Christopher Shanahan on 8 May 2005 04:06:49 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] Any experiences with the iRiver portable players?

On Saturday 07 May 2005 20:52, Mike Leone wrote:
> I need to buy a DAP (digital audio player). I have a portable CD player
> that plays MP3 data CDs, but I've dropped it once too often, and now
> it's giving me grief, when playing back discs. :-( And I want a HD based
> player, so I can fill it up with tunes, and not have to bother with
> deleting and re-loading, when I get tired of what's on there.
> Anyways, I listen to a lot of live recordings, where one song blends
> directly into the next, and the MP3 player always adds a 1 second delay
> between songs (I gather that has something to do with the MP3 format).
> So I thought I'd investigate a player that didn't do that. And I'm told
>   the OGG format won't have that deliberate gap between tracks (nor will
> FLAC, which is the format most of my concert recordings come in).
> The Rio Karma will play both of these open source formats, but the
> horror stories about the rate of HD failure in the Karma is scaring me
> off (even tho my friend has one, and has had no problems).
> Anyways, the iRiver folks make a model - the H320 - that does MP3 and
> OGG, and is a 20G HD. And comes with an FM tuner, too, to hear new
> music. $300 or thereabouts.

I have the iRiver H320 and I love it. I bought it specifically to use Ogg --
open source -- versus mp3. I ripped all my CDs from my Linux box and
transferred them to the H320 without any problems (almost 10Gb of Ogg songs!).
The sound and the color screen are both great. I read a lot of reviews before
I bought it, in part because it is a bit more expensive than comparable models
without Ogg support. Many of the reviews complained about the player's
controls, saying they were difficult to use. This is the first player I've
owned so I have nothing to compare it to. That said, I don't have any problems
with the controls.

Of course, the player comes bundled with software that you could use to manage
your albums, create playlists, etc.; although the software is Windows based --
naturally. I know there is an open source project out there that you can use
to create playlists for the iRiver players but I haven't needed it and
therefore, haven't tried it. If you'd like I'll go through my notes and see if
I can locate it. I just use the player like any other external block device
formatted with a FAT32 file system and copy all my Ogg files to it.

I know you can update the player's fireware and dramatically extend its
capabilities. I've read posts by other users in Europe who have updated their
players to the latest fireware and have added support for MPEG4. I have NOT
done that -- for fear of turning my $300.00 media player into a paper weight.


Chris Shanahan

> Anyways - anybody use one? Know anyone who uses an iRiver? Any
> advice/alternatives?
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