Samsung introduced a new portable MP3 player with a twist on Friday: The Muse doesn’t get its music from a PC but instead syncs audio files from a smartphone. The small pebble-looking device sells for $49.99 direct from Samsung and is optimized to work with specific Samsung phones: the Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy S II Skyrocket.The small device includes a clip so you can carry it in a pocket or attach it to your clothing.
In what some call the “post PC” world, the lack of a needed PC is interesting here. A companion app found in the Google Play store moves music from smartphone to Muse over an included micro USB cable and manages the 4 GB of internal storage inside the digital audio player. With the Muse Sync app, you can sync by artist, album or playlist from your smartphone. The setup of getting music on the Muse without a PC shows another move away from full-blown computing platforms for what’s typically a core activity today.
Why even offer a companion MP3 player when any of the supported smartphones work perfectly fine for music? The Muse is intended for those who want to exercise while listening to music but don’t want to do so with a phone. I can personally relate as I’ve run nearly 1,500 miles since 2011 mostly when carrying a smartphone.
The bulk of those miles were with a Galaxy Nexus, but now that I use a Galaxy Note 2 with 5.5-inch display, I wouldn’t even think of running with my phone. I have solid alternatives already for tunes on the run, but if I didn’t, I’d probably drop the $50 for a Muse right away.