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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice player, but technical problems
First impressions were that this is a solidly built piece of kit, feels nice and is tiny (smaller than my ipod, if not by a lot). The remote feels a bit plastiky, but nothing too bad. I had heard a lot of people having technical problems with the remotes, screens cutting out and buttons not responding. Mine had these symptons after a few days and was quickly replaced by...
Published on 11 May 2004

versus
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Give it a Chance
The good side:
I decided to buy the 40gb version of the M3. I found it to be an extremely easy to use player and is also a very stylish piece of equipment. Even the box it comes in looks like it has had the styling team of Aston Martin working on it! The contents of the box are brilliant, two docks (Not quite sure on the logic here but I'm not complaining - its a...
Published on 29 July 2004 by D. W. Cowl


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Give it a Chance, 29 July 2004
By 
D. W. Cowl "dan-san-y2k" (Gloucester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cowon iAudio M3 20GB MP3 Player (Electronics)
The good side:
I decided to buy the 40gb version of the M3. I found it to be an extremely easy to use player and is also a very stylish piece of equipment. Even the box it comes in looks like it has had the styling team of Aston Martin working on it! The contents of the box are brilliant, two docks (Not quite sure on the logic here but I'm not complaining - its a spare!!) adequate earphones; usb cable; ac adapter; 3.5mm cable and user manual. All of these items are very good except the user manual which I found a bit brief. It even comes with some static apply stickers to protect the screen on the remote! I was very happy using my M3 it took about 35 minutes to download all 3500 tunes to it which I thought was brilliant...but...
The Bad:
After an hours use the remote control started behaving strangely, the play button would not function on it.
After four hours the player would not even boot up properly and the remote would not display anything.
Within 24 hours the player was nicely wrapped up and off to a company for exchange for a new player. Now I am awaiting a new one.
The Conclusion:
To be honest there are a lot of horror stories like mine on the iaudio.com website which should be read prior to purchase, there are also a lot of positive stories and glowing reports of customer service when things like this happen which I have to admit is true, the service is very good. In fact the player is a great piece of kit if only it was still working!!! I did not write this with the intention of putting anyone off as I truly think this is a very good player, if you get a good one. The warning here is that there are rogue players out there and if you are prepared to run the risk and if necessary return the player on the first day you will end up with a very worthwhile player. I would also go for the "brown" version as it looks better than it sounds!! Maybe Amazon should try expanding their range a little....
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice player, but technical problems, 11 May 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Cowon iAudio M3 20GB MP3 Player (Electronics)
First impressions were that this is a solidly built piece of kit, feels nice and is tiny (smaller than my ipod, if not by a lot). The remote feels a bit plastiky, but nothing too bad. I had heard a lot of people having technical problems with the remotes, screens cutting out and buttons not responding. Mine had these symptons after a few days and was quickly replaced by Cowon. The ssecond unit was rendered unusable with the same symtoms, and I am awaiting a third one.
This less than satisfactory situation hasnt put me off the player, its showed me how good their technical support is if anything. The features work well if you have the remote working, and 20gb is ample. Make sure you have USB2 though, I dont and it takes hours to transfer my music across. The radio is nice, though reception is not the best and its ability to play OGG files places it above to ipod in my view.
If you're looking for an ipod killer, consider the M3; better battery life (almost 2x), radio, recording facilities, plays more file types, cheaper and the m3 is smaller.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lovely-jubbly, 5 Feb 2005
This review is from: Cowon iAudio M3 20GB MP3 Player (Electronics)
After much thought and research, which left me a little bewildered, I opted for the iaudio m3. As much as I researched I still found myself taking a bit of a 'stab in the dark'. Fortunately, I am very happy with the product overall. From the first look I was in love, it's a little beauty.
As other reviewers have mentioned, the remote takes a little practice but soon all becomes clear. I believe, not having to remove the main unit from your pocket to change song etc everytime is actually a bonus. Admittedly, the size of the readout on the remote can call for closer scrutiny if your eyes are on the 'way out' age wise, but there is a nice back light to counter my optical problems. As for the software, well that's a doddle to use, even for a computer illiterate like me. With a little tuition from my 13 year old son I was up and away. In fact the in line recording facility of this unit was one of the things I'd wanted, because, I feared not being able to use the software. But in fact, I haven't even used it at all.
The sound quality is very good and the supplied headphones are certainly upto the job even if they do make you look a bit like Shrek.
My only dissapointment has been the FM radio, In fact, Radio 2 (UK) is the only station I can receive. While I'm not in the best locality for radio reception I can receive a good deal better FM reception on my nokia phone, which suggests the receiver on the m3 is not up to much.
But it's great to have all your favourite music on your hip, with ease of use and plenty of spare capacity for the odd audio book or whatever takes your fancy.
Smashing.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COWAN Systems iAudio M3 (20GB Metal Silver), 4 May 2004
This review is from: Cowon iAudio M3 20GB MP3 Player (Electronics)
COWAN Systems
iAudio M3 (20GB metal silver colour also available in gun metal brown)
I did consider purchasing the iPod and been saving up to do so, until I found the iAudio on a web site, and thought to myself at first glance this is a real good looking MP3 player and it has so many features than the iPod and even cost less too!
I slept on the decision iPod or iAudio, and I went for the more features and cheaper price competition the iAudio and have not regretted my decision, in fact I think the iAudio is a better player than the iPod if you match it feature to feature and price to price and Amazon even sold it cheaper than the other web site that was selling the iAudio M3.
First impressions, upon receiving my new iAudio M3 from Amazon I was pleasantly surprised, as the packaging was excellent, all the bits and pieces was neatly place in a plastic tray that divided the player and remote to the top half of the tray, whilst all the cables, manual, CD’s and adaptors neatly packed in the under tray.
I immediately flicked through the manual, then unpacked all the items and was surprised again! To find that it also includes the optional docking cradle and also a lovely slim black case to hold the M3 in.
First thing to do is to recharge the player so it has power to turn on, as I found this a bit fiddly at first since I was pressings all the buttons trying to get it to turn on whilst it was charging to see the menu screen on the remote. I eventually did, and quickly flicked through the available modes that included Digital audio, FM radio, Microphone Audio, and Line In mode.
COWAN Systems also included spare rubber plug socket protectors, and also two thin plastic film to place over the screen of the remote to protect it from scratches which you place on yourself. All this finer details from the iAudio M3 makes it a serious contender to the popular iPod!
Here are some features of the iAudio:-
Mp3/WMA/OGG/ASF/WAV (multi codec)
Voice Recorder
FM Radio
Direct Encoding (with the included line in cable)
The iAudio also acts as a USB hard-drive on your computer to save data files
USB2
Up to 14 continuous playback
3 Hour Charge Time
Hold Switch
136g total weight
Components included in the box
iAudio MP3 Player
AC adaptor
Adaptor Kit
Remote Control
Docking cradle (which is optional in other countries)
Earphone & ear piece covers
User’s Manual
USB Cable
Line-in Cable
Carrying Case
CD (JetShell, Jet Audio)
System Requirements
Pentium 200MHz or above
32MB Main Memory or higher
20MB Hard Disk space or more
256 colour or higher display
Microsoft Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP
Mac OS 10.x (only data transfer supported)
USB Port
CD-Rom Drive
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillaint, Well done iaudio, 6 Dec 2004
By 
Christopher Harries (Medway, Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cowon iAudio M3 20GB MP3 Player (Electronics)
I love this player. I brought it a few months ago and i have no problems to reprt. It looks very nice, and sitting in the cradle on my desktop also looks very sexy.
I have had no problems with the remote, it does take a bit of getting used to, but once you have, very easy to use and makes life very simple. The file support is also good being able to play pretty much what i want.
Being a second hard drive i also put work on it, and have backed up my HDD befor when i needed a reformat. So its good for music and for carying your work from office/school to home. Very useful when i was editing a video at school and worked on it at school and home and simply put the Adobe Primier file on this and took it around. Far easier and quicker then buring a DVD or something. The battery life is good, and charges prety quickly.
The sound qulity though..wow, thats amazing. Lots of in-bult features like BBE and mach3bass aswell as an equlizer makes the sound very good. The headphones are large yes, but block out most external sounds and so its only music you hear (i almost got run over when crossing a road when i first got it as i didnt hear the car).
If you want a good solid player, then get this. Simply amazing piece of kit. My g/f got an ipod jsut after, but i am glad i didnt go for that hype, because this is simply better!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judge the product, not the name, 1 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Cowon iAudio M3 20GB MP3 Player (Electronics)
Often when I show people my M3 the first comment is "Its not an iPod so it can't be any good" You couldn't be more wrong. From whats in the box (more accesories than most people need) to what the player can do M3 shows a much more impressive list. I personally love the remote. The player is tucked out of the way in the included case protected from scratches (check out an iPod after a couple of months) and from prying eyes. The other thing everyone mentions is how small it is, it is tiny.
The remote takes a little getting used to but you only have to learn once and then all the operations can be performed from a tiny thing clipped on your shirt. When first released a number of remotes had technical problems but this seems to be solved and new players will be fine. The number of new features being added by new firmware updates is increadible. For example the M3 recently got FLAC lossless support :-)
The build quality of the unit is fantastic and the warrenty last 2 years anyway (instead of the one offered by iPod). The sound is great but some may find the earbuds supplied a little large.
I have connected this player to a number of computers running Win XP, both through USB 2.0 and 1.1 without any problems. After plugging it in it shows up as an external drive. Simply drag and drop music into your music folder, any other files into files folder and off you go. If you are used to the standard file/folder organisation of Windows this is exactly the same. I don't know what the included software is like as I still haven't needed to use it. The drag and drop is so easy to use.
All in all I would recommend at least looking at this player, I would defintely buy it again and with the battery length and the ability to listen to radio gives this player excellent flexability.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best MP3 player, 31 May 2005
By 
This review is from: Cowon iAudio M3 20GB MP3 Player (Electronics)
How do you weed out the best MP3 players from the abundance of models and brands on the market? I had done some quite in depth research into this, as I wanted to make sure that if I'm going to spend a fair bit of money, it's going to have to be something that lasts and performs to a very high standard indeed. I wanted great sound, great style and build quality, ease of use and compactness and lightness. Well, the Cowon IAudio M3 certainly fulfils all those requirements to a really high standard and good value for money when compared to other players (you don't have to fork out extra for protective casing or a cradle, it's all included).
I initially narrowed my selection to an IPOD, an IRIVER and this one from Cowon. I've not listened to IRIVER's sound quality but I have listened to the IPOD and I do feel happier with the IAudio's sound.
I've had it now for 3 months and I'm still over the moon with it. The feature that really sold it for me was the small remote, from which all controls are made. It means that the actual main body can stay hidden away in your pocket safe from accidents and those dastardly 'hoodies' you get nowadays and you can clip the remote to something within easy reach. The actual remote is a really great idea and not at all difficult to control as some reviewers have suggested and is rather stylish. I like the fact that the two main buttons can also be pushed in as well as from side to side...
The equaliser settings are superb and the MP3 enhance and the surround sound effects work to really fantastic effect. The built in FM tuner is another added bonus and the voice recorder has also come in very handy - other features that sold it for me. I also really like the fact that the IAudio M3 automatically encodes to MP3 format as you record directly to it, which comes in handy for when you want to record from cassettes.
The only criticism I do have is that the instructions are really bad and do not explain well enough the ins and out of the JetShell software and if like me, this is your first foray into the wonderful world of MP3, and unless you've had experience with encoding to MP3 before and file management, you will probably get rather frustrated and there will be an element of trial and error before you work out how it all works. However, it's a small criticism and not enough to warrant a reduced star off the overall rating.
In short, this is a nigh on perfect MP3 player and used in conjunction with a set of Sennheiser PX200's (although the earphones it comes with are rather good) you'll have a stunning jukebox set up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 8 July 2005
This review is from: Cowon iAudio M3 20GB MP3 Player (Electronics)
Well I've had my I-Audio now for 1month & it's great!!!!
The machine is sleek & stylish, the sound quality is amazing & after an hour or so it's easy to navigate around the system.
There have been some bad reviews re the software but I think it's easy to use & everything syncs-up nicely.
All in all a great product - more exclusive than an I-Pod & smaller with better sound quality than I-River
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY good sound quality, 8 Feb 2005
This review is from: Cowon iAudio M3 20GB MP3 Player (Electronics)
I just want to add to all the positive reviews that it has SUPERB sound quality. Combined with my Sony EX71 earphones (the original ones are not bad, but not top of the bill either), the quality is astounding. Now I can really hear the difference between a 128 and 160 kbs MP3, and the difference between OGG files and MP3 files. It has a lot of power to drive the earphones, and the EX71 need that.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars iPOD Killer?.....Don't forget the rest as well!!, 19 May 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Cowon iAudio M3 20GB MP3 Player (Electronics)
After much looking and researching I decided to take the plunge and buy a hard disk MP3 player. Previously I had a solid state 256MB player which has now been grabbed by my daughter so there is no going back.
On first impressions the unit is quite stunning, a solid metal case on the player combined with a, what they call, in-line remote, which is actually plastic but still retains a high amount of style.
Also included is a desktop cradle that would not look out of place next to a B&O system, if only money was no object!! This has audio out, audio in, power and USB connections on it. There is also a smaller 'adapter' that has all the same connections on which I generally leave connected to my PC, while the cradle huddles up close to my stereo system.
Other accessories include headphones, carry case, software etc..The software seems to include two packages one called Jet Shell and the other Jet Audio, I must confess I haven't used the later much. It seems to be a media player, but I have been to busy trying to fill my player so have had not time to investigate. Any roads I want to get the music on the player and listen to it on that rather than through my PC.
The Jet Shell program seems to be the main 'utility' program that amongst other things allows you to convert your audio CD's into MP3 format. It also allows you to access the M3 player through the software, but I can't see the great need for this as the unit is recognised on the PC as an additional Hard Disk Drive through 'My Computer' and as such I can just drag and drop which is an absolute breeze. I am using USB2.0 and the transfer surprised me at the speed.
The other thing the software allows you to do is create M3U playlists, which I didn't and still don't know a great deal about, but they seem quite useful if you want to specifically queue up tracks or albums from different artists.
Now looking at the practicality of having 20GB worth of music on a player is quite mind boggling, I have transferred over the first 100 CD's and there is still absolutely acres of space in fact around 15GB, those cheap CD's bins in the local garage are becoming more and more attractive by the day.
I have most of my files encoded in WMA format and providing you disable the copy protection in Windows Media player then the M3 will play them.
Now back to this inline remote this was one of the things that swung the whole deal over the iPod as I don't ever have to get the player out of my pocket or its protective cover and why would I?
Yes there are other players out there with both inline remotes that also have a screen on the player which is fine if you want to carry a brick in your pocket. I also read in T3 recently that you need dexterity of a 6 fingered pick pocket to operate the M3, well if that is the case try operating the 3 jog wheels on the iRiver without taking your shoes and socks off! What an appalling bit of reviewing. (I have a pet hate of journalists who seem to spend their time supporting all the major manufacturers, I am sure it is nothing to do with advertising budgets)
While I have switched to ranting mode, for which I apologise, I have just read a review on this site from someone who has had a M3 and on reading it all I can think is that these products are possibly not suited for the under 5's as I can see no reason why anyone older would have so much trouble. I had a little issue, but I was put in touch with the UK support / distributor for Cowon and they resolved it quickly and very efficiently. They also gave me a few guidance tips and pointers to get the best out of my player. Enough of that...
Back to the player the last point I will make is that the searching of files is very straight forward, just open up the search menu then go in and out of your directories and sub directories at leisure and speed, even with just one hand!
All in all the best Audio purchase I have ever made........
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