Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Dub Thee, "Podwave"

About a week ago, my "Music Label" Soundwave arrived. Basically, it's a new item from Japan that's an update of the original G1 Soundwave that actually plays MP3s. It's not quite the first Soundwave that actually plays music—if you count a non-transforming (but still in robot mode!) Soundwave cassette player released by Hasbro in 1985—but it's still made quite the impression on the Transformers fandom.

That's not to say that it's much of an MP3 player. You can't fast-forward or rewind within tracks, and tracks always play in the same order (the order in which you put the MP3 files on the miniSD card). You can, thankfully, pause, skip forwards or backwards to other tracks, and raise or lower the volume as desired. And, of course, you can transform the player into a robot!

Although there is a "Music Label" Soundwave available in Soundwave's traditional blue color scheme, you'll notice that mine is mostly white. This is intended to homage the original white color scheme of the iPod (although this is not a licensed iPod product, and iPod itself is now available in a rainbow of colors). My brother got a special deal by ordering both variations of "Music Label" Soundwave at the same time. He got the blue one, and I got the white one. Sadly, he tells me that his Soundwave no longer plays! It worked a couple of times, and then just stopped for no known reason. Has anyone else had this problem? I'm wondering if he's blown the small fuse inside, but can't imagine what he's done to blow it so quickly.

Anyway, if you're really into MP3 players, then I expect that this one wouldn't be for you. It's just too limited in its functionality, and you can get something else to do the same job for much cheaper. But since I haven't had an MP3 player of my own (my wife does have an iPod nano, but she uses it all the time, so that doesn't do much for me), I'm pretty glad to have it. It's given me a chance to listen to some speeches on youth work and a few TF Movie parodies (Yeah, yeah, these don't sound much like music, do they? What can I say? I'm just weird.) while driving to and from work, rather than settling for whatever NPR is playing. Also, I've ordered an MP3 CD of the TNIV, which I hope to use with this player to help in my devotional time. All in all, a pretty cool item for Transformers fans, but consider yourself warned. It's not for everyone.


  1. how do you get it to play the songs?

  2. There are a few things you need to know, which may not be obvious. First and foremost, you need a MiniSD chip no larger than 1 GB (I use a 512 MB chip, myself). There are a lot of 2 GB chips out there, and Soundwave simply won't work with them.

    Assuming you've got an appropriate chip, and you already have connected it to your computer to copy MP3 files onto it, and put it in Soundwave, it should be a simple matter of pushing on the "play/pause" button for 2 seconds. If it works, you should not only hear the file start playing, but you should see a blue light start to flash in the upper-left-hand corner of Soundwave's chest cavity. (Similarly, pushing "play/pause" for 2 seconds while playing shuts it off, rather than merely pausing it. It also shuts off automatically if it's been pause for too long.)

    If that still doesn't work, do a search on the web for "MP3 Soundwave" and see if you can find help in any of the many message boards that talked about this device about a half a year ago.

    Good luck!

  3. I;m wondering a bit if you're confused with Blaster who in his MicroChange version comes with a working AM radio. Soundwave never had any such functionality that I know of.

    The US saw a release of a Soundwave playing actual regular size tapes in the 80's though. Sadly it doesn't transform and it sort of looks like a big boned version of the guy :)

  4. Thanks for commenting. I'm not sure what I was confused by. This is the kind of claim I generally don't make without having found a source that can back it up, but this post is so old now, I really don't remember, and the TFWiki (my usual and best source of such information) certainly agrees with you. In the absence of better information, I've edited the article to better reflect the currently-understood reality.



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