The mPack P800 supports the following file formats*:
Design and Ergonomics
The P800 has a sleek design and is very easy to hold, though it's relatively large as portable media players go. The foldaway stand is great for easy tabletop viewing. The P800 is constructed of a unique type of plastic material that feels very soft to the touch, almost like fine-grain velvet. Like most media players, selecting a file for playback requires both hands. However, the unit can be easily cradled in one hand during playback.
Navigating menus is quick and easy, and the main method for playing media is through the 'player' menu. The earphones are very nice quality, and are much better than the usual included "freebies". Usually, I prefer to use my own earbud headphones, but the included ones were great - very crisp sound and almost too loud in some cases!
All connections to the P800 are located on the top of the unit and include AV in, AV out/Earphone, SPDIF, Mini USB 2.0 high speed, and Power. A nice feature is the inclusion of a SPDIF output so you can watch Dolby Digital AC3 movies in true digital surround sound, provided you have the proper audio equipment. The P800 can record from any source with the right connections, including DVD players, VCR, and even TV tuners.
No drivers are necessary for Windows 2000/XP, as the P800 is detected as a standard USB mass storage device and will appear as an external drive moments after it is plugged in. Video files and images can be directly added to their respective directories on the P800 or can be transferred using the supplied software. Unfortunately, audio files must be added with the software in order to show up in the menus of the "player" feature of the P800. You can add audio files manually to the P800, but then you must navigate to the music files using the "browse" function of the P800.
The P800 was able to playback all supported formats with ease, and the ability to playback MPEG2 files is what really sets the P800 apart from other PMP's. This capability allows playback of files pulled directly from DVD (or other MPEG2 source), which consumes a lot of disk space, but is much quicker than encoding the MPEG2 file to a different format such as divx. This is currently a rare if not unique feature among portable media players, and it worked perfectly. With 40/80GB of capacity, the P800 will easily store several DVD's worth of movies.
Using the included AV cable, the P800 can output audio and video to an external source such as a television or audio receiver. PQI was kind enough to include SPDIF output and cable, so the P800 can playback with Dolby Digital surround when paired with the proper receiver. It should be noted however, that even with the SPDIF cable, I could not get my receiver to detect a digital signal. The files I watched all played back in Dolby Pro Logic, which sounded quite good, but I could not get a true Dolby Digital signal. Image quality on an external set is pretty good, but quality is limited due to the composite video output. I would like to have seen a better video output such as S Video. With the wireless remote, controlling playback is a breeze. Plugging in the external display cable automatically switches off the LCD and displays the output on the external screen.
MP3 playback worked perfectly, although the P800 does not scan ID3 tags automatically, so it's necessary to browse the file system to play music files. PQI includes software to propagate artist and album data, but the PC application kept crashing when I attempted to add some mp3 folders to the media library. The P800 played back 320kbps, VBR MP3, and OGG files perfectly with no jittering. The single built-in speaker sounds fine, although it would be nice to see stereo speakers. The included earbud headphones are made by Cresyn, and as mentioned earlier, they sound great and have excellent volume levels. PQI includes an inline remote for controlling basic playback functions. The P800 is smart enough to turn the screen off after 2 minutes when listening to audio files.
In addition to audio file playback, the P800 includes an FM tuner. The tuner works well, although it uses the headphone cord as an antenna, so you cannot listen to the radio through the included speaker - you have to use the headphones in order to get reception. Still, it's a great value-added if you're a fan of FM.
Photo playback is straightforward and navigation is a snap with the joystick controllers. The crisp 3.5" screen does a great job of accurately rendering photos. In addition to all the standard image formats, the P800 also supports RAW image formats, a feature which digital SLR users will find handy.
The P800 has a compact flash slot up top, and the P800 can either browse through images or backup the entire card to the internal hard drive.