Disney has launched the Mplayer, a 1GB MP3 player manufactured by iRiver and shaped just like Mickey Mouse's head. Available in seven colours including blue, red, pink and brown, the Mplayer is clearly aimed at kids - but is the tiny device robust enough to ensure heavy-handed children won't destroy it within seconds?
Measuring 44x40x30mm and weighing just 17g, the Disney Mplayer easily fitted into the palm of our hand. It features two ‘ears'. The headphones are inserted into the top of Mickey's ‘head' and the power button on the side of the device turns it on and off.
Meanwhile the left ear controls the volume up and down while the right ear is used to skip backwards and forwards through the tracks. We also found that twisting and holding the right ear allowed us to fast forward and rewind during each track. The Disney Mplayer's ears felt solid and even when we roughly twisted them, we were still unable to break the player.
Supplied with white earphone à la Apple, we loved the extra loop of cord connected to them that could be fastened around our neck - great to ensure children don't lose the Disney Mplayer if the earphones fall out of their ears. Alternatively, we also found we were able to attach the device to our mobile phone or handbag - a great feature for younger teens. The headphones offered a loud and clear sound and the MP3 player even beeped at us when we reached the maximum levels.
It was easy to transfer music onto the device. We simply turned on the player and connected it to a PC via the bundled USB lead. Then we dragged and dropped MP3 or WMA files onto the device. Connecting the Disney Mplayer to a PC also charged the built-in rechargeable battery, which the manufacturer claims offers 9hrs of listening time at normal volume.
We did have a couple of gripes however. We found there was no pause function and at 1GB, the Disney Mplayer won't store a huge amount of songs.