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New MP3 player

I just bought an iRiver IFP 799. It's a 1 gigabyte player that thanks to a timely firmware upgrade, windows recognizes it as a removable drive. I credit this purchase to Brent who had previously bought the 256 meg version.

It's a pretty sweet player all in all, and it's one of the only ones available with my number one feature: being able to play Ogg Vorbis.

This little player has a number of features that led me to its purchase. One is definately its size. This thing is small. It's about as long as my index finger and about twice as wide. The heaviest thing about it is the double A battery that it takes.

Also very powerful is the recording abilities. You are able to record directly to MP3 from the FM radio, the microphone, or the line in. In fact, Brent used his device to record a Cool Blue Halo show at Tribeca last year and despite the fact that the output from the sound board was mono, the quality was excellent. I am looking forward to recording some things of my own.

Absolutely wonderful is the previously-mentioned firmware upgrade that allows me to completely circumvent the horrid proprietary software that comes with the device. Upon connection, the player shows up as a removable drive, and I can use explorer to drag and drop music files or anything else I want onto the internal 1 gig of storage provided. Simply because of this, the funtionality of the player has expanded dramatically. On any machine, I can hook this thing up and use it just like a USB key. I really don't understand why any company would bother developing a custom software solution when they can just implement a removable drive and allow explorer to do what explorer does best.

I believe I also mentioned how it takes a double A battery. I am all for my cell phone taking a custom lithium rechargable battery, but it's also nice to be able to swap it out when it runs dry, to be able to buy a replacement battery at any drug store for a dollar and to not have to carry a charger around with you all the time.

The FM tuner is great. With my Palm Zire 72, this was one thing I really missed when using it as an audio player. The automatic scanning definately needs some work though. It found and filled its 20 preset slots before it got to 90 MHz.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with it. I've only had the thing for a few hours now, but I have a feeling that I'll still be happy with it for quite a while.

Originally posted on Tuesday, 2005-03-15 at 22:42:39.