Cheap Thrill: the PhP 1,600 MP3 player

When I got hold of some extra funds last December, I almost made a mad dash to SM Megamall’s Cyberzone to check on some of the gadgets I’ve been window-shopping for the previous months. I knew I couldn’t afford a new laptop. And a new mobile phone is out of the question (with the number of mobiles I’d already been juggling across my palms–most of which I’ve already off-loaded as of this writing). And I was looking for something I still didn’t have–at least not as an independent, detached gizmo you’d normally expect one of those high tech Swedish or Finnish bricks to have as built-in features.

So I thought I’d get an MP3 player–or more accurately, a portable media player. An iPod was not an option, since I didn’t want to blow it all in one go. And especially so, since back then, the older-generation models were still retailing at prices unthinkable six months after.

So I was shopping for something cheap but utilitarian, and was glad to come across the Creative Nomad MuVo 64MB. This is the very first incarnation of the MuVo line (along with its bigger brother, with 128MB of flash memory). Yes, the storage is paltry compared to the standards by that time: only 64 megabytes. But it was the price factor that wowed me. Only PhP 1,599.00. Yes, on a cost-per-MB or GB comparison, I could have saved more with other higher-end products, but I opted to buy the MuVo since it wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg. And it wouldn’t kill me if I got to lose or screw it up–it’s so inexpensive (and looked quite sturdy, too).

Some details. This little baby doesn’t have a screen, nor a recording feature. While newer MuVo versions had a screen, I thought I wasn’t missing out on anything, since devices as small as these are known to have crappy UI’s, anyway. And I wasn’t expecting on holding that many a music file, anyway, so I got by navigate with ease by moving forward or backward among the few songs the thing held.

The small storage didn’t bother me. I still got to store about 30 songs in the 64MB space (trick: I converted my 128kbps MP3s to 64kbps WMAs–same audio quality), with room for a handful of documents and personal files. Anyway, I lug my laptop around almost everywhere I go, so that takes care of the need for a change in content. And I recently switched to listening to podcasts, and this little thing can hold up to two hours worth of rantings and ramblings (I mostly listen to tech programs, such as TWiT, Diggnation, and Leo Laporte’s regular radio show/podcast). Good enough for that one-hour drive or commute to the office and back home.

If you ever get to buy the MuVo, I suggest the first thing you do is upgrade the firmware. That’s what I did, and I got increased functionality (the unit now supports storing files in separate foldes, among other new features).

What came with the package. The unit came with a neck-strap, Creative earbuds, an Energizer AAA battery, and a driver and app CD.


  • small size
  • uses AAA batteries
  • supports WMA
  • plug-and-play with most new OS incarnations (Win2k, XP, MacOSX)


  • small storage
  • so-so audio quality

The verdict. Not something an audiophile would be happy with, but it’s pwede na (good enough) for someone who’d want to have music on the go without breaking the bank. Good enough for me.

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