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Of Those with Built-in FM, Many Radios Get Dinged

Even when you do find a good player that includes an FM radio, you'll want to research its radio characteristics carefully—assuming, of course, that good FM reception and sound quality are important to you. In reading product reviews and other Web-based sources of information on personal audio players, I've been struck by the number of times that reviews mention only that FM is built-in (if they don't skip mention of the radio part completely) without really describing the number of presets (stations you can tune into in advance and then jump to with the press of one or two buttons), the reception capability, or the radio sound quality at all. I've also been struck that many, many reviews on sites on which users can add comments have professionals rating radio reception as good (or at worst, "good for strong stations") and ordinary buyers giving radio capabilities a big thumbs down.

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