By Andrew Liszewski
A wind-up radio is great for emergencies, or when you don’t have access to power, but there’s the downside of being limited to only listening to what’s on the radio. Thankfully Trevor Baylis, who apparently gained some level of notoriety for developing the wind-up radio in the first place, has now created a wind-up multimedia player. While prototypes were shown in August of last year, the final version is now complete and Reg Hardware actually had a chance to test it out.
As a result of the on-board generator the EP-MX71 can’t compare to the iPod in terms of size, but after an initial charge of 10 hours via USB the player can be completely independent of any external power source, not including your arms. One minute of winding should give you an extra 20 minutes of MP3 playback, or 10 minutes of video. The current version only has 2GB of memory on-board (they hope to expand that to 4GB and 8GB eventually) but it also includes an SD card slot making it infinitely expandable right out of the box.
Video files have to be converted to an AMV format before they can be enjoyed on the 1.8 inch LCD display, but the player natively supports the MP3, WMA, WAV and Ogg music formats. In fact it can even record audio from an analog source directly to MP3 files if you still have a few old mix tapes lying around. Overall Reg Hardware gave the player an 85%, and when it goes on sale it will have a suggested retail price of about $270.