Right, this is going to be a long review but i'll try and keep it brief. Firstly, i have been through more MP3 cd players than many people (i think), and i have to say that this one stands out from the crowd in ALL aspects! it is THE gadget for a mp3 geek. Some people prefer flash/hard drive players and some prefer the cd players. (incidentally, the hard drive players iriver make are damn awesome too from what i've heard). i prefer the cd players because they're cheaper and i'm a student with no money but wanting HIGH demands for audio quality and looks. IRIVER CAME TO MY RESCUE!! :-) Firstly, this is more of a media player, because it supports MP3, WMA, and ASF! (as well as standard audio cd) and by january it'll have supported OGG (thanks to firmware upgradeability and their promise of an update!!). It reads CDR, CDRW, and packet cds too! AWESOME! Secondly, this player has more options than you can shake a stick at! forget sony and these others, this player is DROWNED with options, and with the small remote and the really well designed display, its easy to control everything! even has visualisations! The playback quality is absolutely perfect to my ear, and that goes with standard audio cds, AND all media types i've tried it with. seriously, the quality is flawless, and even the packaged headphones aint too bad (although i recommend going for some sony groove headphones, they're what i use and i think they provide BRILLIANT portable sound!). It has a 5 band equaliser, and i cranked it up to provide some better bass response and it didnt dissapoint at all!! NO DISTORTION! not even at high levels!! none of this high volume distortion crap from sony products and similar. the power output is gigantic on the headphone output! and it shows!! even has some presets (rock, pop, and others, i think about 8 or 9). Now i thought this was brilliant, but i checked their website, theres a new firmware! and that yet provided MORE opti
ons! it provided a very good bass boost equalising setting (that dont distort! it cleanly adds some nice response to the tracks!). When i listen to music with equalising settings and quickly change the equalising setting back to Normal, you can straight away tell the difference the settings have done! music definitely sounds brilliant! now with this new firmware, theres also another equalising setting that adds spaciousness and 3d-ness to the music! widens it! and oh my god, i thought it'd be crap but it is preeety damn good! the music still sounds flawless, except it's widened now an makes you sound like you're listening to a speaker system in a room! AWESOME AGAIN! this is all thanks to this firmware upgradeability and the excellent work from iriver engineers (full credit to them!). The player's looks and aesthetics are spot on! they kept the designers Inno for this model, and by god they made it good! so clean and simple, (no controls on the unit but it's in your pocket anyway! who needs it! the remote is all you need). its featherweight at 150g and very slim and small! i was impressed. is this cd player truely FLAWLESS? The remote is well designed, a huge clip on the back, 3 jog dials (non rotating) to control everything, and its well designed, i have had no problems with it. its pretty small but well its supposed to be! after a day or two you can control it blindfolded and it is NO problem whatsoever. its backlit too (with options to set delays for it and etc...). other things is it charges while playing too, it has a 2 AA battery pack that plugs in to provide extra power if you're on the move. (although i haven't had a problem!). it's skip protection of 15 MINUTES on media files is absolutely brilliant. and a 80second and a 320second settings for audio cds. it has an analogue AND optical lineout. (dont come with a lead but who cares). it comes with a really nice case that keeps it all slim, and sho
ws off some of that magnesium alloy of the player too! think of the case as a bra. it certainly turned some heads in my lectures! they said to me I WANT TO SEE MORE! RIP THE CASE OFF! seriously that is what it looks like! it is seriously that sexy! non uk models come with a car kit but never mind that, using it in the car wasn't my intention. Read up it's spec and user manuals on their site to get an idea for the TENS AND TENS OF OPTIONS it has, and its audio specs (for the proper audiophiles - hopefully you wont be dissapointed). oh did i forget to mention it has a fm tuner too? in a good area (outside on the move) it sounds the works!! in houses there's a slight hiss but at high volumes its not noticeable. i been looking at the contacts on the plug block that goes into the player from the remote - i think the antenna for the radio could be in the actual player. anyway it's an extra and i didnt buy it because of that. just a bonus as far as i'm concerned. hmm this has been a long review but theres so much to tell about the player. i might have missed small things but seriously i'm an audiophile person, i only want the best (or close to the best) and i haven't for a SECOND regretted buying this (unlike other units i have regretted because of reasons - sound quality, lack of options, etc..). overall....i cant fault this honestly. for ANYTHING. excellent battery life, EXCELLENT LOOKS, EXCELLENT SOUND QUALITY, immense options, plenty of expansion possible, and plenty of formats read. i forgot to mention that its previous models took near 50seconds to load a mp3 cd. well this one only takes about 6 - 10seconds to load a mp3 disc i've found. since i'm high quality, i only have about 6 - 7 albums on one cd (at 192 - 224 high quality VBR), so there aint much to load, i haven't tried a disc with HUNDREDS of 96k and 128k WMA tracks to see how long it takes, i dont think it takes long though. it supports just
standard folder playback, but if you bung on some m3u playlists onto the cd, you can set it to play accrding to them. it has full ID3 tag support, for v1, and v2, well it aint given . cant wait for the OGG firmware! i love OGG, that has been a surprise bonus christmas present for me! i'm waiting for that firmware, should be out in january by the latest. oh it has a snake game too, and a sleep/power off timer. hmm just read up the features on the site! i could go on!!!!!! JUST BUY IT!! www.advancedmp3players.co.uk - 144 quid DELIVERED NEXT DAY! best price you'll find up to date i think. it's just flawless, it's awesome, it's a DREAM, iriver RULE. full stop. FORGET THE REST - THIS IS THE KING OF MP3 CD DADDIES.