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VINE VOICEon 18 September 2007
I have owned one of these since the day of release - and as an "early-adopter", I was prepared for potential disappointment.

Well, I wasn't disappointed. As I bought a 4GB SDHC card at the same time, it's effectively an 8GB player - don't be fooled by the inbuilt 4GB, it has an SDHC slot, so your pocket and card capacities define the true memory limit.

It has a superb, very bright 320x240 screen - a touchscreen which the stylus-cum-stand allows you to navigate, although your fingers will do the job too, unless you're particularly clumsy.

As for entertainment media, it supports a wide range of sound encoding formats, including MP3, OGG, and FLAC. It can display JPEG pictures, and the supplied software will allow you to turn your videos into Xvid-format at various quality levels, which look fantastic.

The FM radio is excellent and highly sensitive, although for some reason, not RDS-enabled - but who listens to FM when DAB is available? The DAB radio is astonishingly sensitive - in fact, as I live almost equidistant between two transmitters, I was troubled by duplicate stations, until I moved on purpose to a poorer reception area in the house while tuning! This never happens even to my Pure Digital radio, which is superbly sensitive itself.

So, apart from anything else, this is the best portable DAB radio around.

Oh, and it stores text files, has a PDA-like notepad function, and plays Flash animations.

The sound quality is the best I have heard, and the number of adjustments, enhancements and parameters is almost too much: there's 3D surround, bass enhancement, stereo enhancement, MP3 enhancement, ...

Aside from this, a handful of well-designed presets for vocals, jazz, etc. all of which are customisable, and 10 custom presets on top of that, allow you to tailor your listening easily to the book, radio station, music or video that you're watching.

And the user interface is far easier than an iPod, or derivatives, as everything involves clicking virtual buttons on the screen - except one thing. Searching in music and video - you can just tap the screen and you're taken immediately to the point you want. This is the single best feature, and makes the whole device just that bit better that non-touchscreen devices.

On top of this, it claims 52 hours battery life for music, and a staggering 10 hours for video. As I've had mine for several weeks and I'm still on my first charge, despite mixing music, radio, DAB and video, I believe the figures are accurate.

Do yourself a favour if you're looking for a good portable DAB radio and buy this, and enjoy the unbeatable features and super user interface.
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on 6 December 2007
The review from Nicholas Sales really says it all. This is really a very good device which seems to have very few minuses. The battery life is excellent ...most other players offer 4 hours of video, this says that it is 10. That difference is significantly useful. The screen navigation is very easy and the screen itself is outstanding. Buy the leather case and get a screen protector. I can't say I was too impressed with the user manual, but basically you don't need one anyway. It is a bit more expensive than an average player, but well worth the extra cash.
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on 10 December 2007
A great player - great sound quality with FM and DAB radio.

You may need to upgrade the firmware for DAB to work correctly - if you have more than 50 DAB stations in your area. (The sound cuts out after .25 sec if you don't) Version 4.53b did the trick but it is a shame it didn't work 'out of the box'. Cowon do add features in their upgrades so it worth your while keeping an eye on the site - I undertsand that 'flash skins' will be available soon.
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on 5 June 2008
There's not much more to add, really, to the other reviews excpet for a slight disagreement over the "awsome" nature of the DAB radio. I have no worries with the FM radio but the DAB is not too good in my experience. I suspect that this is more to do with where I live in relation to the tranmitters but a colleague of mine has a Roberts DAB plug-in additon to his I-Pod and that picks up everyting fine.

Don't get me wrong - I do get stations and the sound is superb, I just don't get all the national stations (and I can at home with the non-portable). I've got firmware 4.54 out of thebox so don't think tis that but I will play and see what I can do.

Harsh to mark something down potentially becuase of my location and things may improve on travels around the country.

Otherwise fantastic..... I didn't want a round red fruit player, was leery of Zen after the reviews and yes this is a bit more of the hard earned cash - but worth it...
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on 25 April 2008
Had this for a few weeks - bought mine in the US so doesn't have the DAB radio but still i absolutely love it.

I have not found one thing I do not like about it yet - I upgraded firmware and put new themes on it straight from the box, very easy to do.

Love the interface and layout - played various movies and anime on it perfect, great quality. Sound is awsome with loads of presets and enhancments.

As other reviews have said the features are great - got to be one of the best media players around hands down.
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on 17 August 2008
I agree with most of the reviews about the quality and featuresof the product, but mine has had problems which I have tried to fix with updates from the Cowan site. This has crated other faults , and their help site is as bad as it gets, an Internet based help desk, slow useless answers and overall no help,I am still struggling to get my unit working as it should.
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on 13 February 2008
Overall I am very happy with this purchase.

It's very easy to use and setup. The sound quality is excellent. There is an abundance of features and settings to play with. Navigating the menu systems is easy. It's very small and light and the battery lasts an eternity. The picture/photo viewer is very good. It's very responsive to scroll a large amount of pictures too.

On the downsides however I can't get FM radio to find any stations at all, DAB radio is fine. I don't like the way you have to double click items to select them and can't find an option to allow items to be selected via a single click.
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on 14 June 2009
The recorded sound quality is brilliant, especially since I bought a set of Sennheiser earplugs.But DAB reception is poor,which is particularly disappointing as my Pure Radio works well in the kitchen for Classic FM that I like, but cannot receive on the Cowon even when placed alonside the kitchen radio, and wanted to be able to play in the garden which it cannot.

Jonathan Harvey
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on 2 February 2009
bought this for my other half for christmas. A great MP3 (and he's quite fussy about his music!). Good sound quality. Initial difficulties with set up with lap top resolved by clearing lots of rubbish off the lap top and then magically it worked. No problems since and he uses it daily on his commute to work.
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on 7 November 2008
great mp3 player my only real critisism would be that its touchscreen is a bit akward to use. that aside it sounds amazing better than my old ipod dab is a bonus....its just great!
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