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The PlayAway is about the size of the RAZR phone.  The headphones are the earbud type.  The controls are simple...from the upper left: volume, speed, bookmark, prev/next chapter, reverse, play, fast forward.

The PlayAway is powered by one AAA battery.  According to the company, the player should run for about 12 hours on a new battery.

The LCD display gives different info when the different buttons are pushed.  The time remaining/battery strength is the default display.  If you want to listen to the playback a little faster, just push the Speed button on top of the LCD.  There are 3 different speeds (normal, +, ++).  We were most comfortable at "+."

We had no trouble getting the PlayAway to work right out of the box.  We had to fiddle a little with the connector to the headphones as one of the audio channel was coming in an out.  Turning the plug seemed to have solved the problem.  The sound quality was quite good, even at the fastest playback speed. 

We like the convenience of the PlayAway.  It will definitely appeal to a certain segment of the book market.  Unlike audio files purchased from iTunes, you can pass this one on when you are done with it! 

The interns played with it for a while and the basic comments were "It is light and will be perfect for the beach this Summer."  They'll have more on this once they are back from the beach :-)



Digital books

By Wan Chi Lau

Increasingly, folks use their iPods and MP3 players not just for listening to music, but also for podcasts and audio books.  Services like iTunes and Jiggerbug have made it pretty easy to purchase digital audio books online.  However, there is still a pretty significant market for a product such as the PlayAway.

The PlayAway is a self-contained digital audio book.  It comes complete with a flash based digital player, headphones, and is preloaded with the data. 

In the FirstLook review, we will take a look at the player and its features. 


1. FirstLook

2. FirstUse


Review Summary:

Initial Impression- Small and simple

Usability- replaceable battery, no DRM

Durability- 12 hrs on one AAA

Price- $30.00 - $50

Flash Memory Reviews:

1. TransFlash Memory

2. MiniSD Flash Memory


Photography by Wan Chi Lau
Rainy Day Magazine is a Publication of Rainy Day Entertainment Group © 2006