Yesterday, I bought an MP5 player. I’ve been considering this for a long time. For those not familiar with the term, MP5 is like an MP4 player (that is, small portable device that plays videos on a small screen). However, it supports numerous formats for both audio and video.

For audio, the one I bought supports mp3, wma, wav, ogg, flac, ape, amr, ac3 and aac.

For video, supported formats include rm (Real Media), rmvb, aki, mkv, mov, mp4, flv, vob, mpeg, dat, wmv, pmp, 3gp, asf, ram and ts. It also has h.264 file compression, which means you can watch f4v (which is compressed flv).

You can also view still photos in jpeg, bmp, gif and png formats. It looks to me like it has limited functionality as an ebook reader.

MP5 players are basically illegal in the USA, and a few other countries where they have (thoroughly rotten and corrupt) “software patents.” This is not to be confused with copyright, which is another thing totally. Very few countries allow software patents, but America has tried to shove them down everybody’s throat in numerous free-trade agreements. At least two Asian countries have capitulated: Japan and South Korea. But elsewhere in Asia, and MP5 device is legal.

I have heard rumors of an MP6 device, which is MP5 with connectivity. I’m not really interested in that.

I am actually not too keen to watch movies on a tiny screen. The MP5 player I bought has a video output port which can connect to a large-screen TV. There is an included remote control, though it’s laughably tiny and powered by a coin-sized watch battery.

This is the MP5 model I bought:

The PCHome price is NT$2690, but I picked mine up at Carrefour on sale for NT$2390.

OK, I’m not making this post because I want to brag about my new purchase. I’ve had the thing for less than 24 hours, and I’m still playing with it. Not even sure yet if everything is going to work as advertised, but so far, so good. I need to check it out thoroughly before the 7-day window-of-opportunity to return it expires.

I do want to let everyone know of a couple of drawbacks to this machine that I’ve found so far. The first is that the menus are all in Chinese, so you’ll just have to bite the bullet and deal with that if your Chinese reading isn’t perfect. I’m not having too difficult a time yet figuring out how to use it - fortunately, there aren’t that many options to explore.

A more serious issue is the battery. The MP5 player has an AC/DC adapter (battery charger), but I found that the device definitely needs to have a charged battery before you can operate it (unlike, for example, a laptop computer which can run with the battery removed if you’ve plugged in the AC/DC adapter. I assume, then, that if the battery is dead, the whole device is a useless brick. Even worse is - like the Amazon Kindle 2 - the battery is internal and cannot be changed by the customer. So if you need a new battery, it’s not like a laptop or cell phone where you just buy one and stick it in yourself - rather, you’ve got to send it back to the factory for “repair.” That isn’t free, but I have no idea what it would cost. According to the guy at Carrefour, the one-year warranty does not cover the battery. The warranty can be extended to 3 years by paying an extra NT$400, but I’m not sure it’s worth it since that doesn’t cover battery replacement.

The device is made in China. Batteries are probably - I guess - also made in China, which worries me.

I would love to see a made-in-Taiwan MP5 player with replaceable battery. None in sight, but I can always dream.


Ummm… am I the only one thinking WTF is MP5?

It’s easy. MP3 < MP4 < MP5 < MP6 and so on.

lots of batteries are made in china anyways …

To me, it’s only an MP5 player if it plays .mp5 files. Is there even such thing as an .mp5 file? If not, then there’s no such thing as an MP5 player.

There is no such file. It’s just a marketing ploy used to indicate the next generation of media players.

There is no such file. It’s just a marketing ploy used to indicate the next generation of media players.[/quote]

I assumed it was a marketing ploy, I just wasn’t sure as who knows, in my (older) age I care less to read about boring technical things (:

[quote=“Dog’s_Breakfast”]This is the MP5 model I bought:[/quote]

No idea which model I have, can someone help? This is a photo of the printing on the side:

There is no such file. It’s just a marketing ploy used to indicate the next generation of media players.[/quote]
Well, they have no business calling it what it isn’t.

[quote=“olm”][quote=“Dog’s_Breakfast”]This is the MP5 model I bought:[/quote]

No idea which model I have, can someone help? This is a photo of the printing on the side:


Don’t look down the hole when you activate that one.

I see that this topic hasn’t generated much enthusiasm for purchasing an MP5 player. You might have even less enthusiasm after reading this…

I returned the device to Carrefour today for a refund. Not that I really wanted to, but the deal-breaker was that I couldn’t get it to output anything (sound or video) to my TV set. A big reason why I bought this device in the first place was so that I could watch my ever-growing collection of online videos that I’ve been saving. Yes, I could watch those on my laptop computer, but I really wanted to be able to see them on a large-screen TV. The tiny screen on the MP5 player itself is OK if you’re traveling and bored, but I wanted something for home entertainment.

OK, but I haven’t given up totally. I did a little searching on PCHome and found the following, also made by Ergotech: … 0I&ROWNO=7

It’s basically a non-portable MP5 player, and needs to be connected to a TV. Looks like it would make a good replacement for my rickety DVD player.

Still trying to decide if this is what I should buy. I don’t suppose anyone has experience with one of these?


Erm, y dont you just connect the laptop to the tv and save your $$$ ?


  1. The video output port on the laptop only supports VGA resolution. The MD5 player has an HDMI port, which means I can watch digital TV in all its high-definition glory.

  2. There’s also the little issue of audio output. The tiny speakers on the laptop aren’t too impressive. Yes, I could add a pair of speakers - a decent set would maybe cost NT$1000. The MD5 player I’m considering costs NT$2890 and should give me quality audio and video.

  3. I might also add that the MD5 player has a remote control, rather nice for selecting a movie, adjusting volume, fast-forward and backwards. With the laptop, I’ll have to get up and walk over to the computer every time I want to select a movie, adjust volume, move forward/backwards. I’m not lazy, but I have my sole TV set in the bedroom and watch it from bed - there are times when I’m watching TV while ready to crash and I just don’t want to be getting up every few minutes to fiddle with computer keyboard controls.

  4. Finally, I don’t really want to be dragging my computer into the bedroom, hooking it up to the TV, reconfiguring the VGA resolution for the large screen, and then do all that in reverse when I want to use the computer in my study room.

  5. Not to mention that my wife might want to watch a movie when I’d like to use my computer. I suppose I could buy another computer just for watching movies, but I bet it would cost more than NT$2890 and consume more electricity than the MD5 player.

So I think I’ll just bite the bullet and spend the cash. But thanks for the suggestion anyway.


I often copy video files to a USB stick, and then plug that in to the front of my DVD player. It works fairly well. Is that an option for you?

I often copy video files to a USB stick, and then plug that in to the front of my DVD player. It works fairly well. Is that an option for you?[/quote]

I have noticed that almost all new DVD players being sold today have a USB port on the front, even some of the cheapest models. Alas, my current one was bought 3 years ago, just before that idea took off. Anyway, even with a USB port, it won’t be able to play file formats it doesn’t know about. Most DVD players sold in Taiwan can handle mpeg4 (DVD), AVI and RMVB (Real Media - not common in western countries). A few might handle FLV (Flash video) but probably not F4V (Flash compressed with H.264 file compression). The big selling point of an MP5 player is that it handles every format, even patented ones (that is illegal in the USA unless you pay big royalties to the patent trolls).

One drawback of the MP5 player that I’m thinking of buying is that it does not play DVDs. That is inconvenient, but I can rip a DVD to a file on my computer, though it’s an extra step that I’d rather not do given the choice. However, I haven’t seen a combined MP5/DVD player yet, though such a thing could easily be manufactured. It is possible to hook up both a DVD and MP5 player to the TV at the same time, with the MP5 occupying the HDMI interface and the DVD using the AV port, and my digital broadcast TV (I don’t have cable) connected to the YPbPr port.

Gosh, whoever thought that watching TV could get this complicated?


Ok, understand your dilemma, so maybe the MP5 is your best bet in terms of ease of use.
Just throwing out a few other optiosn for you, (have not tested these, so not sure on the quality or price), - VGA to HDMI converter , add a wirless mouse to your laptop and it could work. Though you still have wires, i hate wires, so definately not something i would go for.
or this one, which comes with a remote, … vi-content
Also these ones, but pricey, so rather buy a new pc :slight_smile:
vga-to-hdmi-review.toptenreviews … eview.html

Alternatively, if HD is not so important, then something like this could also work, … wires-too/

Good luck in your quest! I did mine around 6 months ago, thankfully i had a spare lap top, and with the cabling already installed (through the ceiling) in the apartment, it was a easy setup. Only drawback is no HD, but i can live with that for now.

Get yourself a PS3. You can game, watch Blu ray movies in HD, watch DVD’s that’ll upconvert into 720 and you can stream all your media from your PC via Wi-Fi to your TV.