Iriver Clix Here Now (must be Julytember)

Note: Can also be used in portrait mode. My watch says it’s still July (not quite the rumoured September), but JB Macquarie had an Iriver Clix (at least two, actually) in store for $AUD292 today. A friend snapped it up eagerly; I’m waiting to see how he feels about it before deciding whether I need another MP3/WMA/Ogg player.

The Clix seems to be the pick of the non-Ipod bunch at the moment, beating the poxy E10 and the unattractive masses. Ticks in just about every box, but they’ve got one of those flattish USB cables rather than USB. If that’s seriously the only drawback, it might well be worth considering.

It’s also available elsewhere cheaper (~$270) – staticice had some listings – but I’m preferring brick-and-mortar purchases at the moment – JB did well by me last time I bought a crappy Iriver from them.

So I guess I’m an “in the hand” kind of guy right now.

Not in that way. Stop being disgusting.

e10, iriver e10, clix, iriver clix, mp3 players

Cheapie Xbox 360 Titles at JB Macquarie

If you can brave the sudden exponential expansion of the “Wow JB! You’ve Done It Again!” stickers on everything, JB Hi-Gi at Macquarie Centre has a bunch cheap Xbox 360 games:

Table Tennis – $AUD 62

Quake 4, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Call of Duty 2, Dynasty Warriors 5,  – each $79. (30-odd bucks off)

I can personally recommend GRAW, and critics tend to agree it’s one of the very best Xbox 360 titles available

CoD2 got very favourable reviews too.

So, two of the best 360 games so far, $80 a piece.

Video on the Iriver E10? Sounds tricky…

If you’re stopping by to ask about using an E10, please consider the disposition of your host! In the finest tradition of the best French and Chinese waiters, I will henceforth treat anyone asking about E10s with the polite scorn and derision they deserve. If this describes you, perhaps you’re not classy enough for this establishment, sir? (I infer with my raised eyebrow and stern glare)

In case you weren’t paying attention, I dislike the thing quite a bit and tell anyone looking to buy an iriver anything to look at the Clix instead (even if we never get Urge in Oz, which might not be a massive loss), which looks like it meets most of my criteria (the cable is still the flat-arrowy-usb-format, but I can deal with that if it really does Play For Sure – the E10 sure as hell doesn’t.)

(While on the subject, someone told someone else and I overheard that November would be the MTP firmware date for the E10. Sounds too far out to be true, except that it’s believable because the fecking thing is no good.)

So, how to do video on E10?

  • CNet suggests you drag an AVI file to it, and cross your fingers. Good advice. While I’m at it, rumours abound that Plus3 will be able to do this (plus2 can’t)
  • This misticriver thread suggests using BADAK to convert your video to an E10-friendly format (I won’t vouch for its operation – I haven’t tried it, hate the E10, remember?)
  • Engadget’s unanswered questions *cough* PlaysForSure *cough* seems prophetic now, doesn’t it?
  • My preferred option – buy something else that syncs with Media Player, and let it do the conversion and synchronization automagically. Have I mentioned I’m not an E10 fan?

iriver e10, e10, mp3 players

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.

Conclusion

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