I was given this MP3 player as a Christmas present, I hadn't really considered getting one but now I have one, I couldn't do without it. The software that it comes with to transfer MP3's onto it is really easy to use, and when you first get the player, it has some helpful advice already loaded for you to listen to (much easier than an instruction booklet). The storage space is huge, and you can hold up to 6 CDs worth of music. The player itself is well designed with all the features easy to use and understand. As well as playing MP3s, it also has an in-built FM radio. Although some people have criticised the sound quality of the radio, I have never had a problem and it sounds identical to the portable radio I have. However, if you live in the Outer Hebrides you may have a problem because it has no aerial. The only criticism I have is about the headphones, when spending about £200 you would expect Intel to provide something a little less cheap and tacky looking. Although the sound from them is far superior to any other headphones I've known. Overall it gets the big thumbs up, and I'd recommend it to any one who's thinking of buying a player.
There are many rumors and myths about this product mostly in magazine write ups so I'm writing this review to sort everything out. The dreaded hiss - Firstly YES there is a hiss, but its so quiet it really is barely noticeable, listening to the player WHILE the USB cable is plugged in makes this hiss 100 times worse, so the rule is, unplug the USB cable. FM Tuner - Unfortunately, the FM tuner isn't much good, it claims that it is tuned in Stereo, but the reception is poor - having said this, you can still make out everything that is being said/ played, there is just a lot of static. Software - The included software is excellent it gets the job done just fine. MusicMatch Jukebox has looks as good as the player does. It features CD ripping, playing, and visualizations along with downloadable DSP effects. The Intel transfer software is so basic even a dog could use it - "Find file, click transfer" that's it. If you still insist on hating the included software, Intel has released a patch to allow you to use Windows Media Player to upload your songs - how kind. Sound Quality and Headphones - Upon using the player on factory defaults I was extremely impressed. After 10 seconds of messing around I located the bass control, jacked it up to 8 and was blown away by the cleanness of the sound. I then turned the treble up to 8 and crispness and clarity got even better. The headphones, while looking slightly cheap provide absolutely excellent reproduction. The volume control has approximately 20 positions. Position 10 is very loud (in fact as much as I would ever need it), the player, however will only go to position 15 before distortion is made apparent. The Unit and Functions - Ok, the popular myth is that the body of the player is made of aluminium - this is quite far from the truth. It is in fact made of transparent blue plastic with aluminium plates stuck on; however, with it being transparent plastic,
it will be stronger because colored plastic requires colored filler (talc) which weakens the plastic. The use of the player is brilliantly simple but packed with features. In the settings menu, you can 1) Set repeat to the whole list, 1 song, or turn repeat off 2) Turn random on or off 3) Set bass from -8 to +8 4) Set treble from -8 to +8 From the wheel button menu you can 1) View the play list 2) Set a bookmark 3) Go to a bookmark Bookmarks are used when playing a song. You can set a bookmark at any place in a song and then hit "Go to bookmark" and the player will commence playing from the book marked point. The volume settings are digital buttons meaning that it won't keep getting changed in your pocket, furthermore, it has a nice hold feature integrated into the power switch. The switch goes from Off to On to Hold, when the unit is switched to Hold; only the volume controls are operable. Finally, the button above the power switch enables the FM tuner which DOES have auto scanning contrary to what another review said. You may also store presets. Overall, this unit feels very well built, firmware and hardware wise. It doesn't creak in your hand like most plastic products do. I've owned around 4 MP3 players, including the Archos 6 GB MP3 player which distorts at low volume and has no bass. This MP3 player is the best, except for the FM Tuner; I cannot flaw it - well done Intel. If you are hesitating whether to buy this or not, don't worry, it's a great player and I recommend it over the Archos 6000 and the MPMan F-35 t3 and at £150.00 it is a real bargain.
The Intel Pocket Concert is my first MP3 player and I was apprehensive before I bought it because I am not techno-savvy. Prior to the purchase I already had managed to rip 1,500 songs from 250 albums to my PC (via Creative Labs software). Given that I am not techno-savvy, I was most unimpressed with the Quick Start guide which omitted to mention the following key matters: 1. You don´t have to transfer all existing ripped files to MusicMatch to start using the player. The Concert will happily accept whatever mp3 files are stored in your PC, irrespective of which software platform you used to rip them. 2. It failed to mention that to transfer files to your Concert you had to use the separate Concert software that appeared on your desktop with its own icon. Given that this hadn´t been mentioned, I tried to transfer files via the MusicMatch software to my Concert under the misconception that this version of MusicMatch would have the transfer software to the "Concert" as an integral part of the ripping/transfering application. So what saved the day? I was most impressed by the After Sales Service provided via telephone from Swindon. One 5 minute chat with "Miguel" and techno-dunce (ie. me) was off. Once Miguel explained that my existing ripped files were good enough for the Concert (a major source of relief because I was damned if I was going to spend another week re-ripping 1,500 songs to MusicMatch), and Miguel explained how to transfer files to the Concert via the Intel software... which was incredibly easy... I was then a very very happy customer. I am blown away by this little machine and the sound quality. I transferred 33 songs to the player in 20 minutes which beats the 3 hours I would normally need to record Cds to a C90 tape!!!However, the bad news is that 33 songs is only 2 hours playback time. That, I am afraid is not enough for me and having become a zealot of the Mp3 player (thanks to this Int
el player), I would purchase the Creative Labs 6GB player with the benefit of hindsight. But then that is me, I like to have masses of music on tap. 33 songs is no-where near enough when on holiday for 2 weeks or longer!! How anybody manages with 32 or 64MBs beats me!! One final moan (even though in truth I am being very picky about an excellent machine) - I wish the Concert Software would list by individual track rather than by album when seeking files to transfer. I know my 1,500 songs by song title but not by the myriad album names. This having to go inside albums to retrieve individual tracks is an incredible frustration and very time consuming!! This isn´t just me!! Test yourself - how quickly can you name your top 10 songs? Now name your top 10 albums? Tell the difference? Intel or whomever, needs to make this selection process easier. In summary - great machine but for the same price I would buy the 6GB memory of the Creative Labs product if and only if, the build and sound quality is as good as this masterful Intel product. For now, I will use Windows Media compression and see how many extra tracks I can add and whether this additional "play time" requires the sound quality to diminish - only a trial will tell.....
This audio player really is the dog's doodads. No, really. Let me explain why, in words of less than seven syllables. 1. It's made by Intel. WHO? Intel, y'know. OH. THE CHIP PEOPLE? The very same. RIGHT. Okay, so probably not the top of your list, but Intel generally seem to know what they're doing. In this case, it means they've the support and marketing clout to make this little player a success. 2. It has 128 Meg inside it. WAIT, HANG ON, NO MEMORY CARD? No. BUT... BUT... You don't need one. Intel reckon you'd never buy one anyway. TRUE ENOUGH. Indeed. Instead, this player comes with 128 Meg built-in. BUT THAT'S ENOUGH FOR... ...for about two hours of MP3 music (sampled at 128Khz, ie acceptable quality). RIGHT. IS THAT ENOUGH? Well, yes, except this thing also does WMA. WMA? Windows Media Audio. It sounds as good as MP3 does, but it's about half the size. SO THAT MEANS... Yes - over three hours of music on this thing. I fit four albums on it at any one time. Just. 3. It has an FM radio in it. COOL. Well, not so cool. If you get v1.0 of the unit, as I did, then it only works in America, since it doesn't quite kind of work properly in Europe. OH. But hang fire. Intel have made an update available on the website which upgrades your player to v1.1, so it works properly. COOL. Well, not so cool really, because the radio's frankly rubbish. IS IT? Yup. It's not very sensitive. HOW SENSITIVE IS IT? Not very. Put it this way - if you sat underneath the transmitter, it might be slightly less hissy. MIGHT BE? Yes. But no matter... few people will be using this as a radio anyway. WON'T THEY? Not while the radio's so rubbish anyway. 4. It sounds pretty marvellous. It comes complete with nice, neck-band headphones which also sound pretty good, and it ha
s treble and bass controls on it. SOUNDS GOOD. I know, I just said that. HOW LOUD DOES IT GO? Very loud. In fact, it claims the amplifier inside is twice as powerful as other MP3 players. HOW DO THEY KNOW THAT? It's marketing guff, I'm sure, but it does get very loud. 5. It's USB-connected. HUH? You know, through those square plugs in the back of your computer. WHY? Because it's dead fast. It takes a minute to fill the entire 128Meg of memory up with tunes. And while the unit's plugged in, it takes the power from your PC, not from its batteries. SO HOW LONG DO THE BATTERIES LAST? Apparently about ten hours. They're AAA batteries. APPARENTLY? Well, I think they last much longer. 6. It looks nice. AW, GET OFF, YOU'RE JUST TALKING RUBBISH. No, it does. It's all smooth and rounded edges and made of brushed metal and it's nice and small. AND THE DISPLAY? Large, scrolling, back-lit when you need it to be. 7. It's easy to control. It's got a play button, and forward/back, but it's also got a jog wheel so you can instantly choose any track in your list. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU'RE USING AN AUDIO BOOK? You can set a bookmark, and come back to it later on. Quite useful, really. RANDOM FUNCTION? Oh, yes. GOOD. Glad you're happy. 8. The software's quite nice. SOFTWARE? The stuff that goes on your PC. In fact, it comes with two bits - the Intel Audio Player thing that loads up the music, and a fully-licensed copy of MusicMatch, one of the best ripping tools, for your CD collection. HAVE YOU USED MUSICMATCH? Yes. It's quite good, but make sure you visit the website and upgrade your software... the new stuff's a lot better. Hugely better. And it talks direct to your MP3 player too. USED THE INTEL SOFTWARE? Yes. It seems reliable enough, just gets a bit confused if y
ou try doing loads of things on your PC at the same time. But using Intel's name, and Windows Media Player files, presumably they'll get Windows Media Player to talk to the unit directly at some stage. So, in summary: Sounds good, looks good, plays stuff well, easy to use, loads of memory, good name, awful radio. IS THAT IT? Yep. I've got beer to drink. HOW ARE THE SORES? What sores? OH, THAT'S VERY KIND, I'LL HAVE A PINT OF TETLEYS.