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RCA Lyra 1072 MP3 Player

Date: April 21, 2005
Author(s): Rob Williams

There are so many MP3 Players out on the market, who can really keep count? There are some that do everything, and then some that do nothing but play MP3’s. What if you are looking for an MP3 Player that’s compact, and comes in at a great price? Find out more as we take a look at the RCA Lyra 1072 MP3 Player.



Introduction

There is so much competition in the MP3 Player market today, it’s immense. Each time a new player is released, it promises new killer features and larger memory capabilities. But for some people, that may be too much. There may be some people who are just looking for a decent replacement to their Discman, and don’t have a need for Gigabytes of space. The player we are reviewing today, is great for those types of people, so let’s hop to it.

Features

The Lyra comes in many different models, but the one we are reviewing is the 1072. The player is very light, and you could fit two of them in the palm of your hand. The player comes with a base 256MB of internal memory, with the ability to add in an SD/MMC card for more expansion.

One benefit of the player, is in addition to playing MP3’s, it also plays WMA files, which usually take up half as much space as a standard MP3. So if you don’t wish to get an SD/MMC card to expand the memory, you could convert your MP3’s to WMA’s, if you don’t mind losing a little quality, and be able to store twice as much.

The player only requires one AAA battery to operate, and has a lock button to prevent accidental song skipping, or turning on/off of the player. The player also has buttons on each side of the unit, 8 in total. There are the Volume Up/Down buttons, On/Off and Skip Back/Forward buttons. Also, there is a DSP button, that triggers a few sound presets: Bass, Pop, Rock, Jazz and Flat. The last button is the Mode button, which is how you can change the playback to Random, Repeat and a few others.

All the buttons are easy to push and the placement adds to the style of the player. The functionality is also great, but one thing that the player cannot do, is skip albums. On the players start up, it puts together all the MP3’s in the various folders and makes it into one playlist, so that you cannot jump to another album. I would have liked to see this feature, but it’s liveable without it.

Some of the contents that come with the player are also useful. Contents include a Users Manual as well as other pamphlets, the CD-Rom with software and drivers, a player carrying pouch, a USB cable and a Duracell AAA battery. Also included is a pair of earphones.


Installation and Software Bundle

If you have ever installed a USB device, which I am sure you have, then this will be a breeze. Especially with Windows XP. Plugging in the USB to the computer and the device will automatically install the necessary drivers.

At this point, a new ‘Removable Memory’ drive will be created, which turned out to be the H: drive for me. If you are used to copying over files to a Thumb Drive, or any other USB memory device, then you already now what this is about. All you have to do is access the drive, and copy over the files, and the device will recognize them.

However, if you are not technically savvy, then you may want to install the included MusicMatch software, which fully supports this process. Also included on the disc is ID3Man, which is technically a nice looking ID3 editor. ID3 tags is info that’s kept inside the file, including Title, Artist, Album, Genre and all that other good stuff.

There is also a trial to eMusic for 100 songs, which I personally didn’t take advantage of. There is a trial of Rhapsody music service as well. Lastly, it comes with a trial of MoodLogic, which is a cool way to organize your playlist according to Tempo and speed. It also comes with a great looking Winamp skin.


Performance

When I first looked at the earphones that came with the player, I definitely had my doubts. I knew I would be grabbing my regular headphones rather quickly, because I couldn’t see these having decent sound. On top of that, they didn’t look like they would be very comfortable, due to the plastic ear pieces.

Was I in for a surprise! I was actually very amazed to find out that they fit very comfortably, way better than I imagined. They actually fit better on the ears than my regular pair of Panasonic earphones do. Also, same goes for the sound quality, it was deadly for earphones like these.

I tested the earphones with a little Rap, Rock and even Hardcore Trance music, and it all sounded great. So I am very impressed with the earphones for this player. They are nothing extraordinary, but you wouldn’t expect it to be at this price range.

As for battery life, I have not used it enough to fully find out how good it is. I have used the player for about 8 hours with the same battery that was included with it, and the bar on the player hasn’t gone down yet. They claim 20 hours of battery life on one AAA battery, and I believe them.

Conclusion

While this MP3 player doesn’t pack amazing features, it does exactly what it should do, play MP3’s. But the bonus is, that it does so at a good price. Since the unit is so small and lightweight, it’s perfect for working out, working or doing any every day things.

If you are looking for a more advanced player, then you may want to look at the higher Lyra models, or go with a Hard Drive based player, such as an Apple iPOD or Creative Zen.

If you are looking mainly for a great Discman replacement for a good price, then I recommend you check out RCA’s Lyra.

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