Who says that the Dutch are only good for marijuana and red light districts? Not me. For nearly a month now I’ve been playing around with a relatively cheap and simple MP3 player produced by Philips, the Netherlands-based electronics manufacturer.

The SA4121 is the firstMP3 player I’ve ever owned and I find it to be a pleasure to own.

At slightly more than $50, the S4111 can be purchased at Wal-Mart, at other electronics outfits and online. It has just one gig of memory, which translates into maybe 400 songs. For some, that’s not enough room. If you’re me, it’s perfect for running, walking, driving in the car or anything short and simple that won’t require a full library of music.

Not being too smart about MP3 players, I can only say that for my purposes this thing is a cinch. Software that takes less than 10 minutes to install, allows your device to work with the Windows Media Player (XP or Vista) and loading songs from your hard drive to the device (I call mine Tony) takes only a few minutes. You can create playlists, shuffle songs and even mess with the LCD color scheme for the display. The device also tells me how much room is remaining for other songs.

Another neat feature is the recording mode. The internal mic is nothing special. Actually, it’s not very good at all, but it’s fine for recording little notes to yourself or, unbeknowst to your friends, recording them for blackmail at short distances. Again, nothing special, but good to have. I’ve only used it so far to make a grocery list.

This device does require AAA batteries, which for some is frustrating, but for me, a man who is incapable of recharging his cellphone battery, it’s fine. They seem to last long enough in the player.

In a world of 1,000,000 song mp3 players, I’d definitely recommend this one. It’s no iPod, but then again, who the hell said you need one when you can easily rip or download music off of the Net and play it for a nice jog in the park.

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