Ipod vs iriver: Amardeep Singh: Iriver vs. Ipod

Zune vs. iPod Video vs. iRiver Clix

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December 31, 2006

Posted in Gaming | Movies | Musings | Reviews

Due to a number of amazing events this last few weeks I somehow find myself back in the states with:

  • An iPod 80gig Video
  • A 2gig iRiver Clix
  • A 2gig iPod Nano
  • A 30gig Black Zune
  • A Playstation Portable (PSP)

Now I certainly don’t need 5 things that play music and show pictures (and some show video) so I need to do some analysis to see which is right for me, and which is right for the wife (and brother, and parents, etc).

iPod Video

The iPod is usually considered the device to beat, but since iTunes 7 was/is such a phenomenal POS (on both the Mac and PC, there is virtually no one who thinks it doesn’t suck exponentially more than the very reasonable iTunes 6) it’s possible that the iPod is losing its status as «de facto MP3 player» as in «just buy an iPod. «

I saw a skater kid in the Amsterdam Airport last week with a Brown Zune and I asked him «why’d you buy a Zune» and he immediately answered «because it’s not an iPod.» Apparently Apple is starting to feel like Microsoft has for years. Sucks to be on top, eh?

Good Stuff

Video: I’m using the Video feature way more than I thought I would. It made the 25 hours of flights (each way) tolerable. The screen is bright and clear.

Massive: The 80gig iPod is expansive to say the least. I’ve got my entire audio collection of over 6500 songs as well as 5 feature length movies and every digital photo I’ve ever taken on this thing, and I’ve still got 15 gigs free.

Easy: It’s so incredibly easy to buy music off of iTunes and get it on the device. That’s a +1 for the WAF. Buying movies and TV shows works great also.

Flexible: I bought a bunch of TV shows for pay-cable channels I don’t have and took them with me to Tanzania this year. The iPod supports a standard Camcorder Video Cable (just swap the Yellow and Red RCA wires) and outputs PAL and NTSC. We used it as a one-way Tivo while we were there and had a blast. No less than three spontaneous dance parties broke out while using my iPod in Africa, and because I had my entire music collection with me, I was able to blow the minds of the folks who asked if I had Pitch Black Afro on my ‘pod. I said, «please. Who are you talking to. Of course.» and proceeded to party the night away.

Bad Stuff

DRM: The DRM can be confusing if you have more than one computer. I’ve personally gotten confused while «authorizing and deauthorizing» computers, especially during OS upgrades. There used to be a program to turn the songs you bought into MP3s, but it’s not working anymore with iTunes 7.

Slow: It’s pretty slow if you have 6000+ songs and you say «shuffle songs.» It tends to lock up and scrolls slowly. iTunes is virtually unusable on Vista in the current version without disabling Vista indexing and a bunch of other crap I shouldn’t have to sweat.

Battery Life: Video just sucks the life out of this thing. I have a «backpack» that has 4 AA batteries that at least quadruples the battery life. Still, a hassle.

iPod Nano

Good Stuff

Tiny: It’s small. Not Shuffle small, but «wife’s small purse; isn’t that cute» small. I find myself using this device the most so far for around town, walking and such. It’s just so a great size.

Bad Stuff

Storage: There’s an 8gig version now, but most are 1, 2 or 4 gigs. I find the 2 gig one just a little cramped. Wife doesn’t notice though.

No Video: A nit, and the screen is small, so it doesn’t really matter. They included tiny photos though, why not video?

iRiver Clix

What a surprisingly fun little device! It’s an odd size compared to the Nano, much thinker (like 3 times as thick) but comfortable. It feels familiar in its size, but I’m not sure what it reminds me of. It has a very interesting interface in that the whole front screen «click-tilts (my word)» in each direction to provide navigation. Right is «forward» and left is «back.»

Good Stuff

Tiny: It’s small and pocket-sized. Not as easy to drop in as the Nano, and not something you’d want in your front shirt pocket, but still, small.

Video: It’s the smallest video player I’ve seen, and it’s got a great screen. The video is about 15fps by my reckoning, and it’s kind of complex to get video on to the thing in the format it wants. I’m still struggling with some obscure messages from Windows Media Player 11 about converting some of my video.

Photos: It’s also a nice little photo viewer. Both Music and Photos — using Windows Media Player — are downsized automatically in order to squeeze as much as possible on the 2 gig version. The screen is very clear and Album Art looks great.

Radio: There’s a built-in FM Radio that supports recording of the stream. A surprising and very nice feature, I say.

Games: It includes an implementation of Flash and there’s a number of downloadable Flash Games to check out. Most are lame, but Sudoku is nice.

Windows Media Player: The Clix is perfectly integrated with Windows Media Player and was the easiest device to sync of all these. I just say «fill it up as much as you can with a random 2gigs from my collection.» And it was handled. That’s all I ever wanted from iTunes.

Bad Stuff

Storage: There’s a 4gig version, as the 2gig is a little cramped, but if you don’t mind 64kbps audio (many don’t — do be such an elitist!) then you can automatically get a LOT more on as the Windows Media Player 11 stuff gets one thing right — auto squishing of audio while copying works great. That’s about it. It’s a great little device.

Urge: Urge is the music marketplace for everything but Zune. It’s aight.



The OOBE (Out of the Box Experience) on the Zune is very familiar. It’s iPod-like, but it does have a different, more organic gestalt. I like it. It’s the bizarro iPod from another parallel dimension. The interface is similar to Windows Media Center, but different, smoother, faster, cleaner. I was, and continue to be, impressed. It’s more intuitive than the roll/scroll interface of the iPod, and it’s faster and more responsive with thousands of songs loaded.

Good Stuff

Decent Size: It’s probably the same mass as an iPod, it’s just a little less wide, and a smidge taller. The round directional button does beg to be rubbed like an iPod, but maybe that’s me. The whole device has a nice texture that’s very matte — not gloss like the iPod — so I suspect while the screen will likely scratch, the Zune itself doesn’t show many fingerprints.

XBox 360: It plugs in and is charged by the Xbox360. Works great and the Xbox recognizes it as a Zune. Of course, the Xbox recognizes ALL the devices I’ve got here, but the Zune gets a cute little icon on the Xbox. 😛

Screen: The screen is very nice, and is rotatable portrait/landscape. Album Art fills the screen and looks great. It comes with a clear sticker on the screen that I wanted to use as a screen protector, but they put text all over it, so that was a bummer.

Radio: The iPod requires an adapter for FM, the Zune has a tuner built in that includes RDS (Radio Descriptive Service) that gives you the name of the current song. The iPod also has RDS.

WiFi: The Zune will find other Zunes and you can send or receive music over them. While the music is shared, there’s DRM added that lets the receiver only listen to the song THREE times, then it disables that song. They can later buy that song. Odd, but better than nothing. WiFi can be turned off to save batteries.

Zune Marketplace: Includes an all-you-can-eat feature where you get complete access to every song on the marketplace for a timed period. I’m doing the 14-day trial. A nice way to find new artists, like Rhapsody. iTunes should take notice to this.

Bad Stuff

WiFi: See above.

Odd Stuff

Software: The Zune software is Windows Media Player 11, but it’s not. You do Zune stuff in Zune but you kind of know you’re talking to your Windows Media Player Library. There’s a whole separate Zune Sharing thing, but it’s unclear if you’re configuring standard Windows Media Sharing from an alternate interface. You can run both Windows Media and Zune thingie at the same time, but when I tried to sync the Clix in one and the Zune in the other at the same time, I had to reset them both with a paper clip. Not sure if that’s USB or the software freaking out. Also odd, the Clix shows up in Vista in My Computer as well as in the «Sync Center» but the Zune is no where to be found in either. Note that you need an upgrade to the Zune software to work on Vista. The Zune desktop software has crashed twice for me in one day, so something will likely be fixed on Vista soon.



Good Stuff

Screen: Seriously, drink in the screen. It’s amazing. Glorious. Perfect.

Wireless/Browser: It includes 802.11 and a very capable Web Browser, as well as support for Podcasts (RSS with attachments).

UMDs: The industry hates UMDs as a proprietary media, but I love their size and relative cheapness. If you spend a lot of time on planes, grab a few movies (or rip and squish DVDs) and you’re set from LA to New York (or PDX to JRO).

Games: Of course.

Oft-updated Firmware: You can update the Firmware over wireless and it’s always adding new features. It includes Sony Location-Free TV now, as well as a features for connecting to PS3s.

Homebrew: This thing is forever being hacked into, and you can run Linux and all sorts of MAME Emulators and such.

(added from comments from Laust M. Ladefoged) AUTO-Podcast Downloading:

I think you left out the single most important feature of the PSP and what basically sets it apart from the other devices in your list (at least for now), namely its ability to wakeup from standby and automatically download all the podcasts you have subscribed to via WiFi.

This feature was added with the recent v3 firmware and has completely changed the way I have access to my prefered podcasts.

My PSP wakes up about 6 in the morning, automatically downloads the latest podcasts, ready for my listening when I put it in my pocket on my way out the door — no longer any need for syncing with my computer anymore, so nice.

Bad Stuff

Music and Storage: You can get a 2gig 4gig memory stick and there are 4-8gig hard drive add-ons, but it’s not a very great music player. It IS a great movie machine though.


I’d say this:

  • You want the ultimate media player? Get a Zune or iPod video and base your decision on a combination of your politics and the features. Both kick ass. The wireless social Zune stuff is slick, but I have only met one other person with one. That’ll eventually change. Buying TV Shows and Movies on iTunes is fabulous and seamless. My Mom and Dad run around the country in their RV, and I think they could use an iPod Video as a «disconnected Tivo» very easily, connected to their little 13″ TV. However, the screen on the Zune is larger and nicer than the iPod. Both a great. I’m still torn on this one.
  • You want a little media player?
    • You want video? Get an iRiver Clix. It’s got a great screen, a smooth interface and long battery life. (I haven’t run out yet).
    • You don’t care about video? You might still get a Clix, unless you want a really thin player, then get a Nano.
  • You only care about the screen? You want games first, video second and music third? Get a PSP.
    • The PSP has a fantastic screen, but it’s max 2gig capacity (unless you get an external hard drive) and poor battery life make it a niche device for geeks. Of course, I am a geek, so I take it everywhere as well. The combination of Videora and a DVD Ripper makes it nice for up to 4 feature length films.
  • You hate DRM and are concerned about using iTunes or Urge or Zune Marketplace? Don’t use them. Buy CDs and Rip.
About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer’s view in any way.

iRIVER versus iPOD a Discussion

Review: Iriver Clix2 portable media player

A feature packed multimedia player that will fit in your pocket

Paul Lester, Personal Computer World 04 Jun 2007

It’s not often that you come across anything particularly surprising in the mp3 market — once you’ve reviewed a certain number of devices from a range of manufacturers you start to notice trends in terms of value, performance and features.

Iriver isn’t particularly well known for sitting up there with the big boys, despite producing some appealing offerings in the past, but in the Clix2 it has truly surpassed itself by producing one of the best players we’ve seen in recent times.

The front of this slimline device is almost totally taken up by the 2.2in display, which may cause those who haven’t seen the original Clix, released earlier this year, to wonder how you find your way around. As a quick refresher, the Clix2 uses a four-way depressible display for navigation, meaning you simply press down on the corresponding edge of the device to move around the menus.

Despite being a little sceptical at first, we found this method to be extremely effective. You will find additional volume, power and hotkey buttons subtly integrated into the edges, along with the obvious inclusion of a hold button to stop it browsing around at random when in your pocket.

Starting the device up reveals the first of many great things we have to say about the Clix2, namely the excellent active matrix OLED display. The bright, vibrant and superbly sharp screen does a great job of either showing off your photos via the built-in browser or video files encoded using the Iriver Plus 3 software provided. A 2.2in display is about the minimum size required to genuinely enjoy video content on a portable player, although you’ll find it hard to settle into a feature film.

In addition to photo and video support, you’ll find a built in recordable FM radio and, of course, an mp3 player, which brings us to the next big selling point. Audio quality is superb, which in no small part down to the wide range of enhancements and effects you can apply. We’d recommend picking up some decent in-ear bud ‘phones to use with the Clix2 as the ones supplied are adequate, but don’t come close to reaching its potential.

On top of all this you’ll find a wide range of additional features including an alarm clock, voice recorder, text viewer and a range of flash games that utilise the unique controls of the Clix2 to good effect. It’s also extremely customisable, as well as changing the background to any of the preloaded photos or one from an uploaded collection, you can change the theme, including the menu structure, operation and choice of fonts, to produce some extremely stylish and unique effects.

It’s very difficult to think of many features the Clix2 lacks. We did notice that video encoding does take a surprisingly long time via the supplied software, and while you can transfer music and photos via drag and drop you’re better off using Iriver Plus 3 to standardise your collection. It’s also a little short on playlist control, and you won’t find the traditional artist/album/genre selection for tunes, but this shouldn’t cause too many problems.

Despite these minor drawbacks, we were extremely impressed with the Clix2. A very reasonable price tag of just £139 and 4GB capacity means it’s slightly more expensive than Apple’s equivalent Nano (which has incidentally been through a number of price drops since its initial release) but the features and performance of the Clix2 means its leagues ahead of Apple’s baby.

Thunderstorm iPod: Microsoft teamed up with iRiver




    South Korean digital audio player maker Reigncom is joining forces with Microsoft and MTV to compete with the Apple iPod.

    Reigncom’s latest Clix is ​​a flash-based MP3 player with a 2. 2-inch LCD display that users can watch movies and photos on. The player integrates Microsoft Windows Media Player 11 and Urge subscription music distribution service on MTV Networks.

    Reigncom Executive Director Frank Lim expects Clix to ship to American retailers Best Buy and Wal-Mart in July.


    iRiver MP3 players were well received by experts who praised the high sound quality and design, but increased competition in the global market, especially from the iPod, reduced profitability and led to Reigncom’s losses. Reigncom posted a net loss of $37.5 million in 2005 against a profit of $45.5 million in 2004. Net loss for the first quarter of 2006 has already reached $19.8 million Some analysts expect Reigncom, which controls 7% of the global market, to will make a profit in the second quarter due to a 20% reduction in staff that occurred at the beginning of the year and the sale of product inventories.

    Now Reigncom, with a market value of $99 million, competes with industry leader Apple, Creative Technology, and Samsung’s Yepp devices. Both Creative Technology and Samsung are already working with Microsoft and have already introduced models that use the Urge service.

    Last month, Reigncom introduced the iRiver Pocket TV, also known as the B10. This device allows you to watch digital media broadcasts (DMB) and listen to the radio. This model symbolizes the company’s departure from the policy of releasing exclusively audio products, as well as an attempt to release a cheaper player. The B10 sells for $134, while the local market version of Clix, which launched in September, costs $357.

    The number of Russian companies using cloud infrastructure has tripled


    Reigncom’s most successful product, however, may be the iRiver Wing, a multimedia game system that uses Wibro’s high-speed wireless Internet service instead of memory. Wing, also known as G10, will arrive in South Korea in December when the country’s leading broadband operator, KT, launches Wibro. According to Mr. Lim, iRiver Wing can be adapted to other types of wireless broadband technologies such as Wi-Fi.

    • Choose the best virtual VPS/VDS server on the Market.CNews IT marketplace

    iRiver E100 — a successful model at an affordable price / Sound and acoustics

    Most modern players can do a lot. Now these are not just MP3 players equipped with the simplest segmental monochrome LCD displays, now they are real media players capable of reading many different audio, video and graphic file formats. And the sizes of their screens are already closely matched to communicators. Although the ultra-simple audio player segment is still alive, not only that, for example, the iPod shuffle gives Apple the highest return per dollar invested. We got the iRiver E100 model, which is capable of playing video, several audio file formats, images, is equipped with an FM module, a microSD memory card slot, a line-in and a large 2. 4-inch screen, and at the same time the cost of the player is in the base modifications with 2 GB of internal memory is about 9$0 An interesting offer, well, let’s see what this inexpensive player can do.


    iRiver E100

    Display 2.4″ TFT-LCD, 320×240 dots
    Data communication USB 2.0
    Audio format support MP3 (MPEG 1/2/2.5 Layer 3), WMA, ASF, OGG, FLAC
    Video format support WM9, MPEG4 simple profile
    Image format support JPG, PNG, BMP, GIF
    Support for text file formats TXT
    Frequency range, Hz 20-20 000
    Output power, mW Left: 17, Right: 17 (when resistance: 16 ohms)
    Signal-to-noise ratio, dB 90
    Memory, GB 2 GB
    FM radio frequency range: 87. 5MHz-108MHz

    S/N: 60 dB
    Power supply Built-in lithium polymer battery
    Operating temperature -5 to +40 degrees Celsius
    OS support Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista
    Dimensions, mm 92.8×47.8×11.3
    Weight, grams 53.9
    No data

    Scope of supply

    The delivery set is traditional and not particularly rich: a synchronization cable, headphones, a software disk and a brief instruction, that’s all.

    Appearance and usability

    The hero of the material has a completely simple design, and this is what makes him attractive. The right-shaped parallelepiped with smoothed corners fits comfortably in the hand, all controls are easily accessible, there are no problems with pressing the buttons. It will be especially convenient for left-handers, which is so rare. «Sotka» exists in several colors — brown, white, light blue, pink and black, the last one was tested. From a subjective point of view, iRiver E100 looks the best in this color — a classic and no compromises. All body parts are made of painted plastic with a matte (rather than fashionable now glossy) and smooth surface. The build quality is not satisfactory — all the parts fit clearly, nothing dangles, the gaps between the parts are minimal. When trying to twist and squeeze, it was not possible to bend the body and even squeeze out some kind of creak. The features of the shape of the rear panel, which is at the same time a rigid frame, have an effect.

    In fact, the case consists of three large panels — a back panel, a top panel with an integrated screen, and a large 4-way key with an enter key in the center. Controlling the huge joystick is convenient even blindly, but sometimes there are problems with the enter key due to its modest size. Therefore, owners of large fingers periodically press one of the joystick keys together with the enter key.

    All six sides of the case contain some functional elements, even the lower part of the case — it carries a built-in audio system, and it consists of not one, but two speakers that sound pretty good, and most importantly — loud. That’s really a reason to think in the «apple» company — even inexpensive players of competitors are already equipped with good speakers.

    On the left side there is an input lock slider and a miniature hole for the «reset» microbutton.

    On the right, there is a volume rocker, a built-in microphone hole and an on/off button.

    Above is only a compartment for installing microSD memory cards, hidden by a rubber plug.

    The bottom part is the busiest: a standard 3. 5mm headphone jack, a lanyard eyelet, a miniUSB connector, and a 3.5mm line-in/microphone jack. During operation, I had to face the fact that the plug of the miniUSB port, due to the short «tail» when connecting the cable, constantly fell under the plug body. As a result, the connector did not provide reliable contact and the plugs had to be held by hand.


    The player has a conventional TFT-display with a diagonal of 2.4 inches. The screen size is quite large, but its brightness is not too high, besides, the screen fades when exposed to direct sunlight, viewing angles are small, and color reproduction is at an average level. Of course, the cost of the device is low, but still you want to get the best for little money. However, when viewed at a right angle and without bright illumination, the screen is quite suitable for watching movies.


    iRiver E100. Settings menu.

    iRiver E100. System settings.

    iRiver E100. Display setting.

    iRiver E100. Setting the backlight timeout.

    iRiver E100. Display brightness setting.

    iRiver E100. Power setting.

    iRiver E100. System settings.

    iRiver E100. Select the type of connection.

    iRiver E100. System information.

    iRiver E100. File manager.



    The synchronization program, when indexing files on PC disks, detects not only txt files supported by the player, but also other text formats, but transfers only txt files to the player’s memory. The text is displayed in only one color scheme — white text on a gray background. The settings provide for changing the font size: large, when installed, 10 lines of 17 characters each are placed on the screen, medium — 12 lines of 17 characters, and small — 13 lines of 20 characters. The text is automatically divided into pages, and the number of pages and the current sheet are displayed in the lower right corner. The text scrolls not line by line, but page by page, which takes some time to get used to, this mode is especially unusual in the auto-scroll text mode (delays of 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 seconds are provided). Moving to a specific location in a file is well thought out. Firstly, you can specify the position in percentage in increments of 5% or set a bookmark, in addition, the player remembers the exit location from the read mode for all files stored in memory.

    iRiver E100. Text file reading mode.

    iRiver E100. List of files.

    iRiver E100. Reading mode.

    iRiver E100. Reading mode settings.

    iRiver E100. Bookmark list.


    The photo viewing mode was a pleasant surprise. The functionality is quite wide, and the number of supported formats is not limited to one JPEG, except for which GIF, PNG and BMP are supported. A fairly wide choice, and for complete happiness, only TIFF is missing. There are virtually no restrictions on file size, and the player can easily open 14.7-megapixel frames captured by a Panasonic FX-150 camera. Only now 15-megapixel frames open in almost 15 seconds, and 10-megapixel frames take an average of 10 seconds. Funny coincidence. In the mode of viewing the contents of the catalog, not the usual matrix of thumbnails is displayed, but four thumbnails placed in a column with file names. I was pleased that thumbnails are created not only for files of «native» qVGA resolution, but also for all the same 14.7-megapixel images. Scaling is provided, but only once, and only twice, both for qVGA frames and for huge shots. In fact, to use scaling, a resolution of 640×480 pixels is enough, but here a minus of the synchronization program pops up, which transfers files to the player’s memory with automatic resizing to 320×240 pixels. Larger photos can only be loaded into memory using a file manager. It also rotates the image by 90, 180 and 270 degrees. The sync program lets you create image playlists, sort of like a slideshow of your favorites.

    iRiver E100. Image viewing mode.

    iRiver E100. List of image directories.

    iRiver E100. List of miniatures.

    iRiver E100. Viewing images.

    iRiver E100. View an enlarged image.

    iRiver E100. Image view settings.

    iRiver E100. Displays the metadata of the snapshot.


    Unlike image formats, the player cannot boast of supporting a mass of video formats — only WM9 and MPEG4 are provided, there is no DivX support. In addition, there is a limitation on the frame resolution of 320×240 pixels. In general, almost the entire video library has to be converted, fortunately, the package includes a fairly handy converter designed for iRiver players. Surprisingly, with all these limitations, a very high bit rate is supported — up to 2 Mbps. By the way, when setting a high flux density, the player plays video without jerks and without artifacts or dropped frames noticeable to the eye. The player allows you to play cyclically all files, or the current file, it is also possible to create playlists in the iRiver 3 Plus program. Moving along the track is possible with 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 times acceleration. The player remembers where to stop viewing for all files, in addition, it is possible to set bookmarks, which are displayed in the bookmark list as the file name and the exact time the bookmark was set. In general, navigation in video mode is well thought out, only a limited number of supported formats are frustrating.

    iRiver E100. Video view mode.

    iRiver E100. List of files.

    iRiver E100. Video bookmarks.

    iRiver E100. Video viewing.

    iRiver E100. Setting the video viewing mode.

    iRiver E100. Display properties of the video file.


    With support for audio formats, the situation is somewhat better, MP3, WMA, ASF, OGG and FLAC are supported, which is quite good for an inexpensive player. Files are sorted by artist, genre, catalog and rating. Of course, playlists are also supported. Creating lists is possible only with the help of the synchronization program. The player has seven equalizer presets — normal, rock, jazz, pop, classic, soft, DBB. Loop playback of one track is supported, as well as cyclic playback of all files in a selection or list in the usual sequence and with permutation of tracks. Track navigation, as well as in the video playback mode, is possible with 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32-fold acceleration, it also provides for setting bookmarks and repeating the specified section. Unlike the same video playback mode, the player does not remember the position at which listening was stopped, so when listening to large audiobooks, you should definitely use bookmarks.

    iRiver E100. Audio file listening mode.

    iRiver E100. Audio bookmarks.

    iRiver E100. Playing audio files.

    iRiver E100. Setting the playback mode of audio files.

    iRiver E100. Information about files.

    iRiver E100. Select an equalizer setting.

    FM radio

    The radio module is the only feature that has caused a lot of criticism. The first inclusion is naturally accompanied by auto-scanning of the entire frequency range. Scanning is quite fast, about two seconds per 1 MHz band, but in the end, not a single station is listed! Manual search for stations is a rather tedious task: it’s no joke to «walk» from 87.5 to 108 MHz in 0. 05 MHz steps. But that’s not all, the number of stations found is half that of iRiver Clix and L-Player in the same range. Naturally, the impression arose that somewhere in the settings the reception of stations with a weak signal was limited, but such restrictions were not set. However, the selected stations worked clearly, regardless of the position of the earphone wire that serves as the antenna. The station list allows you to fill in up to 20 positions, but the station name cannot be assigned, and only the frequency is displayed. Live recording is possible, moreover, it is possible in three quality modes; maximum quality — in WMA format with a bit rate of 191 kbps. The duration of the recording is limited only by the available disk space. The recording quality is excellent, you can only find fault with the fact that in the Russian-language menu to start recording you need to click the «Recording quality» item (in fact, the recording quality is set in the «FM recording quality» menu).

    An example of broadcast recording in maximum quality.

    iRiver E100. Radio listening mode.

    iRiver E100. List of radio stations.

    iRiver E100. Setting the radio listening mode.

    Voice recorder and line-in

    As in the radio recording mode, dictaphone recording and recording from the line input are made to WMA files in three quality modes. In addition to setting the quality, there are no other settings. Dictaphone recording is possible using the built-in or external microphone, which is connected to the line-in connector. During testing, two recordings of the same fragment of the composition were made with the same source volume and distance from it using the built-in microphone and an inexpensive SVEN external microphone. Unexpectedly, the quality of the recording was better when using the built-in microphone, and the recording obtained using the external microphone was of terrible quality.

    • An example of voice recording using the built-in microphone.
    • An example of voice recording using an external microphone.
    • Line-in recording example.

    iRiver E100. Audio recording mode.


    The audio path was tested using the popular RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.2.2 test package. (hereinafter referred to as RMAA) using the Creative E-MU 0202 USB audio interface. All special effects are off, the equalizer is set to «normal». Players iRiver L-Player and Philips GoGear SA6045/9 were chosen as opponents7

    Operating mode: 16-bit, 44 kHz.

    Total results

    iRiver E100

    iRiver L-Player

    Philips GoGear SA6045/97

    Frequency response unevenness (in the range of 40 Hz — 15 kHz), dB +0. 26, -0.30 Good +0.35, -0.29 Good +0.66, -0.98 Medium
    Noise level, dB(A) -91 Very good -92.6 Very good -89.5 Good
    Dynamic range dB(A) 91 Very good 92.9 Very good 88 Good
    Harmonic distortion, % 0.003 Excellent 0.0027 Excellent 0.0015 Excellent
    THD + noise dB(A) -64.8 Bad -57.5 Bad -71.6 Medium
    Intermodulation distortion + noise, % 0.068 Good 0. 17 Medium 0.029 Good
    Interpenetration of channels, dB -88.1 Excellent -89.4 Excellent -91.1 Excellent
    Intermodulation at 10 kHz, % 0.0089 Very good 0.0089 Very good 0.012 Very good
    Total score

    Very good

    Very good

    Very good

    Frequency response

    20 Hz to 20 kHz dB -2.76, +0.29
    40 Hz to 15 kHz dB -0.30, +0.26

    Noise level

    Left Right
    Power RMS, dB -89. 7 -89.4
    Power RMS dB(A) -91.2 -90.9
    Peak level, dB -58.3 -58
    DC offset, % 0 0

    Dynamic range

    Left Right
    Dynamic range, dB 90 89.7
    Dynamic range dB(A) 91.1 90.9
    DC offset, % 0 0

    THD + noise (-3 dB)

    Left Right
    Harmonic distortion, % 0.0028 0.0031
    THD + noise, % 0. 0518 0.0519
    THD + noise (A-weighted) % 0.0575 0.0576

    Intermodulation distortion

    Left Right
    Intermodulation distortion + noise, % 0.0681 0.0678
    Intermodulation distortion + noise (A-weighted), % 0.0342 0.0342

    Stereo Interpenetration

    Left Right
    Penetration at 100 Hz, dB -81 -81
    Penetration at 1000 Hz, dB -86 -89
    Penetration at 10000 Hz, dB -87 -89

    Intermodulation distortion (variable frequency)

    Left Right
    Intermodulation distortion + noise at 10000 Hz 0. 0085 0.0078
    Intermodulation distortion + noise at 15000 Hz 0.0104 0.0106


    The supplied headphones are of very good quality, but given the good sound quality of the player, it is worth replacing them with something more serious.

    PC connection types

    Connection via USB bus is possible in MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) or MSC (Mass Storage Class) mode, in other words, in USB storage mode, which allows you to use the player as a regular flash drive, or synchronize it with a PC using the bundled iRiver software Plus 3. Data transfer speed was measured using the built-in benchmark utility Everest

    Additional software

    The 80-mm disk included in the package includes a set of software unchanged for all modern iRiver players — Windows Media Player 11, iRiver Plus 3, Movie Converter and iRiver Firmware Updater. The latest program is only used to check the firmware version and update it.

    Movie Converter is a very handy program for converting video files into a suitable format for the player. The program allows you to choose one of three options — optimized for a portable device, original size and full screen mode for a portable device. The latter mode should not be used, because in it the video is tritely «fitted» to the screen size, for example, a test widescreen video was stretched horizontally.

    The most interesting synchronization program is iRiver Plus 3, which can index all multimedia and text files on the PC’s hard drive and copy them to the player’s memory. Moreover, during data copying, the program first checks for duplicate files and loads only those that are not yet in the device’s memory. When indexing text files, not only txt files supported by the player are detected, but also DOC and PDF, but the program does not allow transferring them to the player’s memory. It is also possible to create playlists and image collections, add podcasts and flash the device. In addition, the program allows you to capture sound from audio CDs.

    Autonomous operation

    According to the manufacturer, the player is able to play MP3 files from a single charge for 17 hours. In real conditions, when listening to a set of MP3 files with different bitrates (from 128 to 320 kbps), the player turned off after 15 hours and 24 minutes. The result is just a little short of what was declared, but in general, when many players have reached the daily limit, 15.5 hours is not too much. But in the video playback mode, the E100 will give odds to many — 6 hours 11 minutes when playing a video with a bit rate of 550 kbps, an average backlight and volume level. More than six hours is a worthy result, which is only slightly inferior to the Sony WALKMAN NWZ-A726 player, which we tested last summer. The charge level indicator is unsuitable for use, as it «lives its own life» — the information displayed by it is practically not related to the actual charge level. During charging, the indicator does not allow you to determine whether the battery is fully charged, so the battery of the player was connected to the power source for six hours before testing the autonomous indicators.


    So let’s draw the line. The player, in general, is very successful, but not without flaws. Probably the most important is problems with detecting FM stations, it is also worth noting some flaws in the translation of the menu and a small number of supported video formats, quality problems when recording to an external microphone, and not too long battery life in audio file playback mode. Given the low cost of the device, some shortcomings can still be forgiven. After all, in addition to the large diagonal of the screen, the iRiver E100 player also boasts a line-in, a slot for microSD memory cards that have sagged considerably in cost, a pair of built-in rather loud speakers, thoughtful navigation through audio/video and text files, and a developed bookmarking system.