The face is where you'll find a tilt panel with Up, Down, Play/Pause/Enter, and Back controls. The bottom edge reveals the headphone jack as well as a slide button to eject the USB jack. The right end is where the USB plug hides. Slide it out and you can plug the Mix directly into a USB jack on your PC. It's a bit fatter than most USB thumb drives, so you may need a short USB jumper cable. The main menu consists of 6 options. Music, FM radio, Recording, Folder View, Settings, and Last Played:
Good things can come in small packages. This clip-on player from Philips is well thought out, full of features, and sounds great. More than just a music player it will also tune FM radio channels for your listening pleasure. You can use it as a voice recorder or dictation device. It's also a 4gb USB thumb drive that can plug directly into your PC's USB port.
Although the screen display can be flipped 180 degrees, for the purposes of this review I've got it oriented so the controls are along the top edge. They include the Power/Hold slider and a Volume +/- teeter. You'll find a reset hole as well as the microphone input also along that edge.
Music is the main role for the Mix, and within the Music options you can sort by All Songs, Artists, Albums, or Playlists. There are four play modes accessible from the Setup menu. They include Shuffle All, Shuffle Off, Repeat One, or Repeat All. I found music quality to be decent, although missing some low end. It was easy to find any song by name, album, or artist. The now playing screen is informative, with title, album, artist, position in the song and length of the song, play mode, and battery status all in the view. FM Radio: There are up to 20 preset positions to save your local radio stations in. FM requires the headphone cable to be plugged in as the antenna. Reception will vary depending on the quality, length, and position of that cable. I found FM sound quality to be satisfactory. The auto-tuner was precise and found all my local channels at their published frequencies. The interface is efficient, giving you the option to go into a list of your presets to select a station before the sound kicks in. Once you pick a station the audio level comes up slowly to give you a chance to adjust the volume if it gets too high. A down or up tap of the front controls will take you down or up a preset respectively. You can also opt to enter the app in manual-tune mode. This is handy for when you're in a new area and don't want to reset the preset list. There is no RDS and no FM recording. There is no mute. Once started FM will continue to play until you pick a song from the music app, begin a recording, or turn off the Mix. Recordings: It couldn't be simpler. Once you select the Recordings option you get two choices. You can start a Voice Recording or access the library of existing recordings. Pickup from the internal microphone doesn't appear to be very sensitive. At about 12" from the player my voice did record but at a low level. I had better luck holding the player within 3" of my mouth. I'm not impressed with the quality of the recording compared with against other players I own. Don't buy this player for the recording feature, but it might be handy for a quick voice memo to yourself. Folder View is a simply way to browser the contents on your Mix. You'll find the Music, Playlists, and Recordings folder, as well as any standalone file you may have transferred to the Mix. Settings is where you'll find options to change the display colors, a few equalizer presets to choose from, the Play Mode, Information about the device, and an option to restore it to factory settings. Last Played is the final option. This will return you to the last thing played, be it a recording, radio station, or music file.
The Mix is a decent player at a reasonable price. I found mine at my local Target for $47. Battery is rated for 25 hours on a charge. The included headphones are designed to stay on your ears while jogging and while I can not attest to that capability I can verify they will stay attached while you mow the lawn or surf the web. ;) The controls are well marked, straight forward, and simple to understand. I enjoy it's simplicity and compact size. All the optional software was include on the device itself rather than a secondary CD to lose. It won't win any audiophile awards, but should bring a few years of music enjoyment to anyone who owns one. I'll rate this one a Good Buy.