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New PC-Mag reviews - iRiver better than iPod?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DigMe, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Unfortunately I left my brand new PC Magazine at the veterinarian's office when I took Roxie for her shots the other day. However, before I left it I read a review of the latest 20+ gig MP3 players that are available out there. They still gave high marks to the iPod but said that it has been surpassed by lower-priced, better outfitted players. The one in particular that they named was the 40 gig iRiver MP3 player. It seemed to have lots of great features. It can record analog or digital, has an FM radio with great reception, great display and remote display, up to 16 hours battery life, Supports MP3, WMA, ASF, WAV and OGG files, real-time mp3 encoding, external mic, optical in and out, store/transfer any type of files...basically all the bells and whistles and they said that the sound quality was fantastic. The only downside was the headphones it came with are crappy according to them. It was cheaper than the iPod too but I don't know how much cheaper. A lot of places on pricegrabber.com show it for about $350.

    So does anyone here have one of these or compared one to the iPod? It sounds pretty awesome.

    EDIT: Oh yeah the model number is H140. The 20 gig is H120.

    brad cook
  2. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    They compare favourably to the iPod but generally are not considered to be "better" unless you are a real "tech head".

    That article would have been written before the iPod price drops and the relase of the new 4Generation iPod last week, which means it was comparing an old model ipod with the iHP.

    I was all set to buy the iRiver but whenthe new 4G ipods got released I changed my mind and will pick up a 4G when they arrive in AUstralia this week. (They are actually cheaper than the iRiver for the same size in Aus).

    iRiver has notoriously bad customer service and support if one of their products break and for ongoing firmware support. Not a big deal but HDD MP3 players can be fairly fragile things.

    Secondly the iPod is much easier to use and has a seamless database.

    If you want to check out the "users" views of each product look at:



    My advice is that unless you really want all the techo features, go with the iPod - its simplicity and support will pay dividends in the end.
  3. i usually don't care about features when audio quality, portability, and price are also an issue. lots of people sacrifice features when choosing BMW over lexus, but there's a very good reason for it.

  4. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    I looooooooooooooooooooove my iPOD. :hyper:

    It's so easy to use, my 9 and 12 year old sons have one and they love it to.

    The sound is very good too.
  5. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Irony of ironies... the age old argument against Apple's Macintosh computers becomes one of the biggest arguments *for* Apple's iPod. Mac detractors always argue that there's less software and peripherals available for that platform, but as the leading mp3 player, the iPod has got a great field of proprietary and third party accessories for the Pod. When it comes down to it, having a simple yet elegantly designed gadget that can hold all of your music, with high-quality and well-integrated accessories available to make it easy to enjoy music on-the-go, in the car, through a home stereo or anywhere else... that really makes the Pod hard to top.
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    You'll want to Choose a BMW if you get the iPod, they have a built in car/podconnectivity package :p


  7. linky linky
  8. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I love my iPod, but I wish they would a line-in jack so I could use it to record my playing or rehearsals, especially in places where I can't or won't bring my laptop.
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Definitely, there is the Belkin iPod Voice recorded attachment, but it records to a fairly low quality(voice doesn't need to be that high quality to understand) It wouldn't be good enough for band recordings and the like.

    I think one of the reasons Apple doesn't include better recording solutions is because it's a tremendous strain on the HD, and those HDs weren't meant to be constantly accessed. The iPod works by loading a grip of songs onto a 32(might be 64 now) MB RAM chip, then it plays the songs off the RAM, accessing the HD only when it needs to.

    I'm interested into what Apple intends to do with the new Toshiba 60GB Hard Drives that are iPod size and that they recently bought a couple hundred thousand of from toshiba. Will they make a PDA? a 60GB iPod?, some digital hub device I haven't conceived? a "ProPod"?
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The only reason to go iRiver is that it can RECORD but it's got a lousy user interface for recording, like no level meters (!!!) and no mike jack (you need an outboard mike preamp).
  11. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Personally, I'd plug it into a mixer if I were to use it to record.

    Wrong Robot,

    Maybe the 60GB is going into the new iMac?
  12. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Nah, it can't go in a new computer, those little iPod drives are something like 3200 RPM or 4800 which is really slow for a computer drive, and as I mentioned earlier they weren't designed with prolonged usage in mind, just random accessing, not like constant accessing that computer require.

    Also, the iMacs have had 120GB hds, which don't exist in the iPod size, so it'd be kind of worthless to use the extra small one only for one model, no real reason.
  13. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Ok, today I took Roxie back to the vet for her last boosters and I was able to retrieve my PC Magazine and read the review again.

    Here are some of the things they said about the iRiver:
    "superlative sound", "Recording can be analog or digital, in either mp3 or WAV", no special drivers needed - folders of ripped songs can be dragged to it from Windows Explorer, OggVorbis decoder for Linux and open-source folks, more EQ options than any other MP3 player, extremebly customizable preferences, and lastly they said "recording quality is superb. The built-in mic is the best we've heard in a portable unit..."

    I'm not trying to sell the iRiver or anything. This review was the first I've heard of it and it just caught my attention. The excellent recording thing is a big deal too. That sounds pretty awesome. The iRiver is still a bit cheaper than even the new iPods, although not significantly cheaper. Anyway...just thought I'd share since I have the original review back now.

    brad cook
  14. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Oh and reading back over my original post - I was wrong about battery life. I must have read that on one of the other reviews or something because this one says 10 hours.

    brad cook