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Appeared on: Thursday, May 16, 2002
Waitec CLIPP


1. Page 1

Waitec CLIPP portable CD-Recorder / MP3 player - Page 1

Lately Waitec expanded its product line and currently offers among with the well-known optical storage devices, MP3 players, LCD monitors, digital cameras and CD media. Although the company now looks to various segments of the market, the developing of storage devices is not neglected. This time we have in our hands a new slim line portable CD-Recorder from Waitec. The Waitec "CLIPP" offers users abilities to store their data in 8cm CD-R media, playback audioCD files, MP3 and WMA files.

The drive is identified as "Waitec CLIPP" v1.11" and supports 4x CD-R writing and 6x reading speeds. The Nero Info tool reports different supported speeds, as you can see in the picture, but the real specs are those already mentioned. Only 8 cm CD-R media are supported for burning and unfortunately no CD-RW media. The playback abilities include audio CDs, MP3, and WMA files. Waitec CLIPP is equipped with a 512KB cache buffer mainly for buffer underrun protection while burning, and also features an 8MB Anti-Shock buffer, to maintain smooth playback under vibration conditions.

Waitec CLIPP can be used either as a portable CD-R player or as an external portable CD-Recorder, connected to your PC. You can connect the drive to your PC through USB connection interface and power it up even through the Waitec Power adapter or the Waitec rechargeable battery set. Waitec states that the supported battery playback operation is up to 6 hours and the recording duration up to 2 hours.

The drive's dimensions are 125 x 99 x 23 mm and weights only 200 gr. On the top panel of the drive there is an LCD screen with various icons appeared during different operations. The control buttons are placed in the middle of the top-opened tray (lid). You can find all the buttons required for playback, such as volume control, play/pause/stop buttons, skip/search forward/back buttons, repeat track button. Especially for the stop button, its function depends on which mode CLIPP is in:

- If it currently playbacks an audio track, it stops the play
- If it does not playback and no power adaptor or USB cable is attached, the stop button powers down the CLIPP.
- If there is no playback, no active USB connector is attached and a power adaptor is connected, the stop button will cause CLIPP to enter in battery charging mode, or power down, if the battery is fully charged.
- If there is no playback and an active USB connector is attached, stop button will cause CLIPP to enter the USB mode.

Another useful control button is the equalizer button, providing seven different equalizing modes and the shuffle button.

The power and USB connectors of the drive are placed in the rear panel of the drive, the open lid switch is placed on left side and the audio output socket on the front side. Lastly, in the right side of CLIPP there is the Hold switch button, used to disable the operation of any button pressed.

On the underside of the drive there is the battery compartment where you place the Lithium-Ion battery pack. The charging and recharging operations are explained in the Waitec manual in detail. Note that the batteries are not initially charged.

On the underside you can also find the master device reset button and the LineOut/Headphone switch, for usage with external speakers or with headphones.

The retail package includes the Waitec CLIPP drive, 2 Waitec CD-R 8cm, one USB cable, one set of headphones, the Power supply and recharger device, user's manual and installation discs. The package also includes Nero Burning Rom v5.5 as recording software.

The price of Waitec CLIPP is Euro 260 - VAT excluded.

 

For the recording tests we installed the drive under WinXP OS. Waitec CLIPP worked in USB mode and was identified as "Waitec CLIPP USB device".

PC setup
PC 133
WD 18GB UDMA 66
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
ATI AIW 128
Waitec CLIPP firmware v1.11


2. Page 2

Waitec CLIPP portable CD-Recorder / MP3 player - Page 2

Playback tests

For these tests we created all the available encoding modes of MP3 files (VBR,CBR), WMA files and audio CDs. The MP3 / WMA files we used were the following:

MP3
Playback
WMA
Playback
320kBit-96kBit Stereo 44100 Hz
CBR
OK
48kbps
No
96kBit-40kBit 22050Hz Stereo
64kbps
Glitches
20kBit-32kBit 11025Hz Stereo
96kbps
OK
128kBit- 48kBit 44100Hz Mono
128kbps
32kBit-56kBit 22050Hz Mono,
160kbps
20kBit 11025Hz Mono
192kbps
Highest/High/Medium/Low/Lowest (MP3Pro)
VBR

Waitec CLIPP played almost all the files with no problem. The drive could not playback the 48kbps WMA file, and there were some audible glitches in the 64kbps WMA file, as well. However, we experienced some problems as we were playing with the control buttons. The button response was not so fast and the skip forward / back buttons were not always accurate. Waitec could work on this a little more since these operations during portable use are possibly the most popular.

Another weak point of the drive could be the fact that if you accidentally press the eject button during playback, the lid will open before the media have stopped spinning.

The playback was smooth and no interruptions were occurred even when we listened to our favorite music while jogging :)

CD-Recording tests

We connected the drive to the test PC through the USB cable. Waitec CLIPP can burn up to 185MB of data in 8cm CD-R media.

We burned the data with Nero Burning Rom v5.5.8.2. As Nero reports, the drive supports 4x max recording speed.

Although the Waitec CLIPP does not support any buffer underrun protection system, we did not experience any buffer problems, hopefully due to the limited supported recording speed. On the other hand, the lack of CD-RW media recording should be considered as a drawback.

Battery operation

In order to test the duration of batteries when the Waitec CLIPP was not connected to the power adapter, we fully charged the battery set for 3 hours and started the continuous playback of various MP3, WAV, audio files. Also we used the CLIPP as a recorder connected to our test PC.

Waitec stopped the playback after3 hours of continuous operation. The duration is not the officially stated by Waitec but the pause / play / forward / back operations we did during playback possibly consumed more battery power than expected.

The battery powered recording test showed that the drive can continuously record for about 1 hour, without any problems.


3. Page 3

Waitec CLIPP portable CD-Recorder / MP3 player - Page 3

CLIPP seems to be a good choice for all those who want to quickly burn some music and listen to it in their trip, or in the bus. The drive offers high portability due to low weight and small dimensions, and the usage of the 8cm CD-R media is also a convenient storage solution for data easy exchange and low volume backups.

The CLIPP supports playback of MP3, WMA, WAV and audio files. Our tests showed that the drive will play all the available MP3 encoded files and almost all the WMA files, with an exception with 48kbps encoded WMA files, where we experienced some problems. Also, the 8MB Anti-Shock supported buffer guarantees the smooth playback in portable usage.

The control buttons of Waitec CLIPP have many useful operations and the LCD screen gives various information about the current operation of the drive. However, the track navigation buttons do not respond very fast, and this is possibly reveals a slow disc access performance. In addition, the disc spinning is not always immediately suspended if you accidentally press the eject button during playback.

Waitec CLIPP can be easily connected to your PC through USB interface in order to use it as a CD-R recorder. The 4x supported recording speed is not high but you will not experience any problems during writing to CD-R media. The support of CD-RW format would be a great improvement for the drive, as well.

The most portable players or CD recorders "suffer" from the limited battery lifetime. Waitec CLIPP can continuously playback for 3 hours and will record for 1 hour, when it is battery powered.

Waitec CLIPP is available in the market and costs Euro 260 - VAT excluded. You can also order the drive in Waitec's website.



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