By Jasmine Osada
With major electronics manufacturers joining the media player bandwagon nowadays, consumers have plenty of offerings to choose from.
The Philips GoGear Muse is an average-looker for a media player. Encased in a glossy chassis and a brushed aluminium back cover, the GoGear Muse comes off looking a little too plastic-ky despite its sleek lines.
Light and palm-sized, I liked the fact that it was easy to carry around. But I also found myself strangely wanting the device to be a little heavier to add a little heft when I am holding it.
Software-wise, the GoGear Muse is designed to work with Microsoft's Windows Media Player, which is installed in all PCs by default.
Getting the media player to work with the software is easy - a simple installation and sync took all of 15 minutes and it was good to go.
Bundled with its own pair of earphones, the GoGear Muse does give one a better sound experience compared to most other media players.
The in-ear phones too are pretty comfortable to wear, though the unique audio jack meant that it cannot be used for other devices. Plugging in alternative phones to the GoGear Muse though, was not a problem.
Playing videos on the GoGear Muse was also quite an experience on the device's pretty generous three-inch screen.
Philips did make a good effort to create a simple to use device, and the GoGear Muse on its own works pretty well for me. I found the buttons well placed and the player's interface relatively well thought out and easy to navigate.
But what shortcomings the GoGear Muse has seems to come from the backend software that drives it- namely Microsoft's Windows Media Player and its limitations.
The media player software was relatively clunky compared to Apple's iTunes and that kind of dampened the GoGear Muse experience a little because I found things to be a little less easily customizable, or organized from the computer end.
With only 16GB of storage space, video enthusiasts and those with large media file libraries might find the lack of memory space a little limiting as well.
For those who appreciate good music and like the occasional larger screen video playback, the Philips GoGear Muse does offer all of this at a pretty affordable price.
Those who enjoy using Microsoft's Windows Media Player software will also appreciate a device that is so integrated with it and will find the GoGear Muse easy to use.
However, non-fans might managing tunes on the PC-based software a little getting used to.