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on December 18, 2011
I took a very long time to decide on this item because of the bad reviews. (PLEASE IGNORE THEM!)
I've had my Coby MP827 for a couple of weeks now and although it's not perfect, in my opinion, it is an incredible device. (Especially for the money.)

<SEE UPDATE about additional Flashrams for this unit, at the bottom.>

Now the original review...

#1 You MUST CALIBRATE THE TOUCHSCREEN before you do anything else. If you do not, you might have to jab and press and slide like crazy to get things to work. This might seem like a bad selling point, but the fact that you are allowed to adjust the sensitivity is a major PLUS in my mind. (I just wish Coby would have made the suggestion loud and clear from the beginning in their instructions.) I was lucky enough to read the reviews here at Amazon that suggested this. My hat is off to them because it made all the difference for me.

#2 After calibrating, don't get frantic and anxious. If, and when, any icons might not respond as you expect, please turn your attention to your own actions, or your own understanding of how this cute little beastie works! So far, there have only been a few times where I've been a bit frustrated, but eventually I found that I wasn't waiting the occasional 1 or 2 seconds required for the software to respond. (I believe that most of the bad reviews came from these touchscreen characteristics.) Also, a few "icons" such as the little left or right arrows for changing the time and date, WILL NOT respond to a full fingertip touch. It took me quite a while to realize that a Stylus kind of touch, as with the tip of a gentle fingernail, finally got the response I was looking for. If I had not taken the time to gently and calmly experiment with this, my frustration would have boiled over for sure. (Again, Coby SHOULD have explained this characteristic with a few of the smaller icons because it undoubtedly confuses everybody who buys the thing. Except perhaps for owners of many other mp3 players. This is my first.)

HOWEVER, the fact that Coby's staff has excluded a few pieces of info about the device, doesn't mean that it's "a piece of trash" like some others have been ranting. It only means that there is a lot more value lurking within the 827's Operating System than meets the eye. In other words, this device is powerful and pleasing to use, but people who can't tackle the learning curve will probably think it's a piece of junk. (Their loss, not mine, except that their frantic noise almost put me off my purchase. COBY please take notice of this, your lack of information is producing a lot of bad reviews.)
I've been learning while buying many items through Amazon lately, that one must wade through the verbal mud of those who never grew up. "The truth is out there," but you have to dig a little for it and avoid the nasty negativists who spout emotions but no facts. (Emotions are NOT tools of cognition.) :-)

#3 Coby also left out -- that if you decide to upgrade the memory, which is one of the main reasons I wanted to buy this particular unit, the 827 IS NOT compatible with SDHC memory chips. (At least my unit isn't.) HC means High Capacity which is a somewhat recent development, and the SDHC chip I bought DID NOT WORK with this unit. Now to be fair, Coby's documentation DOES say, that it is upgradeable with SD chips, but since you have to be aware of the differences, and then search high and low to find them these days, it only seems logical that the 827 would work with the HC chips. After searching the net like a madman, I finally decided to simply buy a HC chip and see for myself. (THIS IS NOW TO YOUR BENEFIT AS WELL MY OWN.) SDHC chips WILL NOT WORK WITH THIS UNIT. Maybe that could be changed with a firmware update, but I'm not counting on it.
For me, this wasn't a problem, because the chip I got does work with a digital camera I have, expanding the number of photos I can take into the thousands. (Very cool.)
I HAVE an old style 8 GB SD chip on order, and when (and if) it works, I will get in here and edit this review.

#4 TIPS -- When you see the little circle (with an arrow on it,) on the screen, it means that the screen will turn from vertical to horizontal like the more expensive units do. The only catch is, the lack of an accelerometer which performs this little miracle automatically. If you want the view to change, you have to press that little icon. (Again, lots of value if you know how it works.) Now if you are too lazy to press a little icon, then go ahead and spend 2 or 3 or 4 times more to buy some other unit.
Other items are well covered in other reviews, except for the availability of a screen protector for this unit. I couldn't find this model listed on any of the available protectors, and the best I could do is something in a forum about buying a cheap universal protector from WalMart and trimming it down to size. The person claimed that it worked perfectly, but I have yet to verify this. (Once again, Coby really should get their act together and keep people informed about details like this.)

I've found that the battery life isn't all that long. Even the internal pdf documentation gives 7 hours as the maximum. I have yet to use it long enough at one siting to confirm this, but from the indicator while I'm using it, I'd say that it's about right. (Especially if you are playing a lot of videos.)
I've spent my entire life in professional audio of one sort or another. (4 Emmy Awards for Sound-Effects Editing for TV and Movies.) IMO, almost any modern digital audio is great. (Play a scratchy old vinyl album sometime.) This unit sounds pretty good to me, especially through my huge Carver Amp and KEF studio reference monitors. When you consider the mp3-process itself, and the price for this little's a bloody miracle! :-)

To sum up...I am totally satisfied with this player. I already had a gizmo to play a portable CD player through my car's built-in cassette unit, with an attached earphone mini-jack, so all I had to do was plug that jack into the MP827, slip my "dummy" cassette into the slot in my car's cassette player, and turn it on. (It's really great to have all my songs right there in my car.) Once it gets going, I don't have to attend to it at all, so getting a "using a cellphone" ticket, shouldn't be an issue. Videos playback cool on this unit too, and as I keep adding them, I'm amazed at how much memory is still left. When I add another 8GB memory chip, I'll have much more room for everything than I could possibly know what to do with. Also, I've been working with .lrc files to get some synchronized lyrics text on screen. I can report that the function actually works, but so far, the freebie software I've found for creating such files is quirky at best. (I'm still searching for the best solution to this, without laying out another stack of cash.)

Buy an external mp3-charger unit here at Amazon. (such as; Coby CA-80 USB AC Adapter/Charger for MP3 Players Price: $4.95 as I write this.) I got the one with two usb ports just in case, and it really does a number on this player. (Charges the thing up much faster than from the computer's usb port.) Also, the fastest way to build up your library of songs, is to suck them in directly from your CD collection. The provided software that comes with the unit makes this possible, and on my Windows-XP system, the process is really fast.

I would recommend this player to anybody and everybody, while also suggesting that they read this, and other reviews, and make use of what we have learned. Use your brain, consult your "gentle side," and this item is a real steal.

*******<MEMORY CARD UPDATE 12-4-2012> *********
Amazon has 2GB SD cards which should work with this unit!!! (Yay.)
My confusion, had to do with what SD cards really were and what size they come in. Anything beyond 2GB is considered High Capacity! Hence; HCSD.
In other words, you can only expand the 827's memory with an additional 2GB flashram chip. (I could not find that information anywhere!)
What Amazon has is; SDSDB-002G-B35 by SanDisk for only $5.47 as of this writing.
Finding original SD cards anywhere is a real pain, but they ARE still available. Try [...]
Although 2GB doesn't seem like much of an upgrade, one must consider that the additional chip is removable! For only 6 bucks or so, several of them could be purchased and swapped as required. (As long as the 827's disk organization can handle that sort of thing.)
Also, I found a discussion somewhere that these older flashrams are formatted in Microsoft's ancient FAT format. The discussion had to do with reformatting the chips into a later, larger FAT format to increase capacity. I believe it would take an O/S upgrade from Coby to do that, or possibly they have already made allowances for that sort of thing. (Something else to investigate.)
Since these SD chips from Amazon are so cheap, I will be buying one or two within the next week, and I will upgrade this review once I know how they work...or don't work. Wish me luck.
BTW, after an official year with the Coby 827, I am STILL loving it! I had a chance to show my 86-year-old mother the "Thousand Miles" video on it (Vanessa Carlton 'driving' her piano through town.) She was amazed...she even watched it to the end!
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on December 6, 2010
I got the 4GB version of this on a really good sale. Since it has a microSD slot i plan on expanding it as needed. Syncing software is on the player. I plugged it into my Mac, transfered the file, installed the software. The software searched my computer, and pulled all my music into it (minor irritation: it pulled 2 copies of all my songs and i can't delete one copy). It organizes it a lot like itunes, but not quite as shiney (hey, i paid almost $200 less, i'll deal). To transfer songs, i selected the songs, and selected the sync button. It was really fast. The software learning curve took longer than the song transfer. The external speaker is tiny, therefore not the greatest sound, but not much worse than my sister-in-law's ipod touch's speaker. I haven't tried the radio yet; it only works with headphones. Ipod controls are more intuitive, but these aren't bad. Sometimes you have to go though a few menus to find what you want. I recommend calibrating the touch pad. I had trouble getting it to respond until i did that. This player isn't internet ready and lacks all the bells and whistles of the Touch, but it's a nice little music/video player.
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on February 26, 2013
This MP3 Player is the most un-user friendly device I've ever owned or used. I read all of the reviews BEFORE made the purchase. I figured I'd try my luck because there was a wonderful review left by someone. I did all of the things he/she suggested. Calibrating the device made the touch screen easier, but it was still not good. Using a sylist(sp?) is better. The response time lags. I found the touch screen not to suit my needs anyway as I used the device almost solely in my car. Not too practical. The "speaker" where you can listen without using earphones.... well, it sounds like you're standing next to a person wearing earphones and their music is up really loud. It doesn't hold a charge for very long. Think half an hour or so. The "shuffle" feature doesn't work so you have to listen to the songs from A-Z. That's fine if you want to hear Anouk, but not so much if you want to hear Whitney Houston when there are several hundred songs in between. Also, every time you turn the device off it zaps you right back to the first song. The storage is good. I had at least 400 songs on there with plenty of room left. Although, I had resized the songs before I put them on. The size of the device is good, very compact, but large enough to see. The sound was good when I used it in the car. Summation? It's a decent device if you want to load songs (that took some figuring out too, by the way) and listen to them from A-Z. If not, I'd try something else. I did. I didn't bother to try any of the other features.
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on January 9, 2011
I bought a Coby 8GB MP827 because I wanted a cheap container for my music. Well it is cheap alright... It work fine but the interface is buggy. It would definitely be great if Coby would provide an update. The worst thing to me is that when you browse your music by album (that is what I do most of the time) then the album are not by alphabetical order ! They are shown in the order they were up loaded on the player ! I put more that 40 albums on my player (filling up completely the memory) and when I realized they were in such a weird order, I dump the content of the player on my computer, get it reordered by Windows, and then put it back on the player. Now my albums are in alphabetical order... That was long and annoying...

Also if you expect browsing your music like you would do on an ipod touch then *DO NOT BUY* this player or you will be disappointed. Dragging your finger on the screen doesn't get you anything. You have to tap the screen at specific places to do what you want. And those places on the screen can be very small... It was particularly annoying to set up the time for the clock. The auto tuner for the radio doesn't really work as it tunes on any "noise" it may get. And the manual tuner is really difficult to use too. But you can pre-program your favorite station (up to 20 if I remember correctly). Once this painful operation is done, listening to the radio should not be too difficult (I don't use my player to listen to radio).

Also when I browse my music by album right after power up then it takes a lot of time for the player to display the list of album. You have the feeling that the player has frozen but it hasn't. I just go do something else and come back minutes later to select the album I want to listen to.

The sound coming from the player is fine. The provided ear buds are cheap but I don't use them. I plug my player on my home stereo system and the sound is satisfying for me.

In conclusion, the main problem of this player is a problem of interface. Most of the problems could be fixed by an upgrade of the firmware but I don't count on Coby to do it.

I probably would not buy it again. I'd rather pay a bit more and try a Sansa Fuze or a Sony.
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on July 31, 2013
First I must tell everyone that most of the reviews for this device are prejudiced and just plain wrong. This is not an Ipod, that being said the touch screen works very well, the Micro SD slot works perfectly with an 8GB SDHC card, and the battery runs for about 4.5 to 5 hours on audio. It play's videos if they are Divx, Xvid, Wmv, and possibly others. It doesn't like some Mp4 videos though. I don't expect to be able to watch more than one video before the battery goes flat. I have an Archos that cost me $240 dollars and it will only play about one movie before needing a recharge. Close attention must be paid to the instructions when it is first used, it must be fully charged before use. Draining a battery that has been sitting can damage it badly! Be sure to calibrate the touch screen carefully before use. It doesn't feel empty and hollow as some of these weenies stated, it has a substantial and solid feel to it. I can't imagine the screen breaking from a simple drop to the deck, the weenies must have sat on them or done something else horrendous to it. While it's not the best MM player, it is very useful and good quality. I recommend it highly to those who want to save money and get a good deal too. BTW the FM radio works well too!
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on January 4, 2011
I have had for a mnth and upon arrival, I opened and thought how nice it might be, I had trouble with the touch screen it was not easy everything is backwards from what you'd excpect, then it simply would not charge so in all I cannot recommend. I've had a great experience with cobys other touch screen mp3 players just not this one, amzon refunded with no cost to me for returning.
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on December 19, 2011
the player was glitchy, didnt support all of the file types that the description said it did, and upon my last chaging session after owning it for less than 2 months it wouldnt turn back on. In a fit of rage i smashed it against the wall and it broke into every individual piece it was made from. Seriously. Dont get it!!!!!
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on March 23, 2013
This was a gift from my younger son for Christmas and upon first seeing it I thought I would never be able to understand how to use it. I am rather older and not very up to date when it comes to all this new technology except for the computer.

Well, this is unbelievable and the unbelievable part is that I can figure out how to use this all by myself, although my son did give me some beginning instruction. The main screen is easy to see and decipher; the sound is very good--even without the headphones I can hear it fine; I can download radio shows, music, etc. The charge seems to last well. I do wish it didn't have to be charged through the pc; i.e., a wall outlet charger would be nice. Nothing's perfect, though.
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on January 8, 2013
My twelve year old daughter bought this, was really excited, after 2 weeks she started having problems with the battery holding a charge. By 3 weeks it wouldn't even turn on. I have tried everything that was recommended, reset and all that it just isn't worth it, we are sending it back.
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on November 26, 2012
I usually don't have much money to burn, but that's exactly what I did with this product. My old MP# player died so I had no choice. It was small and had only 3 buttons to control it, but it was a workhorse and lasted several years. My new Coby MP3 is a constant headache. It is only a matter of time until I stomp it or throw it against the wall, so watch out will get more of my money for the next one. I can tell you now it will NEVER be a coby or a touchscreen. Here is what is wrong with this MP3:
1. The touchscreen is hard to use and constantly goes to something you didn't select. Yes I know it has a screen calibration application, which I used and it helps but still does very little to help this brainless electronic device.
2. The battery is shite! It's a British word...look it up. The battery has been properly charged several times with the USB cable, and if I'm lucky, at a full charge, I can get maybe 2 full albums to play before it dies.
3. It does not alphabetize anything. It places it on the player in the order you put music on it. What good is this? If I want to listen to a certain artist, say one that starts with "M" Instead of scrolling to the "M" section, I have to scratch my head and try to think of the order I put the artist. I would then have to scroll anyway through the whole list to find what I want to hear. By that time I don't care anymore and end up listening to the radio.
4. The player has a warning feature that tell you your battery is low and you need to charge. This would be great except with the lame battery that is in it, it happens quite a bit. Another stooopid feature is that if you happen to be scrolling though the hundreds of albums you have on this 8 GB monster, and almost to the song you have been scrolling to find for 10 minutes, if you get a low battery warning....yep, that's right, it puts you back at the start of the menu and you must do it all over again.
Well I guess I better say something good about this product since I gave it 2 stars. I like the color. Also you can put photos on it.
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