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The MAMA of all mp3 players...
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Ease of Use
Look & Design
Range of Features
Value for Money
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IRiver is an American company selling portable audio equipment (mp3 player, cd players…). I discovered them by chance a couple of years ago. It was in Switzerland. My girlfriend (at the time) was looking for a mp3 player, and the seller advised us the brand Iriver, apparently the best on the market. At the time, it was a 256MB mp3 player, with radio and voice recorder included. The little thing looked weird to be honest (like a mini electric shaver) and its price was around £150.
After more research for this mp3 player on the net, we came to the conclusion that for this memory storage, the Iriver was the best compared to its competitors. I then went on their website in America to check the prices there. I discovered their latest mp3 player, the IHP-120 which is actually a hard drive (20GB), with radio and voice recorder for about £250. I own that puppy for 2 years, and had absolutely no problem with it… However, as a big music fan, the 20GB started to be too small… SO I decided to upgrade it to the 40GB model, which is the IHP-140; However, I saw the H340, with is essentially the same, but with colour screen, and other cool features…
I will now review the H340, just to make you jealous (I'm loving it… what a bastard I am hu hu hu).
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT IRIVER ******************************* iRiver was established in 1999 by Reigncom Ltd to become a force in the digital entertainment industry. By offering products that are cutting-edge while customer-friendly, they are poised to become the leader in the digital arena. From their award-winning iMP-350 SlimX to their new line of products, iRiver is emerging as the technically superior standard by which other companies will be compared. They design their digital music players to be Firmware Upgradeable, allowing their customers to get updates that they request.
iRiver America 638 Gibraltar Ct. Milpitas, CA 95035
Support Tel: 1-800-399-1799 Main office:408-635-8000 Fax: 408-635-8002
Now, let's move on to MY actual review about the H340, because I am the star here. Not them.
APPEARANCE / LOOK ************************* Well. It isn't the nicest looking piece of technology, but who cares? You bought it to listen to music, not to wear it on your forehead, did you? It
Pictures of iRiver H340 40 GB
has the same size as a pat of butter, but thinner (comical comment: "I can't believe it is not butter" Ha ha ha). For the people who think it is big, well, it is still smaller than a CD player, and it can contains the equivalent of thousands of CDs,It is slightly bigger than a video Ipod, but is a lot better, we'll come to that. The size is approximately (in mm): 103 x 62 x 25 mm. Its weight is approximately 203g. It fits perfectly in a pocket, and is very discreet.The main unit has a big coloured screen, which is very clear. Below that there is a cross used for changing volume, track, and entering the menus. You also have all the microphones, line in and out, and remote control plugs on the top of the unit.
The remote control (not included) has all these buttons as well, and is as big as a lighter (not a zippo, just a basic lighter). It has a display screen, so you can see all what is displayed on the main unit's screen. I kept the one I got with my previous Iriver, and works like a charm with the H340. It also has a clip on its back to clip it to your T-shirt, jacket, left breast tit (whatever you are into).
The mp3 player comes with its accessories: Leather case USB cable (USB 2.0 supported: faster loading of the data onto your player, however, works on USB1) Earphones and foam covers (x4) External microphone AC adapter Line in/out connection cable Installation CD
That's a lot of stuff for the little price (see the part "price"). All the cable plugs are gold plated for a better sound quality. If you still have no idea what the thing looks like, check the picture attached.
WHAT DOES IT DO? **********************
MP3 PLAYER: Right. That's the main bit. You can play mp3, WAV, WMA, ASF , OGG files. This can be updated. The last update of the player allows to support and playback 32kbps - 500kbps based Ogg Vorbis files, providing an even better sound quality than MP3 or WMA based files. With 40GB of internal memory, you can store around 100,000 mp3 (considering a mp3 is around 2.5MB for a 3-4 minutes song), and around 200,000 WMA files. You have then plenty of space. You can load and unload your mp3 from or to a PC.
FM RADIO: You have an internal FM radio, you can save up to 20 stations.
VOICE RECORDER. This is quite clear I think…
RECORDER: You can record stuff from: the radio, any external appliance (HI FI, CD player…), and also with the external microphone, you can record your voice, a gig, whatever. The player will save what you record as mp3 or wav (it is up to you), and you can set the record quality (bitrate)
VIDEO PLAYER: the H340 can play videos of less than an hour long in a avi (DIVX) format. I haven't used that function yet, but it works.
PICTURES VIEWER: You can look at your photos on the screen
MEMORY STICK: That's the cool bit. You can save ANY file to your player: videos, pictures, WORD files, EXCEL files… Of course you can't use them or open them from your player, it is just like a floppy disk, so you'll need to download it to the new computer to work with these files..
SOUND QUALITY ******************** The sound quality depends completely of the quality of your mp3 file and your earphones. However, the earphones provided are very cool. Great sound, but I decided to upgrade it for some sony ones. You also can play with the equalizer, or use the factory settings (rock, classic, jazz…). You can record mp3 from your HiFi, and you can choose the quality of the recording (bitrate type). Bit rate: 32Kbps~320kbps. I find the sound quality very good, but this is a subjective opinion... I encodes my wma at 128kbps, and use some sony headphones (MDR-NX1). I am very happy about what i get...that's my 2nd Iriver... cheap advice: Don't listen to it too loud it is bad for your little ears… Or huge ears (Prince Charles, if you are reading…)
EASE OF USE **************** This is my 2nd mp3 players. The manual is very clear, and so far I managed to do everything with it. I just need practice. Basically, if you can use a CD player or a HI FI, you can do it. If your last HI FI was just a HIFI with vinyl and these strange looking things called tapes, then you can forget about it. You just need to get used to the player, and then it is very intuitive.
The player is very pleasant to use.
Another cool thing about the player is that you don't need to install any program to allow it to work on your computer. If you have windows 2000, XP, ME, your PC will recognise it as an attached device (PLUG & PLAY). Then you can copy and paste the files. If your machine works on previous versions, don't panic, you just have to install a small program, included on the CD-ROM provided. Before saving your files to your player, organise them in folders, and they will appear as it is on your player. Then you can "tidy" your folders by genre, artist, album… It is very clear, really.
SPEED OF LOADING *********************** It is very quick to transfer data on the player or on the computer.
BATTERY LIFE **************** The H340 comes with an internal battery. It takes about 2 hours to charge it fully, and 12 hours to discharge it (playback time). This is brilliant, knowing that the Ipod can last about 8 hours top. The good thing is that you can recharge your mp3 player from the USB plug of your computeror from the usual socket… So you are not forced to bring the charger with you on holidays. However, while transfering data, the battery goes down quicker, but you can always plug it to recharge it at the same time...
PRICE ******** He he he. Now that you all want it, you are probably thinking that it costs a fortune… My answer is: NO! I bought this player from dabs.com, and paid £249.99 P&P. I think the price hasn't changed, but you can probably get a cheaper one on Ebay.
SUPPORT ************** The website for Iriver is very good. When you have technical problems, or just questions, you ask on their website, and you usually get a fast reply. You can also download updates for your player on their website; They usually put updates every 6 months or so, allowing your player to do new things, fixing potential bugs etc etc... You just need to download a file, load it on your mp3, go in the options of your player, click update, let it work for less than a minute, and that's all done!
WHERE CAN I GET IT? ************************** You can also get it from www.iriver.com, it would be even cheaper according to today's exchange rate (£1=$1.80): it would come up to £222.21. However, you might have to add taxes at reception, but I'm not sure about that. Also Ebay seems to be a good option, to get it cheaper…
MY OPINION ************** Well. This thing is brilliant. It works well, sounds great, has a lot of options and uses. So now you are all jealous, I can tell you to buy it. This mp3 player is very easy to use, you can transfer data from any PC, as you don't need to install a program to run it (except if you have windows 98 or previous versions). I think this is just great, and compared to the Ipod, I think this is better value for money. If you want to check what the Ipod does, I would recommend to read the review ElizaF wrote.
THE H340 DOES ********************** Almost everything you expect from a mp3 player, even more.
THE H340 DOESN'T ************************** Wash the dishes, tidy your room, scratch your back or prepare coffee.
You are welcome. Please don't forget to rate this op! Thanks!
i was keen on ipod but i do like the sound of this v helpful thank you x
matjacks 25.10.2006 11:41
Ive been wanting a new MP3 player for some time now.. They are all expensive and I just dont know what to choose. Your review is great. I might check out the site..
Also.. your a cool dude.. keep up the work!