Waterproof Submersible Music Player by Freestyle Audio


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | September 1, 2009      

Yeah, it’s not an iPod, but for around $60 the Freestyle Sport MP3 player is shockproof, has up to 4GB of memory, only weighs 2.1 oz (58 gr.) with waterproof headphones, and pumps out music for up to 17 hours on one charge. For me, this is near perfect backcountry electronics.

Freestyle Audio Sport MP3 Player

Freestyle Audio Sport waterproof & shockproof MP3 player.


 

I set up my Freestyle about a week ago, for use during the enhanced interrogation technique otherwise known the one-hour lap swim. I’d still rather be skiing, but a workout mix of Zep, Great White, Aerosmith and Clapton seems be the key to resisting torture and even finishing with a smile.

The Freestyle will actually play a bunch of formats, and interfaces nicely with Windows Media Player (and is said to fine with Mac as well). I found the button based control system and tiny LCD a bit difficult, but after some practice I’m getting there. I was optimistic about the included FM radio receiver, but sadly that’s worthless unless you’re outside with a clean broadcast. Indoors where I swim, one station comes in compared to dozens normally available, and it’s a station with a playlist I don’t like. (I was kind of hoping to vary my auditory environment with some talk radio, but nope, and perhaps that’s better anyway.)

In all, a good player that’s bomber for backcountry use. Website here.



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Comments

15 Responses to “Waterproof Submersible Music Player by Freestyle Audio”

  1. richard prater September 1st, 2009 11:46 am

    I am cracking up laughing at the straightchuter website today!!!! Will there be a retaliation?

  2. Andrew McLean September 1st, 2009 1:44 pm

    One can only hope. 🙂

    In the meantime, I’m wondering what became of that trailer hitch review?

  3. Ski Holidays Canada September 1st, 2009 3:15 pm

    Nice piece of kit Lou – would be interested to see how this performs in the cold. My electronics never work too well in the cold…..

  4. Lou September 1st, 2009 3:32 pm

    Andrew fired such a strong salvo, this camp is devastated, it may take us years to rebuild! :biggrin:

    The thing is, if I’d sold my pickup and replaced with a mini van, like Andrew, I might be more motivated to attack due to frustrated male impulses. But I’ve still got a truck, so I’m oh so mellow. :biggrin:

    For those wondering what we’re talking about:

    http://straightchuter.com/2009/09/wildsnow-com-challenge/

  5. ScottP September 1st, 2009 8:16 pm

    Question is (and I’m sure Jonathon S. can test this for us), does it interfere with a beacon signal the way an iPod does?

  6. Colin in CA September 2nd, 2009 12:00 am

    Straightchuter = funny.

    Lou,

    I would have pegged you for the non-ear blocking, I-need-to-hear-my-potentially-avalanche-prone-surroundings type.

    I have a last-gen iPod Shuffle (the square one, not the new even-tinier rectangular one) for outdoor activities. It isn’t waterproof, but it’s good enough for skiing. And the aluminum square feels so strong that I bet I could drive my truck over it and it would still work. Even though I have it, I still tend to enjoy quiet suffering on uphills.

  7. Lou September 2nd, 2009 7:01 am

    Colin, indeed, I don’t use music players for actual backcountry skiing all that much, but have done so on occasion and always enjoy when it’s appropriate. Plugging up the ears all the time is not my style. But for hiking, swimming, resort skiing, tenting, bike rides, that sort of thing, it’s an option I enjoy.

    I’ve noticed that most people I ski with in more “mature” terrain don’t fiddle around with music players during the outing. There is just too much going on, too much need to communicate…

  8. Jonathan Shefftz September 2nd, 2009 7:35 am

    “Question is (and I’m sure Jonathan S. can test this for us), does it interfere with a beacon signal the way an iPod does?”

    — Oddly enough (or perhaps not so oddly), that’s the very first thought I had when I quickly glanced over the blog and read Lou’s remark of, “For me, this is near perfect backcountry electronics.”
    – Previously both iPod devices I tested caused significant interference (especially ghosting on signal-separation models) in all beacons. But I just remembered that I have my own iPod now: a super-small Shuffle model (freebie with NSP credit card offer). This thing is just so absurdly model – how could something so diminutive cause interference?
    – The answer is . . . it doesn’t. Well, probably not. In a quick test right now, I could not get it to do anything to an Ortovox S1. For a Barryvox Pulse, when held almost adjacent, it caused some background noise and a misreading 1+ reading (with only one beacon transmitting). The latter is enough to throw off a search somewhat, but the beacon had to held close up against my chest (where I had the iPod clipped to my shirt).
    – The distinction might be that some of the earlier iPods (used for my earlier testing) have miniature hard drives, whereas the teeny iPod Shuffle has flash memory.
    – My highly tentative preliminary conclusion would be that anything with a miniature hard drive is presumed guilty, and anything else has to first prove its innocence before being taken on a backcountry tour. (Although personally I’m a “I-need-to-hear-my-potentially-avalanche-prone-surroundings” type.)

  9. Lou September 2nd, 2009 8:11 am

    This music player is a flash drive unit. When I turn it on and hold within an inch or so of my Tracker, I can get a momentary ghost/spike every so often if I keep moving it around. These are momentary and infrequent, but I’d imagine could cause some confusion for the more complex electronics during a multiple burial. The thing is, to get this to happen you have to hold the things practically touching each other, at least that’s my impression. And I seriously doubt this music player would cause any interference trouble if it was being carried by the buried victim in a search, as the RFI (radio freq interference) strength is so weak the searcher would have to be inches away from the victim before anything happened.

    Virtually all electronic devices emit RFI when turned on.

    For example, I turned on and held my GPS in close proximity to the Tracker (touching it), and also got some spikes, but as soon as it was a few inches away there was no problem.

    RFI is everywhere, even in the backcountry, but at different levels depending on your location. In the backcountry, levels are usually very low though if you’re skiing near power lines or radio transmission facilities, RFI levels can be very high. Point being, all radio receivers have to deal with a certain level of RFI. Thus, if a music player, GPS or whatever has a low level of RFI, it’s just another whisper in the background and shouldn’t be a problem. But nonetheless should be tested if you’re planning on using in conjunction with an avalanche beacon.

    Disclaimer: I’m not an electrical engineer, but due to studying for amateur radio license and doing hobby stuff, I do know a bit about RFI and such things.

  10. Wayne Nicholson September 2nd, 2009 8:42 am

    I’ll check it out, I’ve broke a camera and a phone (used as mp3 player) by dropping them in the snow when skiing.

  11. Jonathan Shefftz September 2nd, 2009 9:07 am

    “And I seriously doubt this music player would cause any interference trouble if it was being carried by the buried victim in a search, as the RFI (radio freq interference) strength is so weak the searcher would have to be inches away from the victim before anything happened.”
    — That’s also been my experience: no matter how hard I’ve tried, and no matter how contrived the test, I’ve never managed to cause interference in transmission.

  12. Lou September 2nd, 2009 9:19 am

    Thanks for the confirmation Jonathan!

  13. JW September 3rd, 2009 9:52 pm

    I’ve never skied with an i-pod or even wanted to. These things are good for wrapping yourself in a noise blanket while on the treadmill or the subway, or in a traffic jam on I-95, but while skiing in the BC?

    Anyway, I’m not knocking Lou’s gizmo. Might make surfing I-95 a bit more tolerable. :ermm:

  14. Alex September 4th, 2009 11:10 pm

    Ramble on Rose? Now THAT is some good taste right there. Oh yeah, the device is pretty sweet too! :biggrin:

  15. Evan September 17th, 2009 12:27 am

    Lou, thanks fot the reference I swim in the off season as well. I didn’t know you could do headphones underwater and it makes me wonder if others in the pool can hear too. I like keeping it simple, but can’t resist consuming something I can use for multiple purposes. I’ll check it out.

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