The Audiovox MP3J MP4000 strikes an interesting balance between a portable MP3 player and a dedicated player for the car. Its roomy 340MB hard drive offers enough storage for long road trips, and Audiovox includes all of the necessary accessories for hooking the player into your car’s cassette deck. However, the MP4000’s large size and short battery life limit its usefulness as a standalone MP3 player.
However, while the MP4000 works pretty well in the car, it’s a bit problematic when you take it for a stroll. The screen is very small, and the player is quite bulky, measuring 2.75 by 1.25 by 4.5 inches. When mobile, the MP4000 runs on two AA batteries, but the Microdrive needs so much power that the unit ran out of juice in about two hours. Replacing the Microdrive with a standard CompactFlash card would extend the playing time, but a 256MB card costs more than this whole package. If you want to plug the player into a wall outlet, though, you’ll need to buy a separate AC adapter, as the MP4000 doesn’t come with one. The included ear bud-style headphones gave off some background hiss. If you’re not a fan of ear buds, there’s a built-in monaural speaker, but it’s better suited for listening to voice recordings than music.