Wednesday, March 10

Tech Cool

What's new and glorious in the world? How about this? After long deliberation and soul searching, I've bought the iRiver iHP-140, with a 40 Gig Harddrive, FM Radio, Multi-codec support and mp3 recording functionality. Forget CD's, this is pure digital pleasure.

The pretty boy on the block is of course the Apple Ipod. White, sterile, and copyrighted to the Jobs. Price wise is costs slightly less then the iRiver, but technically it is by far the iRivers inferior. When you consider that the Ipods battery life is only a year, and that the battery cant be replaced easily or cheaply (or not at all if you're in Africa), the iRiver with its 16 hour battery life (compared to the Ipods 8) becomes even more desirable.

There are still a few problems with the iRiver, although they are minor compared to the brilliance of this device. Firstly, Cables! How I hate cables! Because the iRiver comes with a remote that is connected to your earphones, this problem is exacerbated. Its not a problem when its plugged into the Hi-fi, or connected to the car sound system, but having to schlep all those cables along makes life unpleasant. The obvious solution would be Bluetooth, but the problem then would be sound quality, as well as having to buy blue tooth compliant Car sound systems and Hi-Fi's.

Its a great idea, but it will take a while me thinks. In the mean time a docking station and retractible cables built into the remote would make me pretty happy.

Other problems are relatively minor. The button control used to navigate files is not intuitive as it should be. The fact that it has so few buttons and has to double up on functionality is a bit confusing for me still, but I should hopefully get the hang of it. The fact that the power-on is not the power-off is a no-no for me however. The remote seems a bit flimsy. Im afraid it wont last as well as the main unit. This is perhaps only because the main unit is so superbly built though. Compared with other MP3 players the remote is pretty solid.

Overall Im a very happy customer. This is the first toy Ive gone to bed with in years! Now if only I can get my wife to let me use it sometimes...


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