Boss MICRO BR-80
Just received my unit yesterday and have been playing with it for several hours ever since.
This unit really has a wonderful number of attributes, all of which compelled me to sell my Tascam GT-R1 and purchase this unit as a replacement. I won’t bother trying to rehash all of the features; one can easily read about those on the Roland site. In short, the ability to record via the built in mics, leverage the built-in 8-track recorder and/or jam with your favorite tunes, while slowing them down if necessary, with a single, compact & portable product is remarkable.
That said, of all the great features that this unit has, one of the most compelling for me is eBand. In fact, I about a year or so ago, I purchased the eBand JS-8, but since it doesn’t work on batteries and I usually have a battery powered amp available, I returned it and simply leveraged the aforementioned Tascam unit for most of my play along needs.
Of course, the BR-80 is actually three units in one, which includes the JS-8 less the speakers. So together with its size and portability, it is definitely a keeper.
However, I am a little disappointed in one aspect that you may want to understand before purchasing too. It is the reason that I am only giving a rating of 3.5 stars…nonetheless the unit is still a keeper.
The issue that I have is twofold:
1) You have to use the Boss Song Editor application to import songs into unit’s database and hence have access to the song through the eBand interface on the unit. That is, you cannot simply drag & drop files to the unit and expect to see them in the menu;
2) It would appear to me that you are restricted to the limited folders provided. That is, if I want to add a bunch of music to the SD card and maintain a folder for each artist and perhaps each album, it won't see the music – it appears that all the MP3/AIff files have to go in one of a couple of folders. I have placed a call into support just to double check, but I think my understanding is correct...
This unit is great for everything that it was intended to do, but the silly DB/folder hierarchy that it uses prevents it from also being an “organized”, general MP3 player. That’s not to say that you can’t put your favorite songs on the unit and jam with them while having the ability to slow them down, for example. But, the means by which the unit was designed to support your pre-recorded files is clumsy and one quickly realizes that it is less than an organized as one fills up a 32GB SD card with MP3 files, for example…
If I find that my understanding is incorrect, I will post here, but this is also how files are handled with the JS-8, which supports my understanding for this unit…
The unit is not meant to be a general MP3 player, so I can live with the DB/folder hierarchy. The MTR and Live Rec functions work flawlessly.
If you want all of this power in the palm of your hand, buy it and you won’t be disappointed.