Cigar Aficionado

It's the space pod that came to earth to free your music. Bang & Olufsen's BeoSound 2 MP3 player combines a flying-saucer design with twenty-first-century sound fidelity and user- friendliness to deliver choice encounters of the heard kind.

The player, a sleek chrome model, fits into the palm of a hand or any but the smallest pocket and holds up to 128 megabytes of music (or even video) on interchangeable chips. The look and the sound are the clean, crisp products that you expect from B&O. But that's only the beginning.

Its seven buttons can easily be mastered with a nimble thumb without having to glance at the control panel. The pod connects to your computer via a docking port with a cable and USB jack. The software that drives the unit is the BeoPlayer application (available free from, which automatically sorts music to prepare it for uploading to the player. Unleash it on the black hole of your computer and it will boldly seek out all those MP3 files you downloaded years ago and promptly misplaced. Then BeoPlayer categorizes them by genre, artist, title or album name and allows you to sort them into easily accessible playlists. From there, you can simply drag and drop your favorite tunes to the player and loose the thunder.

The ergonomic earphones hang easily from the ears with enough staying power to let you walk, jog or otherwise work out without them falling out. The BeoSound's operation is simple enough that you can program playlists on the fly or keep favorite repertoires on chips for insertion when the mood hits you. The one knock is the pod has no readout, so you search by ear to find particular cuts. But it's virtually skip-proof when the ride to that galaxy far, far away is bumpy. May the force be with you.


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