Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive but slightly flawed, 29 Oct 2008
This review is from: Iriver U15 L-Player 8GB MP3/MP4 Player - Black (Electronics)
I wanted a not-too-expensive MP3 player that played a range of file formats, had decent sound quality and looked cool. The L Player certainly meets those expectations. It's very cleverly designed so that the screen operates as a four-way rocker switch that allows you to navigate the various menus. The only other switches on the unit are tiny power and volume bumps on the lower edge (don't buy this if you have really fat fingers!) and a slide switch for "hold" on the back. The appearance is really minimalist and the construction makes the screen pretty much the same size as the housing. The screen is amazing. The resolution and refresh rate are superb. You'll be amazed by the quality of the sample video included. Also by the static pictures - the quality of the image is breathtakingly good. I haven't tried putting my own video on there yet, but I've added pictures from my library and again, the quality is outstanding. I have downloaded various music formats, mostly lossless WMA files, and the reproduction of modern music is fantastic. The earphones don't seem to have the dynamic capability to match what the unit can produce though, and I'll be buying some Sennheiser earphones, or something similar. I read somewhere that battery life was poor (12 hours apparently) but I haven't found this to be problematic. The player also includes the ability to record memos and has a built in FM radio. If you're on the move, the radio isn't of much use, but it's OK around the house.
On the down-side, the iRiver Plus 3 software supplied with the player is really cumbersome to use and very, very slow. I synched the music I wanted using WMP which was easy enough, but surprisingly, the album art didn't come across. I had to add this manually, album by album using the awful Plus 3 software. It took a long, long time and it was really difficult to determine how to do it. That was probably the worst thing about the entire experience. Another negative is finding music. There is no search facility as such, you have to browse through music files sequentially - but here's the really annoying part: you can't re-order files. They appear in the order you added them to the device. This is seriously annoying and hopefully something a future firmware update will resolve. In the meantime, I use playlists and genres to find the files I want.
All in all, for just under eighty quid, and with 8Gb of storage, I think this is a fantastic piece of kit and better in many ways than my daughter's iPod nano.
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Location: Cambridge, UK

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