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Stabs in the dark

New, from the land of lousy hardware design… Virgin’s new “player” (the quotes are intended to draw attention to the ridiculousness of the name, not to bring into question its ability to play) looks to be fairly interesting… a 5GB HD–based music player with specs that are, for all intents and purposes, built to outshine the iPod Mini at exactly the same price point. And while I’m glad the words “iPod killer” aren’t being bandied about too much (exception), the marketing jive couldn’t take any more stabs at Apple if it tried. Snip:

5GB means you’ve got room for over 1200 songs or 80 CDs — give or take a few. No matter how you slice or dice it, we're talking 25% more space than 4GB.

No shit. 5 is 25% greater than 4? If only there were a competitor’s product that only had 4… we’d look way cooler than them.

Built–in FM radio tuner means you don’t have to carry two devices or pay extra to listen to your favorite shock jock morning show or politically correct news program.

Now if only there were something worth listening to on the radio… and if only I hadn’t paid all this money so I could walk around listening to my CD collection instead of the radio while dozens of incredibly tiny and incredibly cheap radio headsets lay abandoned on the side of the road.

The Virgin Player 5GB rusn music purchased from: Virgin Digital, Real, MusicMatch and coming soon, any Plays For Sure compatible service. Songs downloaded from iTunes are not supported. Its their choice, not ours.

OK, the spelling error is understandable —everybody hits a few keys out of order every now and then— but if an editor who was perhaps familiar with common usage of hyphens, apostrophes, colons, and (oh, I don’t know) commas were employed we might even have half a shot with the comprehension.

That aside, they’ve rightly smacked Apple’s wrist for not playing nicely with the other kids… but somehow manage to insinuate that they’re really missin’ out on something by doing so. I’m sure Apple is real sore about their decision to stay on top.

Virgin DJ watches what you do and plays the music accordingly. For example, it will let you listen to the songs you just loaded or the top 20 played songs on your device.

Almost like a smart playlist would. Inconceivable.

Now, with all these cool features and a price point matching the iPod Mini, you might even think Apple has a little competition on its hands… but so long as the Virgin Player looks like a hunk of shit with a highly–derivative (yet still entirely sucky) UI I’m gonna guess they’re safe. That is, unless this shocking data ever goes public.