Personal video players

Amongst a load of goodies announced by MSI in preparation for the upcoming Computex exhibition in Taipei was this nifty little gadget. The MEGA VIEW 566 Pro is an improved version of the 566 – a portable media device, which itself has only been on sale in this country for a short while and looks extremely slick. Boasting a 3.5″ 320×240 colour LCD screen MSI’s 566 lets you listen to audio, play videos or look at digital pics on the go and even connect to a TV for more comfortable viewing.

Like its predecessor, the 566 Pro sports a 20GB internal hard disk and USB 2.0 connectivity, which has the added bonus of making it appears as an external HDD when connected to Windows so file transfer becomes as simple as drag-and-drop rather than going through all sorts of convoluted synchronisation steps. The device is compatible with MPEG4, DivX 3.11/4.X/5.X, Motion JPEG, WMV9 video and MP3, WMA V9, WAV audio plus it can even be connected straight into a digital camera for instant transfer (and viewing) of digital photos without needing to pass through a PC intermediary.

Its other features consist of FM tuner, voice and FM recording and NTSC/PAL support. This means that, using the myriad of connections on the side, you can both view your stored files on an ordinary telly AND record stuff straight off it for later viewing. Oh yeah. There is also a card reader that supports MMC and SD format cards.

If the 566 had a fault, it was that the screen could be described as “a bit grainy” and that’s a real shame because other than that there was no faulting it. Hopefully this will be the 566 Pro’s main focus for improvement. There’s no indication of when they will be hitting the shelves yet but will hopefully have a similarly reasonable price as the 566 for such a versatile gadget.

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