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Tech Buying Guide: Duds

Sunday, November 21, 2004; Page F07

Feel free to cross these much-hyped items off your shopping list:

Portable Media Centers: These audio/photo/video devices would be a great idea, except that gawking at pictures and movies while walking, jogging or driving is hazardous to your health.

iPod Photo: A more elegant but no less flawed and pricey package than the portable media center.

MSN Smart Watch: Pay $10 a month to have pointlessly brief headlines and sports scores beamed to an unstylish brick of a watch? I don't get it.

Pint-sized photo printers: Why pay $200 for a device that cranks out only 4-by-6 photos when you can buy high-quality glossies at any store or online for the same or lower per-print cost?

Sony MP3 players: They can play MP3 files only by converting them into Sony's ATRAC format, a slow process done in the world's ugliest desktop music software.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company