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IRiver SlimX350 : any review ?
Soren
post May 10 2002, 14:09
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Hi again folks, i plan to buy a irver slimx 350, any of you have this one and how great you find it ? I know the sony mp3 player skip on VBR files with frames at 320kbps, there's same kind of problem with the iriver slimX ?

Thanks in advance, Soren.
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MODatic
post May 10 2002, 14:37
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I have an iRiver imp-250 and it has played all files I have ever thrown at it. These include my collection, all done with the --alt-presets, mostly standard, and the odd crappy (unfortunately, usually Xing or Blade) song downloaded off the net. The iRiver players do not suffer from skipping on VBR files with 320Kbit/s frames like with the Sony units.

iRiver's players are a fine range, my imp-250 is always a pleasure to use cool.gif
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Iceberg
post May 10 2002, 16:18
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Hola!

Here you can check some reviews for the iRiver family:


http://hardware.dmusic.com/reviews/slimx/
http://hardware.dmusic.com/reviews/iriver_2/

http://www.alfmeister.n3.net/

http://www.thetechzone.com/display.php?i=113&p=1

http://www.w3cube.com/

Hope this helps deciding which one is right for you wink.gif

Best wishes from Valencia (by the Mediterranean Sea in Espaņa / Spain)...

Ignacio CB
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Soren
post May 10 2002, 19:31
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Thanks a lot:)
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sam
post May 10 2002, 23:36
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My sister got one and wasn't too impressed with battery life, but other wise its real nice. Here is an email and replay sent to

Dear iRiver

I have recently purchased a SlimX (European, v1.04 firmware) which I am very pleased with. However the 2 NimH rechargeable batteries are only lasting for about 4 hours before they need recharging. I have also performed a total discharge and charge, but still they are only lasting for about 4 hours. The product information on your web site claims that they will last for about 23 hours - is this the case?

Thanks for your help

#####

---------

Dear #####

Thank you for your email.

The battery life is affected by using condition such as sampling rate, shaky situation..etc. iMP-350 runs up to 10 hours which based on certain sampling rate (128Kbps), non-shaky environment. It doesn't mean that battery is defected, just because it runs out quickly.

If you have any enquiry, please feel free to contact me.
Best regards
Small
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onthejazz
post May 11 2002, 09:17
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so far i've had mine for about a week, its played lots of downloaded songs with no problem and all of my old vbr files including any ive done recently with -alt preset standard and extreme. i've practiced shooting hoops with it, running up and down the court and everything and it has yet to skip, with the exception of when it got knocked by the basketball - the door came loose once and i had to restart it. jogging is also fine with this unit. (remember to upgrade the firmware after you do the initial charge like it says in the manual). this is the third mp3 cd player ive seen and this thing is about flawless, a little annoying everytime you turn it on in cd mode because it takes a good 10-20 secs or so, which you must do to recharge it, but thats my only complaint. it's soooo light, small and durable i luv it! go with this before you go with a memory player, because its better, hard drive units are bigger and i would imagine more sensitive to being jostled around. the only memory player even remotely worth looking at is the Digitalway MPIO-DMK (http://shop.store.yahoo.com/dgndepot/mpimp3playdm.html).
just my opinion, best value is those 2 right now. then there is dataplay who knows, looks like they may be a hassle or a bunch of crap.

dave

ps. just a note if you get this unit for active use during joggin or whatever a good starter pair of headphones to get are these sony ones from best buy, they do the job well while moving around. http://www.bestbuy.com/detail.asp?e=111010...&cat=70&scat=71 they come in orange or blue.
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Negative Zero
post May 11 2002, 19:31
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I've owned an iMP-350 SlimX for several months now, and I can tell you that you may indeed encounter some audio skips / glitches with VBR MP3's (--alt-preset standard or otherwise) because iRiver doesn't support them quite as well as a program like Winamp does.

One of the most annoying things you'll find with VBR MP3's is that the timing and seeking information on them won't always work correctly on the player. The problem seems to affect longer songs more so than shorter ones, but it's definitely there on a lot of songs. All of my MP3's have been properly encoded (LAME 3.92) with Xing headers intact.
If you doubt this, I've also confirmed these problems with several other SlimX users on the MP3.com message boards. Oh, and if it's SlimX reviews you want...

http://down.iriver.com/iriveramerica/news/news_reviews.htm
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David Nordin
post May 12 2002, 00:48
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the SlimX has a ID3 v2 -tag issue - but not a VBR issues.
Some get rid of it by skipping v2 & use v1 only - some the other way.


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Negative Zero
post May 12 2002, 00:51
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Hmmm, well, I *do* use both ID3v1 and ID3v2 tags on all of my MP3's. You're saying that's the reason why I'm experiencing the problems?
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atici
post May 12 2002, 02:40
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What exactly is this tag issue? How can I prevent it?

I know there're messages out there about this and I made a search but couldn't find much about WMA. Could someone please clarify whether LAME 3.92 MP3 or WMA is better? I hate M$ and its stupid practices. But until SlimX starts supporting something new, if WMA is better I'll stick to it and then delete all my WMA archive. If it is generally better, what encoder should I use? Is the outcome going to be DRM free? Is there anything better than Microsoft's command line encoder? If not does this DRM crack actually solve the DRM problem? or Microsoft found a way to circumvent it?
Alp
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onthejazz
post May 12 2002, 09:27
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my god man wma, dont even think about using it. personally i am ripping with eac for scratched discs, cdex for newer discs then using lame 3.91 with either razorlame or lame drop xpd 1.11 for encoding. you could look into ogg as well, but i dont know why people wouldnt use lame -alt preset standard or -alt preset extreme or the alt preset 320 constant bitrate. wma is crap. ogg is solid & lame is solid. at least thats my humble opinion.

dave
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atici
post May 12 2002, 18:53
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Yes Ogg is great but SlimX doesn't support it yet. MPC, AAC are also OK for me. But for now if WMA performs better at same bitrate then I'll encode some of my music into it, not to share but to listen on SlimX.
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Benjamin Lebsanf...
post May 12 2002, 19:01
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heh ? why don't you use --alt-preset standard ?
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JonPike
post May 13 2002, 02:06
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QUOTE
Originally posted by atici
But for now if WMA performs better at same bitrate then I'll encode some of my music into it, not to share but to listen on SlimX.


Since nobody came right out and said it...

WMA is *NOT* as good as Lame, Ogg, lots of other things..

Hope that clears things up.. ;-)
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Negative Zero
post May 13 2002, 05:11
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I also have to agree that WMA is simply not good enough to bother using on a regular basis. It sounds terrible at anything other than the highest bit rates, and at that point, it isn't even that space-efficient. Speaking from experience, you might as well stick with something like --alt-preset standard -Y if you want a fine trade-off between file size and quality on your SlimX.
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Hanky
post May 13 2002, 16:20
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Slightly OT,
The firmware development by IRiver confuses me. Currently I have 2.02 in my IMP-250. This file is dated 20020419. They also offer a 1.05 version at their site, which is dated 20020430. They do do not publish version histories or changelog. Any IRiver owner who has a clue ?
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silver_cpu
post May 13 2002, 19:18
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Ok, two things:

First, I contacted iRiver's customer support, and they said that they have no plans to support MPC. Makes me cry. They said that they'd pass my email on to their engineers (maybe one of them will decide that he likes MPC and use it, who knows), but otherwise no official plans. If more people to go their site and send them emails, then more formats may be supported, but it'd have to be alot of emails.

And now, for my two cents. WMA 8 sounds a *hell* of a lot better than WMA 2, which is what everyone has unless they've bothered to install WMA 8 seperately, or have Windows XP. WMA 8 actually sounds listenable at bitrates of 64-96kbps, although I would never use it in anything other than a portable player, and to save lots of space. If you don't believe me, try out WMA 8, you'll be suprised at how far it's come since version 2. I still suggest at least 128kbps, though.
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Benjamin Lebsanf...
post May 13 2002, 19:35
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was anyone talking about wma 2 ?wink.gif
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silver_cpu
post May 13 2002, 19:40
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Lol. Just thought I'd put my two cents in.
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SNYder
post May 13 2002, 19:57
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QUOTE
Originally posted by silver_cpu
If you don't believe me, try out WMA 8, you'll be suprised at how far it's come since version 2.
not all that far. i did a lot of encoding with both to compare, and although it is better in a few of areas, it still sucks big donkey nuts in many others.

2 cents
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Negative Zero
post May 13 2002, 20:00
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Hanky
Slightly OT,
The firmware development by IRiver confuses me. Currently I have 2.02 in my IMP-250. This file is dated 20020419. They also offer a 1.05 version at their site, which is dated 20020430. They do do not publish version histories or changelog. Any IRiver owner who has a clue ?


It appears as though v2.02 is still the most recent and advanced firmware update, despite the date on v1.05. As for the change log, the one for v2.02 can be found here.
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Negative Zero
post May 13 2002, 20:05
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QUOTE
Originally posted by silver_cpu
Ok, two things:

First, I contacted iRiver's customer support, and they said that they have no plans to support MPC.  Makes me cry.  They said that they'd pass my email on to their engineers (maybe one of them will decide that he likes MPC and use it, who knows), but otherwise no official plans.  If more people to go their site and send them emails, then more formats may be supported, but it'd have to be  alot of emails.

And now, for my two cents.  WMA 8 sounds a *hell* of a lot better than WMA 2, which is what everyone has unless they've bothered to install WMA 8 seperately, or have Windows XP.  WMA 8 actually sounds listenable at bitrates of 64-96kbps, although I would never use it in anything other than a portable player, and to save lots of space.  If you don't believe me, try out WMA 8, you'll be suprised at how far it's come since version 2.  I still suggest at least 128kbps, though.


Hmmm, I'm disappointed to hear of iRiver's lack of support for MPC, but I can't say I'm surprised. I suspected this after e-mailing iRiver about it and not receiving confirmation. Damn. sad.gif

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I've tried out WMA 8; I still found the quality to be disappointing at anything other than the highest bit rate settings (160, 192). There's simply no way I'd ever ditch VBR MP3 for WMA.
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silver_cpu
post May 15 2002, 06:26
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Lol...kinda wish VQF was still around. At least AAC uses the VQF technique (or at least I believe it does), maybe that'll make it good for streaming and small-sized audio for portable players.

Btw, I'll admit WMA does sound pretty poor, but hey at 64kbps, anything's going to sound pretty poor. Also, it suffers the same plight as most MP3s: it has a very strong 16khz lowpass filter, so you never get any of the good, strong highs. And there's no way to get around that. Maybe in the future that'll change somewhat, who knows. It is, after all, Microsoft, and they're mysterious brotherhood of programmers only come out at night to perform religious programming ceremonies as the spirit takes them (and God only knows if it's good or bad, they've done both).
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Benjamin Lebsanf...
post May 15 2002, 14:59
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VQF, you can't really want that crap ohmy.gif biggrin.gif
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musicant
post Jul 11 2002, 04:02
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QUOTE
Originally posted by sam
My sister got one and wasn't too impressed with battery life, but other wise its real nice. Here is an email and replay sent to

Dear iRiver

I have recently purchased a SlimX (European, v1.04 firmware) which I am very pleased with. However the 2 NimH rechargeable batteries are only lasting for about 4 hours before they need recharging. I have also performed a total discharge and charge, but still they are only lasting for about 4 hours. The product information on your web site claims that they will last for about 23 hours - is this the case?

Thanks for your help
The SlimX is said to give 23 hours battery life only when the external battery pack (2 AA Alkalines installed) is used after the internal batteries (2 NiMH) wears down. So, it's the sum total of two sets of batteries. My experience has been with the internal batteries and I'm guessing I'm getting 6-8 hours, but I'm using MP3s recorded at 128 kbps.


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