Iriver E10 – Not Good

When buying a non-Ipod device, there are certain things I look for in a portable music player:

  • Syncs with Windows Media Player
  • Plays Windows Media DRM encrypted files (yeah, I own a few)
  • Has a standard mini USB 2.0 socket for charging and transfer (hell, I’ll settle for 1.1)
  • Doesn’t require loads of custom software to work properly

That’s my list. So far, just about every device I’ve tried has been wanting in some key way.

My girlfriend doesn’t have such a list. She bought an E10 on the recommendation of a sales guy that said it was a “Flash player” – it’s not, it’s a microdrive player that has Macromedia Flash installed. Great.

My near-rabid frothing at the mouth convinced her to keep it, to prove that I was wrong and it wasn’t a horrible and random purchasing mistake on her part. Cow. But of course, when it breaks or screws up or is generally crappy and unusable, it’s not her that has to fix it. Ohhhh, no.

On its own, the Iriver E10 is probably a competent mass storage device that happens to be able to play media files, if you don’t mind a file browser interface.

But as a music player, and as part of the overall Iriver experience/package, it’s a piece of the warmest, steamiest, most unadulterated crap you’ll ever find anywhere. You just won’t find out until after you’ve bought it, so don’t.

Why does The Iriver Experience Suck So Much?

Syncs with Windows Media Player: No
First cab off the rank, and it’s already a killer. No Media Player integration. Crappy app required for song, playlist and artist management.

I decided I’d try to rectify this- and I’d try a web search to kick off with. Well, not much around the net on the E10, so let’s go to the manufacturer’s website.

In no small part, the Iriver website is so poor it’s practically unusable. First impressions are positive, with lots of animation and fly-out things, but you quickly realize that these are pretty much the only effort expended on the site, and they’re Flash-based, making tabbed browsing hard-to-impossible. And there seem to be generic tutorials for devices that probably aren’t sold any more linked right off the top page of the site. For God’s sake Iriver, please just implement the site in real HTML, and then try to make the smallest sections possible pretty with Flash.

Once you’ve got a couple of independently-navigated browsers open to the Iriver site, you try to search for something you’re interested in: say, E10 Windows Media Player.

Nothing. Sod all.

If you painstakingly work your way through the cumbersome search interface, you’re eventually left with a list of one thing – “product manual” available. Nothing about how you’re supposed to sync the device with Windows Media Player. No firmware options at all. Reading widely in the torturous forum, you get the impression you’re after something called MTP, for which firmware seems to exist for every other Iriver device but yours.

The forum requires registration, doesn’t offer RSS feeds, looks to have a near-zero useful response rate, and bluntly: fuck that.

So we’re going to have to install the Itunes-y Iriver Plus2, which is pointless because I’ve already got Media Player and Media Center and Itunes installed, and I don’t need another goddamn music management application for a specific device. I will be watching it like a hawk.

Plays Windows Media DRM Files: Who knows?

I would bet vast sums of money on “no”, because WMP doesn’t even consider it a real device.

Has a Standard Mini USB Connector: No

The little bastard has a proprietary flat-and-wide-something-to-USB cable. It comes with one cable. Lose the cable, you’re screwed. Just hanging around at a friend’s house and need a charge? Can’t do it without the cable.

Why anyone would put a non-standard USB socket in a device this size is just beyond me. It boggles the mind. You have a universal standard that can be used with anything, and instead you slap a proprietary interface on it that makes it no good to anyone. Come ON!

Doesn’t Require Loads Of Custom Software To Work Properly: No

Perhaps not quite the vehement “no” of the others, but the fact is that it doesn’t work properly (eg, you can’t sort by artist or album or playlist) unless you install The Crappy Software.


I really hope that it fails within the week and we can take it back. In my humble opinion, it’s a lemon.

pinkjoint, iriver, e10, iriver e10, portable music players, hdd music players, mp3 players

85 thoughts on “Iriver E10 – Not Good

  1. Hey, the iriver e10 is an excellent mp3 player.

    Having a proprietary cable for the e10 is not a very good thing, but the speed at which you can transfer files through it is compensation. Plus, there are “travel adapters” for the e10 which allow you to charge the e10 without a computer. I would assume that the people who use mp3s use computers to get them into the e10? The recommended 2.5 hours of charge time is about my average computer use per session – so i can can plug, read my mail, do some work and hey! It’s all charged up.

    The interface is very easy to use and if you know your flash, the e10 having flash lite 2 themes, you can customize it even more to suit yourself.

    The ipod? The ipod is just a trend everyone wants to follow. Good advertising and design are the keys.
    I would think that an average person would have one mp3 player. An average person wouldn’t have all three programs (WMP, itunes and plus 2) on the same computer! Besides, if you can withstand having itunes with WMP, you definitely will survive having a WMP + plus 2 combo of programs.

    Yes, you need the iriver plus 2 software to make the music appear on the playlists – that’s one problem i have with it, but you don’t need ‘plus 2’ for videos, flash, text and theme files.

    Maybe rethink the way you see your mp3 players.

  2. Hey Ed,

    Interesting arguments, but for me, the bottom line is that I want an MP3 player that Just Works Everywhere, and the Iriver just isn’t it. I think I’ve clearly spelt out my requirements, and why should I change my requirements just because a device doesn’t meet them? (apart from sheer bloody-minded pragmatism!)

    I want it to use common plugs (so that I’m *never* forced to buy a specific cable to use it if I lose the included one), be directly usable from Windows Media Player, and have good sound quality and usability.

    I don’t like the IPod – talking about the nano here – because it too uses a proprietary cable (though the excellent ITrip has a regular mini USB socket to Nano interface that alleviates this somewhat), and I have to use Itunes to get stuff onto it. At least with Plus2 it’s not stored again on the hard drive.

    The iriver has good sound quality and can be used as a plain old USB-connected drive, but I use three computers and I’ve only got one charge cable. So it’s a pain in the arse!

    But I’m also pissed off that I carry a phone that doesn’t do any of this stuff either – I think the best solution is probably to abandon the standalone MP3 player entirely, and just go with a phone that can do the lot!

  3. ah hey guys!

    well you both seem to be pretty clued up on these iriver e10’s so im gonna drop a line with you both if you could help me out PLEASE! im soooooo desperate!

    Here’s the thing, i brought one the other day, from australia and i live in New Zealand. So i get home and chuck in the software it came with and i was so excited BUT i have no idea how to get the music on? im so confused! I tried dragging it in, and it dosen’t appear there, then I tried right clicking and adding a file or folde and it still didn’t work. So i tried adding music to the device through windows media player but after reading your comments i see it probably wont work, even though when i open up this device through My Computer, E10, the files and playlists are all there, yet not on the iriver or through the programme!?

    If any of you could help me i would muchly appreciate that, thanks.

  4. Hello!

    I think when you drag stuff on, you can get to it through the Iriver Extras menu, then something like Folders or Browser (you get the idea… something that lets you explore the little drive). Then you can play songs by folder.

    To get the playlist/artist/whatever else thing in there, you need to use Plus2 – I never did it myself, but the evil girlfriend managed to work it out after a half hour of playing (I think she ‘added a folder’ or something, but have no idea – it didn’t end up duplicating, unlike Itunes).

  5. Hey guys,

    i bought the e10 the other day after a long hard look at all the mp3 players on the market. It took me about an hour to figure out how to get the music on there. The only real problem i had was i used itunes before plus 2 and so all my music was saved as mp4’s ( real pain ) so i got a file converter “switch” and converted all the files into “mp3’s” and then used the add file or folder button on plus 2 to add the songs. I then dragged the playlist i had made with my fav songs into the tab called music under e10.

    It was quite complecated at first, but if you can get your head around it πŸ™‚ your fine.

    But now i need your help.

    1. Where can you download Themes for the e10. I’ve tried searching everwhere.

    2. How are videos put onto the e10. Do you use windows explorer and just place them in. Or would you need a video file converter for that???

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  6. WTF!? Are you fecking kidding me!? πŸ™‚

    I hate the PoS! Many others have come here looking to justify their purchase. I’ll be having none of that.

    If what’s important to you is important to me, you’ll absolutely abhor the device.

    Plus – I don’t know what music stores it’s rumoured to work with.

    If you don’t care about any of the things above, go right ahead, buy it, then come back here to whine about it!

  7. You’re not big on actually reading the post as such, are you?

    The title suggests that I find the device: Not good.

    My requirements (which I’ve called out above): Not met.

    The Iriver website: Is there such a thing as an Anti-User Interface Specialist? I think they found one somewhere, or grew them from turd crystals.

  8. Haven’t found one yet, but the E10 is pretty far from perfect.

    The Creative Zen Micro was pretty good, barring a couple of firmware issues. Hell, the Muvo2 1.5 got that much right, and could play music bought from ninemsn’s store or

    A mate has the Neeon, which Just Works, he tells me.

    The Clix looks pretty good (if you wait until September), but still has a bastardized USB cable.

    The GF has a Samsung necklace that was also pretty good, but it uses a custom USB->Headphone jack that you can’t seem to find without an MP3 player attached to it.

  9. u guyz all suk… i got the iriver e10 n its perfect…no complaints and easy to deal with…better than my stupid ipod which i got 4 practically double the price…almost…nyways yess… Creative Zen is just as worse as the ipod…putting the songs on the iriver isnt even hard…geez…just download the iriver program off the site…you can put videos and songs and everything onto it that way…Sponbo or whteva has nothing to do…geez…except complain about a really cool mp3 player which he/she hasnt even bought and only read the info off the website πŸ˜›

  10. Finally someone else who likes the e10. “high fives”

    btw IPOD NANO”S SUCK. That is why i got the e10.

    Now 4 things that i need to ask.

    2. How can you transfer video clips onto it………… cant use iriver plus program…….
    3. How do you use the universal remote. I have chosen the right brand for my tv. But i dont get the screen after it asking what number you want?????
    4. And is this a forum or what? cmon. wheres the debates farout.

  11. ahh thnx spongebo for the link on transferring videos. i didnt see it…….:-S but any suggestions on the remote and themes would be cool. btw i have read ll the past entries.

  12. Bloody hell, you’re all *bastards*. I set up a nice lil rant on exactly why *everyone* should hate it, and people are coming here to talk about how much they adore the bloody thing!? Cretins! Monsters!

    My GF took hers away with her, so I can’t poke or prod at it at the moment. I caught mention that “Flash Lite 2” or something (misremembered?) might be used to produce themes for it, but a web search came up blank enough that we’re probably top-ranked for just mentioning it here once. Ah – here.

    I wouldn’t normally recommend this – in the same vein as I wouldn’t normally recommend people go and get root canal dentistry at random – but you could try posting to the Iriver forum on their site. Good luck with that. πŸ™‚

    Indications are that the CDK – content? development kit – for u10 (and presumably e10, clix etc) is delayed – that’s what Adobe’s site seems to suggest, anyway.

    Personally, I thought I saw a Clix in JB yesterday, so I’m going back to check it out tomorrow. At least it’s probably usable with Media Player…

  13. SpongBo said “Bloody hell, you’re all *bastards*.”…….Hahaha.I love it

  14. Damn you Shirmp, Daaaamn youooooo!

    Note: To decode my super-secret reply, try replacing all the capitalized words with their opposites.

    Yes, I’m watching video all the time on my BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL, AMAZING E10. I am NOT ENVIOUS of my friend that just bought a Clix. He is VERY UNHAPPY with his purchase. He goes on and on about how SUICIDAL he is with it*

    (OK, so I’m not sure what the opposite of suicidal is (life-affirming? Born-again? Well-bandaged?) but that’s how happy he is)

  15. Well , HI

    Hey shrimp, to transfer videos first you need a conversion program called “badak” there is a link on this silly forum for it somewhere. Once you hhave converted the file, all you need to do is drag and drop the file through “window’s explorer” into the video folder under e10. Good luck with it, personally i dont believe the video quality is very high but it works all the same.

    And THE E10 RULES!!!!!

    hehehe, spongbo will be angry with me now………… πŸ˜›

  16. I am another E10 lover!! But I am just a simple girl who is happy with the fact it has an FM radio, can easily download all my music through river2 and is a great little size for 6GB! My old Ipod took me 8 hours to first start it up!! obviously a sign of my intelligence!

    Only question I have is where are the accessories???? I would love an arm band for while I am jogging or a clip.does anyone have any info on the accessories?

  17. hi, im sorry if you get annoyed from people asking, but i still cant get videos to actually get onto my E10.
    i have done all the steps you have said and it diesnt work?

  18. Hi. Seems that iRiver E10 syncs with Windows Media Player nowadays. It also supports DRM but I don’t know how long it has done that. So that clears away many of your problem. Only the non-standard cable remains. So has it failed yet? I’m asking because your the only one I know that has used this player and I’m thinking of buying one.

    It has nice features, OGG support is really important for me. Samsung YP-Z5 also seems nice, but it doesn’t have video and it has smaller capacity and higher price as it’s a flash-based player. Low battery life rules Mpio Solid HD 400 out.

  19. haha, what a shitty review, You must be most stupid jerk i ever read about … loooser. Hope your gf finds a more clever guy

  20. Wow, someone’s taken their nasty suppository today haven’t they?

    I might write shitty reviews, and I might be the most stupid jerk you ever read about, but at least I didn’t buy one. (beam)

  21. iRiver eats Apple for dead. E10 is one of the easiest players i have ever used.
    Its very easy to transfer music from your pc to the E10 using Plus2. Such a simple drag and drop interface. Yeah ya can do that on an IPOD nor can you browse it using explorer unless you use software like Anapod.
    Nor can you transfer back FROM your IPOD unless you use Anapod.
    Also look at the features of the E10 compared to any IPOD model. Ipod just sux!

    IPOD suck! Fassion accessory! Oh and not to forget to mention sound quality.. Besides iAudio, iRiver has the BEST sound quality on ANY MP3 player on the market and before you go and jump back at me on that one, 1st get your self some good earphones like Sennheiser or Shure and listen to Ipod and E10, youll soon be shocked to find iRiver wins hands down.

    And for Windows Media Player integration.. who the hell uses that piece of shit software anyway?.. WMP..can go suck a phat dick.
    Sure not using a standard USB cable is a bit shitty, but at 32 hours playback you shouldnt need to charge it that often.

    And for those who cant figure out how to use the Pluse 2 software or transfer vodes over to it, then you shouldnt have one..It ohh so easy,,, even a child could figure it out.

  22. Ok fine, so im a stupid moron, i love my e 10 but i still can’t get videos onto it. I found some website and downloaded this shit to convert my video files but it didn’t work. i’ve seen it asked several times on this site how to do this and noone has given a straight answer. All i can see is that its “soo easy” well can someone please just tell me how?

  23. I had a shot at collating what I could find out about video on the e10 here:

    Plus3 can be found from this Misticriver thread:

    Sorry Bec, despite what Subx the Slightly Aggressive Ipod Hater (I’m with ya, honey, I hate ’em too – I just don’t think the E10 is All That, Girlfriend (you’re a chick, right?)) says, it seems a bunch of people have issues working out how to get video onto it. I don’t actually use the E10, my GF does, and she’s not into video (luckily).

    Without knowing anything about the file, the problem or the circumstances, I’ll go out on a limb and suggest it’s probably a codec related issue if the tools like BADAK or Plus3 don’t work for you. Guess: try a regular garden-variety WMV file rather than an AVI or ASF, or find something to convert to WMV first. I don’t know if the little thing has a Divx codec built in. Good luck!

  24. hey!
    we both have a i river e 10 and we think they are great!!
    they have everything on it…. pictures, games, movies, fm radio, voice recorder, alarm clock, text viewer, clour screen, 6 gb and stores 1500 songs!
    we really recomend it to everyone it is the best qualtiy and had the features of a i pod and phone put together.
    and comes with everything you need for it!
    ***** five stars

  25. Here’s a somewhat positive review for the E10. I personally won’t be getting this since I’m waiting for the 60GB version of Zen Vision M.

    “Overall the E10 is an excellent choice for an MP3 player. It’s easy to grip and navigate, has an impressive battery life, sounds amazing, and the FM/recorder/video/photo/text/game/USB Mass Storage Device support allows it to be used in so many ways throughout everyday life. The built-in remote control is rather handy for those stuck in waiting rooms, although users with cable boxes won’t be able to change channels and those using unsupported televisions may be left in the dark indefinitely. The only major downsides are the small screen for viewing video, restriction of using iriver plus 2 to synchronize music, and lack of documentation on a few of the more advanced features. Regardless, the iriver E10 is highly recommended to those looking for a slim and capable player.”

  26. Greeeat, now I’m being MisticRiverDotted. It’s like a Slashdotting, only full of positive product reviews. πŸ™‚

  27. I don’t know which version of windows media player your using but as soon as i plugged it into my computer
    windows media player started downloading 2000 songs onto it.

  28. i have been wondering what program evil_m3nace (wich media player he used to transfer files on to the e10)

  29. Spong (I know who you are!),

    You are wise indeed. I have always said so. My iRiver experience sucked too. I got it for free (a prize). The software presented so many hurdles to actually downloading some songs that if I had paid for an Ipod, I would have been better off in terms of lost earning capacity. The program that is supposed to look up the names of songs would not work.

    It also crashes when I use a 1.1 USB port. Here is the full complaint I send to iRiver central:

    “There is nothing wrong with the connection or the USB cable or the computer’s ability to read the removable drive (iRiver) because I can record voice files and upload them to the computer without incident.

    However, I cannot get any song file onto the iRiver. I can download other files, like text and word files by dragging and dropping the files onto the drive. Hoewever, this doesn’t work with Mp3s – I try to manually transfer them and after a long pause, I get a Windows-generated error message in the bottom right corner “Delayed Write failed”. I also get a message headed “Error copying file or folder” which reads “Cannot copy [file name]: cannot find the specified file. Make sure you specify the correct path and file name”.

    Then, the iRiver remains saying “Transfering Data” and I cannot change it. The only way to make the iRiver funciton again is to take the battery out and put it back in. It makes no difference whather I close the program first, or use the windows “remove hardware” function.

    I have no more luck using the program iRiver Plus 2.

    I have looked at the instruction book and tried initialising the iRiver. After a delay it brings up a “transfer status” window, then gives me an error in the bottom right corner:
    “Windows – Delayed Write Failed.
    Windows was unable to save all the data for the file F:. The data has been lost. This may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.”

    I then have the problem that the iRiver freezes as described above. Generally, the iRiver records the name of the file, but with zero bites.

    THere seems to be something called “Generic Volume” as part of my F:. Might that be causing a clash? I have tried 3 different USB ports. Please let me know if the iRiver should be replaced. ”

    Keep trek’n


  30. Hey in answer to your question about transferring videos:

    It wont play any video unless it is in 128X128 format.

    download a program called “IRIVERTER”. you then need to amend the U10 profile in notepad so it converts video to 128X128 – currently there isnt an iriverter version with e10 in it so you need to modify the u10 profile. it’s dead easy though.

    follow this link. Yes its a little fiddly at first but once you get the hang of it its a piece of cake, and you’ll be converting all vids you have to fit on it.

    once converted, you just drag and drop the files into the video folder using explorer.

    any problems, email me and I’ll email you the profile.

    I couldnt understand at first why they would make an MP4 player that you couldnt just drag and drop vids into, until i realised that the converter turns a 700mb video into like 40mb.

    Dont listen to anyone that complains about the E10. Its awesome. who gives a crap about playlists etc.
    just go in to Browse and pick it all from there. So glad I didnt opt for an ipod!

    Also there is a playlist editor out there called MediaMonkey. apparently it is simpler to use than plus2, not that I would know as I dont give a stuff about playlists.



  31. i like the e10, BUT HOW do you get movies on it. and also the other thing that i am unpleased with is how it freezes so regularly.

  32. Actually, the e10 seems to be a pretty good device.

    1. UMS. Check it. Universal Mass Storage. That means drag and drop kids. No fucking WinXP WMP dedication. It just acts like a thumb drive and you drag and drop songs to it. By far the most easiest, and most platform independant way to use a mp3 player. I do not like the MTP quite simply because Microsoft now no longer runs the MSN music store… and even if they did, theres no chance that it would work with the Zune they are creating. That means that your stupid love of MTP devices is a crappy move my friend.
    2. It plays MP3, OGG, WMA and ASF music files… OGG vorbis people! God damn DRM…
    3. So simple to use, an ape could use it. Oh noes! it looks like a file manager! RUN!
    4. Did I mention that it uses UMS!?

    Standards. FTW.

  33. Sherman:

    Drawbacks of UMS are that you have to use a goddamn folder browser with it. Yeah, that’s a problem. I want to play everything by one artist without thinking about it again – without album artist (or whatever) grouping, I can’t do that.

    But yeah, it looks like Zune spells the beginning of the end of the more democratic WMP platform. Wonder what happened to “embrace and extend” this time? Seemed like a good strategy before.

  34. omfg!!! I cant get the music on the plus 2 becaus every time i drag it over the barstards just dissapear can some 1 plzzz help me!!!

  35. Hey, I saw the iriver E10 today while looking for a mp4 player, and it seemed quite interesting.

    What i’m really looking for is a mp4 player to play tv shows on just as much as music. I heard the 30g/80g Ipods only have a small battery life while playing movies, and really 30g/80g is a bitof a over kill for memory. The Clix only has 2g of memory which wont hold to much.

    And what is a proprietary cable? Sorry, I really don’t know to much about Ipods and mp4 players yet..

    And SpongBo, if it is pretty crap, do you know of any other mp4 players that are better?
    Thanks for any help.

  36. Hey I have recently been given an E10 as a present and…sorry if this is a stupid question…but does anyone know how to get songs off it once they’re on? I can delete them from the library of the iriver plus 2 but not from the actual player. it’s making me crazy!!!!

  37. PB – can you see it through Explorer as a drive? If so, try just dragging the stuff out of it.

    Brad – a proprietary cable is one that won’t work with any other devices, so you’d damn well better not lose it. Instead of using regular mini USB cables, many MP3 players like using USB at one end, and random-collection-of-stuff-with-random-layout at the other.

    With my phone at the moment, I can use a regular USB -> mini USB cable, and the same cable works for my phone, my camera, my girlfriend’s PDA, and so on.

    And I don’t have a good answer on what MP3 player to get at the moment. Might do some poking around, see what’s out there.

  38. hey pb all i had to do and hopefully u hae to do too is go to [options], [sync options] do thats shit that it says in the booklets (hopefully u got em lol) then when u done that go to [file], ([sync now] or click the little arrow pointing right down the bottom right and it should change hopedfully good luck πŸ˜› lol
    and by the way all i fucking love the e10 got it 4 chrissy today lol had to get my bro to help me get the song s and shit on mind u it was easier than my old t30 (which ended up breaking the screen) thats 1 took me like 5 FUCKEN HOURS to get working but yues the only problem is that thy really should have put the irivier plus 3 in the package instead of the no.2 well soz for the long comment hope u got it i dunno im always a bit late at writing comments lol cyaz

  39. yo hows it going ppl just a quick question is there any way of acctualy getting a video on the e10 with out the stupid program because when i did it it was only in browse file and it wouldent play can some one plz tell me y????

  40. yeah sorry mate but I have to disagree , I think the Irivver E10 is awesome. A hell of allot cheaper the Ipods with heaps more features out of the box. I respect your decision but feel my list of what makes a good MP3 player is different and I would also say for a good many people being able to play DRM files is a big factor

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