this is downloading video from sources such as YouTube.

Elmedia Player Pro

Today, I spent some time with the Elmedia Player software and tried many of the features offered in the free version as well as the PRO.

Notable Elmedia Player Features

The free version of the Elmedia Player leaves out most of my favorite features, but that’s to be expected. I found, however, that even the free version is very well polished with a lot of options and advantages over most of the free video tools I see. Here’s a list of most of what you find in the free version:

– Support for many video types (FLV, SWF, XAP (Silverlight), RM and RV (Real), AVI, MOV, MP4, WMV, DIVX)
– HTML5 video support
– Zoom in and zoom out options for SWF and EXE (or APP) files
– Growl and browsers integration
– iTunes-like playlists and star ratings

The PRO version, offered for only $19.95 on Eltima Software’s web site, hones in on a few key features that the product is really designed for and delivers in those areas. While this software isn’t littered with too much fluff, there are a few extras that don’t seem entirely necessary (like video ratings). Regardless, they’re not in the way and, more importantly, they didn’t distract Eltima from doing a good job with the core features. Some of the PRO features include:

– Download Video – even RTMP streams
– Full-screen mode
– “Always on top” mode
– Make a screenshot of the current frame
– Convert file into series of images

Of course, downloading video from a wide variety of sources is the feature I’d pay for, but the screen shot and “Always on top” features will also come in pretty handy. Less needed, but great on occasion, will be the option that lets you take a series of images – I’m thinking animated GIFs here.

Hands On Testing

After installing the software, my first test (as seen in the image at the beginning of this review) was to head to YouTube and try to download one of my review videos. In the past, I’ve used plug-ins to download a video, but Elmedia Player takes a different approach. You paste the URL to a web page into the software and it loads the page like a browser. When it does this, it looks for any videos or links to them in the page’s content and makes a list for you to select from. I first downloaded just the video that I was after, but then I tried the “Download all” option which grabbed everything in site.

Tip: You may need to start playing the video in the preview page before it will appear in the list to download.

Once a video is grabbed, it’s listed under the Downloaded section, where you can pull up everything from just today or broaden the listing. The organization extends in a different way to the file folder structure behind the scenes as well. Here, a folder is created that is named after the page you downloaded from.

While this software’s core features are not that unlike some free browser plugins on the surface, the extra video formats it supports can be invaluable. Additionally, some of the browser plugins I’ve used in the past can be sporadic in their reliability. I haven’t used this software long enough to be certain it will stand up to the many challenges I have in store for it, but so far, everything indicates that it likely will. Finally, one thing that Elmedia Player will not do that the browser plugins do all too often is cease to become useful after I upgrade to the latest browser version or switch from one to another. Being browser-independent has its advantages.

Conclusions

Cons: The only con it that it’s not free – well, it is free, but the best and really useful features are in the PRO version. Pros: This is well-built software with some thoughtful extras, the price is low enough to barely be a factor, and it doesn’t care what browser you have or version. Want 15% off? No problem. Just use the coupon code JOE-TECH-PROMO when you purchase.

Don’t Have 20 Bucks? Win It Here!

That’s right. Even if you’re just a little interested, I have been given not one, but two PRO upgrade codes to give out to lucky winners. Just follow the entry instructions below and come back here next week to see if you’ve won! Entering is as simple as clicking the “Do it” link, following any instructions, and then clicking the “I did this” button. If you’re already subscribed to JoeTech.com via email or you already follow me on Twitter, you can skip right to the “I did this” button for those entries. Good luck!



Finis XtreaMP3 – The Tough Waterproof MP3 Player


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A few weeks ago, I was busy trying to make an old iPod shuffle ready for dirt and water and whatever else might happen to it over the following seven days. As I was devising ways to make an iPod waterproof, the FINIS XtreaMP3 waterproof digital music player arrived for me to review. I dropped my special project to open up the box and see what it was all about.

FINIS XtreaMP3 player

XtreaMP3 Technical Specs

Often, when I find out something is made to be rugged or, in this case, waterproof, I fear for the loss of traditional features. The first thing I noticed with the XtreaMP3 was the lack of any digital screen to show me a playlist or even what song is playing. I may be a bit spoiled, but I wasn’t much surprised. This, after all, is meant to be waterproof and I guess no digital readout is the trade-off. Moving along, I found this player to have many of the standard features expected of an MP3 player, including:

• 1GB of storage
• MP3 and WMA Compatible, iTunes Convertible
• Playlists
• Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
• Basic play controls

…and, of course, a couple unique to a sport or waterproof player:

• Air-tight, waterproof ear buds
• Neoprene arm strap

Like some car MP3 players, playlists on this device are created by just dropping music into a folder. This is a little less convenient than creating a playlist via software and it means you’ll have to be creative if you want to put the tracks in a specific order. The 1GB of storage seems a little low from the perspective of someone with a 64GB iPhone, but for its size and durability, it gets the job done.

The River Test

This product arrived with exceptional timing for a proper test. Why just play with it near water for a day when you can fully immerse it into the type of activity that its creators had in mind? After charging the XtreaMP3 up fully and squeezing as much music as possible onto it, I took it with me on a seven day hike. Starting in Utah, two friends and I followed the Paria River 63 miles into Arizona, enduring cold, heat, mud, water, climbing and a lot of dirt and sand throughout. For those seven days, the XtreamMP3 tagged along in my pocket, surviving the same elements, and occasionally making the trip easier with music.

FINIS XtreaMP3 in the Paria River

The picture above is not just of me on the river. Below is a close-up where you can see a wet, dirty, mud-covered XtreaMP3. Towards the end of our hike, I stopped to relax in the river with the best of Johnny Cash.

FINIS XtreaMP3 player

Although the waterproofed controls of the XtreaMP3 took some getting used to, the waterproofed ear buds sounded much better than I had expected. The arm band (which I did not take with me) takes some practice the first time to get the music player to attach to it and stay attached. One of the more unique elements FINIS included was the way in which the XtreaMP3 is charged. There’s a small waterproof sleeve that covers the tiny USB connector to keep water out. I’m not sure if any water got through, but I never had a problem with it working, even submerged in the river.

Conclusions

At about $90, the XtreaMP3 is a little less than most iPods, but you’ll trade some features for the peace of mind that a little dirt and water is no match for your music. Even accidentally throwing this player around didn’t phase it. The XtreaMP3 is the easy choice for the outdoor adventurer, surfer, or swimmer.