Product Type: Rio MP3 players
Newest Review: ... a darn sight small than MP3 files so you can get about twice as much music on the Rio. Another brilliant detail on this is that it comes w... more
A nice piece of kit
Rio PMP600 32 MB
Member Name: tankster
Rio PMP600 32 MB
Date: 02/10/02, updated on 02/10/02 (387 review reads)
Advantages: Small, lightweight, Attractive, Reasonably cheap
Disadvantages: Poor software
I'd been looking around for a portable mp3/minidisc so I could carry my growing collection of mp3s around with me. After much deliberating I decided to purchase a Rio 600. The main reason I bought it was due to the price reduction (Reduced from 150-ish to 60 pounds). Also, the features seemed adequate for my needs (ie One AA battery last 11 hours).
After receiving the Rio, the first thing I noticed was how snugly it fitted into my hand. The design of the player is almost perfect. It really looks the business. The buttons are well laid out, and are fairly easy to press (even for my with my big fingers). The oval LCD screen is also very nicely situated.
I opened the back of the Rio and found a piece of plastic had to be removed in order to put the battery in, and then replaced after the battery was inserted. Fair enough, I thought, but this can be a cumbersome task as it is tricky to reattach.
With a battery now in place, I flicked the player on, and after a second the LCD screen lit up. The layout on screen is excellent, and all relevant information is shown, and is notably easy to read. Several features are available via the menu button. Playlists can be created, The time and date can be adjusted, and several different sound settings are available. The backlight timing can be adjusted, as can the power saving feature. Battery life and memory information is also available. I only have two gripes with these features - 1) Whenever a new battery is installed the time/date are reset, and as I have to change batterys every other day, this feature isn't really very worthwhile. 2) The only sound setting that gives good sound is the custon one, where the bass and treble can be upped.
When playing songs, it is easy to select which track you want to play and adjust the volume. The Rio is very loud, I found I only needed to go up to a volume of 12 (out of 20), when playing Metallica, and believe me, I like them lou
d. The supplied earphones are awkward to use so I replaced them.
The major problem I have with the Rio is the supplied software. I have had alot of problems with it. The 'Rio Audio Manager' is seems easy to use at first. However it seems to duplicate files if the correct ID3 tags are not in place, and this has left me with 2 different files to choose from when selecting tracks, one of which wont work. Also, it occasionally has trouble detecting the player, meaning you have to set it to Rio 600 in the options or turn the player off and back on.
The only problems I have with the Rio player is the battery life. 11 hours they claim? With the backlight set to stay on for 10 seconds only, I listened to the player for an hour and the power had gone down dramatically. The most I've got from a battery is 4 hours. Which is good, but not great. With the backlight off, battery length would be longer.
Also, the 32 meg backpack is not really big enough, and extra backpacks are very expensive. The 32 meg is fine for a bus journey or walk but for anything more it is not adequate. A 64 meg backpack costs roughly 85 pounds, add this to the 60 paid for the player and it would cost 145 pounds overall. For this amount of money a mp3 player with higher storage capacity or a minidisc would be a more viable option.
Overall - The Rio 600 is a nice piece of kit, with all the features you'd expect of a good mp3 player, and available at a reasonable price.
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