What do you get your 9 year old girl cousin for Christmas? Well, some sort of toy or doll I suppose. But being the gadget person that I am, the gift had to have some kind of microchip inside of it. So I decided to check out the Disney Mix Stick.
The Disney Mix Stick is one of the few MP3 players aimed at a younger crowd; a much younger 8-14 crowd. The Mix Stick supports MP3 as well as WMA / WMA DRM and comes with 128MB of built in memory. Additionally, you can add more memory or special preloaded MMC/SC memory cards. It is a universal mass storage device so will work with either PC or Mac without additional drivers.
I think this is a great product for that particular age group, however it will fail to impress anyone outside of the “tween” girl demographic.
Inside the package
The Mix Stick comes packaged with a vinyl lanyard, earbuds, and a CD with pre-Windows XP drivers and Windows Media Player.
Putting Music on the Stick
They have made loading music onto this MP3 player as easy as it can get. You can simply plug it in and drop files or entire folders onto the player as a removable drive. You can also transfer songs via Windows Media Player. This you will need to use if you are purchasing music from online music download stores like Napster.
The controls are simple, starting with an on/off switch on the side of the player. On the front of the player there are play/pause, forward, back, volume up, volume down, shuffle and repeat all in the shape of Mickey’s head. There is also an LED that glows green when the player is on.
You can get the Mix Stick in a few different colors and styles: Purple Tinkerbell, Chrome Micky Mouse, Pink Princess, and Red Raven. I have also seen it in flat black for the boys, but they seem scarce.
The build of the Mix Stick is cheap- it feels like any other toy. But I don’t think that it should be associated with poor durability. I had some fun with it and did a stress test by dropping it down stairs, throwing it against a wall, and tossing it out of a two story window onto concrete, along with other abusive things a kid might do with their beloved toys. Other than being a bit scratched up, the player still played and worked just as before.
One problem with the player is the USB plug. It is short, and the body of the player may prohibit you from plugging it into some computers’ USB ports or having to remove other devices around the USB ports. This problem can be solved with a USB extender cable which can be purchased for a couple bucks. But I think that this cable should have been included in the package.
Disney offers quite a few accessories to keep the kids occupied. These include a docking station with speakers, wall charger, two different types of headphones, carrying cases, and preloaded memory cards called Mix Clips. The Mix Clips slip right into the top memory slot. The clips contain a whole CD worth of Disney artists which can be purchased for around $16.
The bottom line is that it is a toy and it shows in the build quality and sound quality. The controls are flimsy are unresponsive, and by far the Mix Stick is the worst sounding MP3 player I have ever listened to.
But this player is not designed for adults; it is designed for children who like fun toys and the Mix Stick is a great toy especially for the little ̶
0;tween” crowd. There are plenty add-on accessories to keep the kids entertained. It is simple to use and simple to load music- even for the kids. The additional slot for memory and Mix Clips creates expandability.
Check out Amazon for a good price and other Mix Stick accessories.