When demo products arrive at Crave they look pristine. After our little devils have conducted their brutal testing, they're tangled bits of metal and broken circuit board. Not so the MP3 run: the tramp of sports players. This player arrived pre-soiled; the sweat of a dead man barely dry on its control pad.
We can already tell that the MP3 Run won't look great after a few weeks of use, because whoever reviewed it before us left sickly dark smudges on the cream coloured upholstry. There was no easy way of cleaning these stigmata off.
We can imagine some sweaty hack jogger dripping all over it, then bundling it back into the box and posting it off to us. There's something a little stomach churning about used sports equipment -- Nike has craftily extended the sweaty trainer metaphor to the MP3 player market.
Second-hand stains aside, the MP3 Run sounds tight and punchy -- not a million miles from the holy-grail of iPod playback quality.
Like a shin-pad, the MP3 Run is hardy and easy to use, but not the sort of thing you'd want to take to a dinner party. It also seems extremely well built -- we'll road test it and let you know how it performs. -CS