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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very cool, very small, very good!
Well, you've seen the picture so you already know how cool the i-bead looks. Add to that excellent sound quality and the option of WMA encoding (WMA files are about 40% smaller than MP3 files of the same quality, which means 128MB acts more like 213MB) and the i-bead looks even better. My fav aspect is the inbuild rechargable battery: recharged through you PC's USB port...
Published on 13 April 2003 by Mr. D. Stewart

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Small but not perfectly formed!
The I-Bead is very small, and, as it has a rechargeable battery built in, it is very light. The sound quality seems pretty decent too. There are a few problems with it though. It doesn't come with any sort of protective case, which seems like a petty complaint until you handle this tiny little light thing and you're scared that it will get damaged very easily. You can get...
Published on 16 May 2003 by jonmep


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very cool, very small, very good!, 13 April 2003
This review is from: I-BEAD 128MB MP3 Player (Electronics)
Well, you've seen the picture so you already know how cool the i-bead looks. Add to that excellent sound quality and the option of WMA encoding (WMA files are about 40% smaller than MP3 files of the same quality, which means 128MB acts more like 213MB) and the i-bead looks even better. My fav aspect is the inbuild rechargable battery: recharged through you PC's USB port. So no battery cost, no hasslesome rechargers. My Win2000 system in the office had no problems handling the i-bead without the need for any new software, though my win98SE at home needed a simple driver installation. At least it plays on win98, unlike many other mp3 players. Overall, I'm well chuffed with this, as you can no doubt tell! A big thumbs up!
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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I-bead MP3 Player Review, 18 Mar. 2003
This review is from: I-BEAD 128MB MP3 Player (Electronics)
This mp3 player is everything I was looking for AND MORE. I wanted something small, easily carriable for the gym and when cycling with outstanding sound quality and long battery life.
The i-bead is a tiny MP3 player (roughly 8x2x2cms) with outstanding sound quality and an easy to use graphical interface.
As well, as playing MP3's it can play WMA files so you can store twice as much music on it with not much loss in sound quality and comes with a radio and a voice recorder (about 9hrs worth of voice recording).
What gives the i-bead the edge over other competitors is that it is rechargeable (a 3hr charge lasts for 14hours!!) and doesnt require any drivers or cables to run it. You just pop it into your USB port and it appears as a removable drive on your PC charging whilst it is connected. The USB plug is moulded and hidden on the actual player itself but comes with an extension cable if you are not fortunate enough to have a front USB port.
Transferring music (or any data files) is very quick indeed (about 2mins for 60songs).
As with most things there are bound to be one or two bad points:
1) The headphones that come with it are quite short and 'squareish' and sometimes fall out but I bought a pair of Koss 'The Plug' headphones and the sound quality, comfort and bass is the best I've ever experienced. However, saying that the supplied headphones are in a handy 'necklace' arrangement so you can carry your i-bead around your neck when training.
3) It doesnt come with a charger, you have to charge it through your PC but one is available separately if you wish to travel.
2) Often, when files are being uploaded to it it will say that the file is corrupt and not upload it. The machine will then not turn on and you will have to format your i-bead with the provided software and start all over again. I found this VERY frustrating!
The way round this is ingenious - the i-beads firmware is upgradeable with new updates coming out all the time to solve potential problems. I got the new firmware of their website and I have had no problems with it since - also, the firmware added gave it a few quirky animations and extra features to give it more appeal when using it. Also, if you have a particular unencountered problem, you can inform them and they will try and produce a patch for you to solve it.
4.) Not expandable. Unfortunately the capacity is stuck at 128MB with no chance of expandability. However, there is a 256MB version due out soon apparently.
A very well thought out product with not too many problems which cannot be easily solved.
BUY IT NOW!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Value!, 2 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: I-BEAD 128MB MP3 Player (Electronics)
This first offering by a Korean manufacturer which only started up last year holds great promise.
Being a novice to the world of MP3 and digital audio, I felt slightly daunted by the plethora of gadgets available. My wish list included a minimum of 128MB of memory, which could preferably be used to store data as well as music. I also wanted an FM tuner to listen to the news while on the move. All this had to come in a bite-sized package that wouldn't be too obtrusive.
The iBead 100 fulfills all the above criteria, with the added bonus (?) that there are no AAA batteries to fiddle around with - the 37g (just under 1.5 oz) unit charges it's inbuilt lithium ion battery by simply plugging into your computer's USB port. So far I've come close to the manufacturer's claim of 14hrs on a 3hr charge.
It is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand, but you would probably want to dangle it around your neck with its cleverly designed strap/earphone combination.
I really like the super clear indigo-blue backlit LCD dislay which makes navigating around the iBead's menu system rather intuitive. There are only four controls on the unit: a play/pause button which also doubles up as the on/off key and a recording button which also serves to playback a selected segment - apparently good for language learning! Not only can you record off the radio, you can tape voice messages as well!
The main user interface is a forward/reverse "jog" key which does everything from "select" (by pushing the key in) to adjusting the volume. The final control is a "hold" key which essentially locks the other keys (except the on/off button!)
When all else fails, read the manual, which is comprehensive, although rather quirky at times! But a good effort at getting the message across.
The really cool bit is that you can actually upgrade the operating system of the unit by downloading firmware upgrades from the manufacturer's website. My unit came with version 3.021 installed and I was immediately able to upgrade it to version 3.061 as soon as I'd got home!
The sound quality is pretty good (it even has various equalizer settings you can choose from , depending on the genre of the music you listen to!) Cranking up the volume does drown out the noise of traffic even in Central London at rush hour!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just how technology should be!, 1 Sept. 2003
This review is from: I-BEAD 128MB MP3 Player (Electronics)
Concur with everyone else. Actually got the 256MB version but same unit. Installs with no work at all (XP), you can be loading up songs in minutes; no need for the manual! Necklace earphones are great although if you want to go running it might bounce around on your chest a bit. User interface is nice and simple and clear once you spend the five minutes working out what the buttons do (OK, maybe one quick read of the manual!).
Radio function really tops it off; maybe lots of others have this but for me it's an added bonus and with the fact it can take so many songs, this is a fantastic little useful device.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fabulous, 7 July 2003
By 
Mr. Bruce Waite (Bolivia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: I-BEAD 128MB MP3 Player (Electronics)
The number of functions on this player just goes on and on. You can even balance the EQ while it's playing! Or perhaps record a track from the FM radio to play later (.WAV file). Maybe you just want to delete some files to make space for that inspired moment when you realise the meaning of life and wish to record it via the voice recorder. (It's able to record up to 9hrs of speech!!) Either way it does it all. And with simple USB connectivity (cable provided to prevent wrestling around the back of your computer) you can't go wrong, especially if you've got Windows 2000 or above/Mac equivalent. I particularly like the fact it doubles up as a portable drive....and the indigo screen just gives it some class. All in all blue sky sound.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, with one glitch., 9 April 2003
This review is from: I-BEAD 128MB MP3 Player (Electronics)
This is the Perfect mp3 player. It has one glitch. There is no way to recharge it without having a USB powercord and a power source. If for some reason it was fully out of power, I would have to wait about an hour before I could be sure it would play for 4 hours. Other than that, I can't name a better player. I love the fact that it supports drop and drag. It's a USB device, so I will never need a floppy disk again for taking files from home to school. Unlike the MuVo, this has 256 MB of memory, has a lcd screen to see whats playing AND includes FM tuner w/ recorder PLUS a mic for voice recording. This is SO much better than the MuVo!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Gadget - Well worth the money, 15 May 2003
By 
kyoseki (A wretched hive of scum and villainy) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I-BEAD 128MB MP3 Player (Electronics)
(refers to the 256Mb version)
I was in the market for an MP3 player to use down the gym without getting in the way of my workout, that you also get a USB flash disk, a voice recorder and a built in radio is the icing on the cake.
This is a very well designed and thought out device, it comes with it's own USB extension cable and the headphones double as a neck strap to carry the thing. The sound quality is very good and it has it's own built in equalizer.
If you're looking for an mp3 player to use in the gym, I'd highly recommend the optional armband as it keeps it well out of the way and doesn't restrict movement, although you will need another pair of headphones - buying some with a very short cable is awkward, but the Sony mini-disc earplugs are ideal.
Don't let the fact that it's from a rather obscure manufacturer deter you, you would be hard pressed to find a better device for the money.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does everything it says on the box, 10 Jun. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: I-BEAD 128MB MP3 Player (Electronics)
Had mine a few weeks now and am very pleased with it. This is the best sound I've ever heard from a personal player, even with original phones. The battery life is superb. Great value for money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radio, Memory Stick, voice recorder and MP3 Player, 26 May 2003
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: I-BEAD 128MB MP3 Player (Electronics)
I've had mine for a couple of weeks, and have to say it is excellent.
You can use it as backup, so you never need a 3.5" disk again, and if you get bored of your MP3s, there's a radio. They managed to squeeze a voice recorder in there too. Oh yes, and the battery is rechargeable, and charges from the USB port.
The features are the reason I bought it, but they aren't the reason it is getting five stars.
The reason I like it so much is the obsessive attention to detail which went into the design. So when you want to plug it into your computer, you unclip it from your neck, unclick the cap covering the USB interface, and click the cap onto the other end. I've bought lots of USB backups, and none of them gets this right - you either can't unclip it from your keyring, or the cap falls off, or there's nowhere to put the cap when you take it off.
Another nice thing about the detail is the switchgear. For example there's a hold slider which deactivates all of the other buttons so that it doesn't get switched on and off in your pocket. And it uses a jog dial for volume and track switch so you don't need to look at it if out for a run, or cycling.
The supplied headphones plug into the side rather than the end, so they won't fall out. The screen is clear, informative and attractive, and the menu system works.
In fact, I can't think of a way to improve it. An ergonomic masterpiece.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music Magic in the Palm of your Hand!!, 11 April 2003
This review is from: I-BEAD 128MB MP3 Player (Electronics)
At first glance you might well wonder how I-Bead have managed to fit so much technology in something the size of a pack of gum! The unit plugs straight into your USB socket and acts like another drive...just drag and drop your files. The blue lit screen displays track info, and the menus are easy to navigate via a jog wheel. Music quality is excellent, although I would suggest buying different headphones. The radio and voice recording are a bonus and you can record from the radio too. All in all an amazing machine............buy it.....you know you want to!
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I-BEAD 128MB MP3 Player
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