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Some of us have been busy trying to finish the Da Vinci Code so we can all go see the movie together.  We ordered the CDs from Jiggerbug, the audio player from PlayAway, and got the book from a local book store.  The book showed up at the office on Saturday, the audio book came on Wednesday, the CDs have yet to make their appearance.

I started the book on Monday night, got about nine chapters through the book when the PlayAway version showed up in the office yesterday morning.  It was pretty clear it would take me another two weeks to finish reading the book so I switched to the PlayAway audio version.

Well...16 hours and three AAA batteries later...I'm done with the audio book.  Aside from a few small UI issues with the player, using the PlayAway to listen to the story has been an excellent experience.

The user interface (UI) issues were:

  • Keeping the device in my jeans pocket will sometimes cause the buttons to be accidentally pressed.
  • Couldn't really get the bookmarking feature to work.
  • When the battery died I lost my place

None of those issues were deal breakers.  The only one which I would really like solved is to have a button like the iPod which "locks" the player so the buttons are not active.

I was able to use the PlayAway audio book right out of the box.  I didn't have to worry about tossing it around.  I was able to listen to it while doing all the normal things during the day.  Best of all...now that I'm done with it, I can just put in a new battery and pass it on to the next person at the office.  Some might say why not just download it from places like Jiggerbug or Audio.com?  For some, that would be the way to go, but for a lot of folks...the PlayAway is the no hassle way to enjoy the benefits of technology without having to actually bothered with the technology!  I, for one, am sold on the PlayAway:-)



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