The Week Online Archive
Just Cool: Eco Media Player
September 25, 2008:iPods and other digital audio players are great when you're traveling, but eventually the juice will run out. Not usually a big problem, but what if the usual power sources are out of reach?
Trevor Baylis Brands has a couple of models of Eco-Media-brand portable media players that work when you wind them upp There's the original Eco Media player, which supports MP3, WMA, WAV, and Ogg Vorbi file along with any video type you can convert for it with the included software, and has two gigabytes of on-board memory. Additionally, Baylis Brands has now introduced the Eco Media Revolution, which supports the same formats and has four gigs of flash memory.
Both players have an attached, pop-out handle for powering up -- a minute of cranking is good for about 40 minutes of play, and a full charge is good for about 20 hours. Both can also be charged conventionally via USB. And the Revolution model could be particularly useful in an emergency: It has an FM radio on board -- and there are times when a radio that doesn't need batteries could be a lifesaver.
Eco Media Players are for sale here and here, but keep in mind that they're not cheap -- the regular model is about $200, and, with the U.K. exchange rate (Baylis is a British company), the Revolution will run you about $420.