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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Bottom line: Considering all its features this is a decent value for an 8GB A/V player.

What I liked:

- Nice bright display.

- Drag and drop interface. It comes with an iTunes-like program called "Songbird" and you don't need to use it.

- It has a speaker.

- Uses a standard USB cable for charging and data transfer.

- Includes an FM radio and audio recorder.

What I didn't like:

- When you press the buttons (no touch screen) you hear and feel a "pop". This can go either way. The sound is annoying. On the other hand, you are certain the button was pressed.

- Doesn't include software for converting video to either of the supported formats (mp4 or wmv, 320x240, 30fps). The Media Converter program that Philips supplies for its other players does NOT work with this model.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a great mp3 player. Excuse me if throughout this review I refer to it as an ipod.

Looks: Nice, smooth, shiny black--or maybe it's dark charcoal. Either way, it looks and feels really nice. I didn't get fingerprints on it right away, but I handle my electronics very careful. Size is very nice and compact. Not heavy at all, and not too big--fits in my small hands, but big enough to scroll through.

Screen is bright and clear. Of course it's smaller than the iPod touch, but it's a lot bigger than the nano. Oh, plus one for keeping tactile buttons versus touch screen. Helps during my workouts!

Software. Any non-Apple mp3 player I use, I get in the habit of dragging and dropping music. However, I'm excited about my playlists, so I downloaded the software. Pretty simplistic--I just would rather not having yet even more software on my computer. But it was cool seeing non-iPod having nice playlists. This is great!

I *always* use my own headphones with music players, so no comment on the earphones that came with the player.

The radio: I rarely use an mp3 player for the radio, but I did just so I can review. It was very nifty listening to real-time FM radio stations and saving those stations.

All in all, five stars: Nice value, nice feel, and great not having a proprietary music player!
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on July 24, 2014
Worst MP3 player ever, you regret this purchase

a) The shuffle function is a joke. It will consistently play the same songs in the same order everytime. There's no tricking it.
b) It does not remember the last song you played, so you will be listening to the same first 10 o 20 songs forever. So no use in having 8GB of music if you can only listen to the same songs over and over.
c) It takes forever to boot and it is unresponsive for a while right after turning it on.
d) Firmware cannot be updated from Windows 7 or 8.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's easy to love this elegant little MP3 player. It's thin and compact (3/8" x 2" x 3-5/8"), and feels really great when held in the hand. It has the basic features that on-the-go people will use and appreciate: (1) a music player, (2) a video player, (3) an audiobook player, (4) photo storage, (5) text file storage [no docs], (6) a radio [FM only], and (7) a sound recorder. It allows you to set up playlists and slide shows, and to easily record reminders, memoranda, or other things (e.g., grocery lists, parking locations, inspired thoughts).

If you're not fussy about sound quality (and I'm not), the built-in speakers give OK sound. The supplied earplugs give much better sound, especially when the music player is set to deliver "full sound". In addition, you can get pretty good "room" sound by plugging a portable external speaker system like the AmazonBasics Portable Stereo System for MP3 Players into the earphones outlet. The built-in software includes a nice "SafeSound" feature that helps you set your earplug or headphones volume at a level that won't cause long-term hearing loss.

With the supplied USB cable, your desired media content can be easily transferred from a PC running WinXP-SP3 or Vista or Win7 by using the Windows Media Player or File Manager. However, the device is actually intended to be used with the supplied "Philips Songbird" software. You will need to install the Songbird software in order to update the firmware (which I was able to do successfully). If Songbird works on your computer, it is certainly the best and easiest software manager for the Ariaz device. Unfortunately, Songbird didn't work well on my computer (my security software, NIS 2012, says that Songbird is safe but somewhat unstable). Fortunately, the Songbird software gives you a clear option to use Windows Media Player, instead of Songbird, to manage your device.

The 8GB of memory holds quite a few albums worth of songs--certainly there is more than enough storage space for the material you might want to carry around with you (some family photos, your favorite music, an audiobook, your memos to yourself).

Because this was my first MP3 player, I encountered a steep learning curve. The Quick Start guide told me to plug the player into a computer, but little more. When plugged in, the device automatically began charging and installing the Songbird software. When that was finished, Songbird offered to sync the device to my computer's music library. However, the Songbird interface is not particularly easy for beginners to use, and because of my inexperience with music downloads, it took me a while to figure out how to transfer music.

Also, I was initially baffled by the device's menus and apparent lack of up/down and left/right navigation buttons. Although the Quick Start guide includes a schematic drawing that depicts the device's physical buttons, I didn't notice the tiny dots that were representing the directional navigation buttons. On the device itself, the surface around the central "do it" button is perfectly smooth--except for four tiny incised dots, that are invisible unless you hold the device at the correct angle to the light. Until I downloaded the full user's manual from the Philips web site, I had no idea that up/down and left/right navigation was accomplished by pressing those incised dots. (You can feel the navigational buttons when you press them, once you know they're there.)

I would strongly recommend that anyone who purchases this sleek and delightful little device start by downloading the full user's manual. You can find the manual in the Support section of the Philips web site by entering Ariaz model no. SA3ARA08K/37 . The manual tells you how to get started, and also gives lots of good tips on importing different types of files, generating playlists, and adding and deleting items from the device.

Another problem that I encountered was a complete overnight battery discharge--when I locked the device to turn it off, instead of turning the device completely off by holding down the on/off button until the screen said "Bye". When the device is completely turned off after use, it holds the battery charge as expected.

At present, Philips doesn't seem to have a case for this particular MP3 player. A case that works for me--because I carry the device in a tote bag--is the CaseCrown Double Memory Foam Compact MP3 Case. There is an elastic strap that holds the player on the right, and a mesh pocket that holds the short USB cable on the left. The earplugs can then be added, loose, between the device and the mesh pocket when you zip up the case.
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on April 15, 2015
Works ok for a few months, then while playing music resets itself. It continues to do so until it just doesn't power up altogether. Bought myself and my wife this model-at the beginning we were impressed. But a few months later it acted erratically. Got approximately a year out of this device at moderate use (one hour a day for four days a week) and now both are useless.
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on March 23, 2014
Verified Purchase
I was looking for a player that would play FLAC files, and the Ariaz 8 does that in spades! Of course it also plays mp3's like a pro. I disregarded the songbird software so I have no comment on that. It's a well built unit that feels like a quality piece of equipment. I'm the kind of person that usually buys cheap little players on sale and just get a new one after they break. I'm glad a splurged a little and bought quality. Well worth it! Very happy here!
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on December 5, 2013
Verified Purchase
i like that it is platform independent, plug into pc and drag/drop your music etc.
it doesn't lay .avi nor does it recognize playlists from media player.
gone through two of these already. save your money
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on November 7, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a small, compact player with a good sized color screen. I did not like the Philips Songbird software and did not use it. I have a few audio books on it that work well; the sound isn't that great but it's fine for an audio book. I do like the fact that it has an fm radio and also has a good battery life. It's a good mp3 player to take with you because it's small and lightweight and 8gb holds a lot of songs, audio books, podcasts; etc.
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VINE VOICEon March 13, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm kind of late to the MP3 party (I still prefer CD's...), but I was happy to give the GoGear Ariaz a try. I am by no stretch of the imagination a Techie....I can generally find my way around any electronic device, but if it's a lot of trouble, I usually decide I can't be bothered, and stop using the troublesome device.

This is one of those troublesome devices.

Since I planned on buying my music from Amazon, I had to download the Amazon Cloud player. The Cloud player automatically syncs with iTunes. From iTunes, to get the music to the player, I had to install Phillips' terrible Songbird program. It generally took three or four tries to get the music to migrate from Amazon to the MP3 player. Sometimes songs would drop off before getting to the player, and I'd have to do everything all over again. There were long lags before the music showed up on Songbird. I found the sound to be substandard, as well. I never got around to watching any video, because I was so disgusted that I stopped using the Ariaz entirely. I bought a Kindle Fire, which is entirely painless and user friendly. Thanks, but no thanks, Philips.
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VINE VOICEon September 16, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I love my other Philips players (a GoGear Vibe and a GoGear Cam), but the Ariaz is even better.

Quality remains the same: excellent, that is. However, I do appreciate the much longer battery life. It's almost triple the Cam's one (which is rated at 12 hours, but in real life is more like 9-10). The OS remains the same and thankfully my favorite feature, Folder View, remains unchanged. This is indispensable if you prefer not to use music management software and prefer to arrange your stuff manually with folders. You just copy and paste the entire music folder into the Philips player and all you can use the "Folder View" option to browse your collection with the folder structure intact. Plus, no software is needed to transfer files. It's just like using a flash drive.

Another different thing is the built in speaker. It's loud enough, and very convenient if you want to share your music listening with others.

The earphones really do block outside noise, and feel comfortable (though I prefer those cheap one dollar earphones' shape to these). The USB connector uses a standard type B plug. Not proprietary garbage like the iPod.

I can think of zero negatives. This player is highly recommended.
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