Top critical review
Just an Expensive Alarm Clock or Picture Frame!
on 1 February 2006
I bought the 1gb U10 because I needed an mp3 player and was looking for a decent alarm clock that would play an mp3.
When the 1gb U10 arrived I was impressed, the packaging and box was lovely done. I saw the player and thought.. wow, it's tiny. A lot smaller than I expected, and not necessarily in a good way.
I bough the korean version purposely, because with the north american and european one, you have to use windows media player and as far as I know (from my research) it is not possible for a firmware upgrade to change that. The korean version shows up as a normal hard drive in windows. Which means I can drag and drop: movies, pictures, flash games and music.
When in the cradle it looks lovely, the buttons on screen don't work though, and bizzarly the fm radio is disabled?! You must use the remote control. The buttons on the remote are so stiff, that when I try to press them, I can see the remote bending. When the player is in the cradle, you must push it in for it to pop out. With these design flaws/issues I have wonders as to how long it will survive.
Divx Video played fine not too slow (it must be 15fps). I did ned to convert my Red Dwarf movie, but that was a simple affair with "iRiverter". Photos displayed clear, even when I didn't specially resize them for the player. The flash player was good, games are as simple as you can expect with only four real buttons they can use. Pretty cool, they even seem to have a store for saving some details. One program provides a counter; so you can count the days until a birthday, or for how long you've owned your iRiver u10!
The radio is good. It can auto scan the entire frequency range itself and save channels when it finds a strong signal. Quality is good as well.
As I expected the iRiver software was annoying, troublesome to use and rather strange and hard to get used to. I'm still not sure how to copy videos with the software, good thing I don't need to use it!
The interface is unique. I liked the idea on paper. Works well when being used at home. However when I'm on the train or tube, I don't want to get the player out to change tracks; with this player I do need to though. If I'm walking down the road, I don't want to have to spend a couple of minutes going through the menu just to change to a different song. Obviously having the hold button on, means I can't use the front buttons, and without the hold they will click in my pocket. So if iRiver added a simple remote to the player, even if it was only one button, I would be a lot happier.
It's a unique, neat player, that makes a fab, if not expensive alarm clock. But I managed to get it for £150 inc the dock, so I can't complain, too much!
I'm not sure if I'll keep it, I might sell it on and get a simpler iRiver mp3 player that works better for my needs. If you're a playlist person then this player would probably suit you better.
However I'm only using this player for now, while I wait for my video iPod to arrive.At least then I can have the ipod safely in my pocket, away from those crazy, friday night londeners, and just use the slim remote to control it!
The U10 is a unique player in it's own right and deserves a lot of credit for its innovative features, unique intuitve interface and style.