By Melissa J. Perenson
WHAT'S HOT: PoGo's compact device measures just 2.9 by 2 by 0.7 inches, making it great to slip into your pocket for on-the-go music. Despite its small size, the player's LCD screen is nicely designed and easily readable. This is the only unit we have seen so far that can encode WMA files on the fly through the line-in jack (the cable to connect the PoGo to an analog audio player is included in the box). Also, this is the only flash-based digital audio player we've tested to have an in-line remote control.
The bundled RipFlash DX Manager software is nicely designed, and easier to use than most of the other music-transfer applets we've seen with players.
WHAT'S NOT: Though the rectangular, vertically oriented LCD screen is easy to read, it had difficulties displaying some of our track titles during playback.
WHAT ELSE: The player uses 2 AAA batteries. The Secure Digital Card slot and the USB 1.1 jack are hidden beneath a plastic, flip-up door that protects both from exposure to elements such as dust, or even the crumbs in your pocket. On the top of the unit is the volume rocker switch, as well as jacks for the headphones and line-in. Along one side the playback buttons are lined up logically, in the order rewind, play/stop, and fast-forward; on the other side is a button for recording from the line-in or the microphone, a menu button for switching between playback options, a repeat button, and a hold button. The buttons are larger than one would expect on a unit as small as this, and as a result they're very convenient to press, even to operate blindly (for example, if the player is sitting in your pocket). The RipFlash includes a built-in microphone for making adequate voice recordings.
UPSHOT: The RipFlash DX is relatively pricey, but it's worth the cost if you want voice recording in addition to music. Its on-the-fly WMA recording is especially convenient if you are encoding music away from your PC.
Photograph by Rick Rizner