- Brand Name: RioVolt
- Model Number: SP90
RioVolt SP90 Portable CD-MP3 Player with 120 Seconds Anti-Skip
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- Plays standard audio CDs as well as MP3- and WMA-encoded discs (potential for over 20 hours of music on 1 disc)
- Electronic shock protection up to 120 seconds
- Supports ID3 tags and audio CD title display (CD Text)
- 15-hour battery life using only 2 AA batteries
- Easy navigation on large LCD. Resume Play feature.
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From the Manufacturer
The unit offers full ID3 tag support as well as CD Text, convenient encoding found on most new audio CDs. Plus, the large LCD simplifies navigation through song titles and menus. With 120 seconds of skip protection, adjustable EQ, repeat and shuffle play modes, programmable playlists, and a battery life of 15 hours, the SP90 delivers the rock-solid performance you've come to expect from Rio Digital Audio. A CD burner is recommended for full recording flexibility.
Top Customer Reviews
1. Rename the IMP-100.HEX file to SP-90.HEX
2. With a Hex editor, open this firmware file and change the IMP-100 to SP-90 in the first line and resave the file.
3. Burn a cd with this new SP-90.HEX file in the root directory.
4. Place the cd in the player and turn it on.
You now have a blue SP-100 that supports playlists, has shorter gaps between songs, user eq setting, faster load times, etc. And from now on, you can just flash this player with any SP-100 upgrade without having to edit the firmware as you had to do this one time.
The SP-90 is a GREAT BUY now that you know it can be upgraded.
1. Most important: firmware upgrades. This feature has a lot of power and it gives the older unit a lot of new features, like playing playlists and improved programming, and it's actually very important, because if there will be a future audio codec that will be popular like OGG vorbis or even MP3 Pro, and if it will replace regular MP3, then you can be sure that Sonic Blue will have a firmware upgrade for your player. (By the way, the best place to download the upgrades are from the iriver site (which is the original company that menufactures the RioVolt), and not the RioVolt site becuase the iriver upgrades work fine on the 'Volt and they come out much faster. Lately the Rio team hasn't released any upgrades at all, but the iriver team is releasing them all the time.
2. Remote control: I don't use the SP100's remote much, but I do use it a little, and it's very convenient for walking on the street and just skipping over the tracks you don't like without taking the unit out of your backpack.
3. LCD backlight: very important for me, as I use the player a lot at the Army at night and it's pretty useless without the backlight, because then I can't browse for the album I want to play.
Anyway, you should get this player if you can't afford the extra money for the SP100, but if you have about $175 to spare you should buy the new SP250, which has an 8 MB buffer and a really neat LCD display and FM radio, a charger, NIMh battries, and improved features AND it supports firmware upgrades as well, and in general is much improved over the SP100 as well as the SP90. It is the perfect player, if you can afford the price!
The CD takes a while to load, almost 10 seconds. That can get annoying. Also, as you change songs, it takes 4 seconds to load the song which also got to me after a while. As for anti shock, it skipped for me in certain situations. If you just shake it, it won't skip but when I took a stroll it skipped a few times. If you rotate it upside down and back, it will skip. It doesn't even save your previous EQ settings and playback settings (Shuffle, Repeat) and you have to keep setting it. Combined, with slow song loading times, I start to regret purchasing this product and not the SP250.
I burned another CD with the hacked firmware and plopped it into the player. It took about 5 seconds now to load the MP3 CD. Now it only takes 2 seconds to switch between song. And I'm happy to inform it has never skipped once for me yet. I noticed the CD stops spinning after the song plays for 10+ seconds, I guess it's starting to really use the Antishock and store the song into memory and also save energy. It never did this before the upgrade and constantly spinned the CD. It also now saves my previous settings.
I'm very please with the performance of the player now that it's been upgraded. I wish the load times could be even almost instantaneous but CD players can't even do that yet. Other than that, I wish they could improve the aesthetics of the player. The pictures look nicer.
I can't recommend this player unless you are going to upgrade the firmware. The player performs horribly unless you do the upgrade. With the upgrade, this player is a real gem and at a very cheap cost.
My key selection criteria were price, sub-$ [money], ability to play mp3/wma and of course std audio-cds. I wasn't looking for a high-end unit with tons of gizmos -- if you want such a player, look elsewhere.
FYI - I did the firmware upgrade (sp90hack), see earlier reviews for details, and without any exaggeration, it was quicker and less challenging than getting the player out of its inpenetrable packaging! I would recommend implementing this upgrade.
- No skipping whatsoever, and I've put it through its paces; walking/running with my dog, cleaning house with all the motions associated with vacuuming, dusting, ironing, etc.
- Great sound (clarity). I'm currently using a $[money] pair of Sony headphones.
- Simple interface.
- No problem reading audio discs or mp3/wma discs that I burned (all at 128 bit rate as recommended). I see some reviewers have problems with this - perhaps more a function of their CD burning software, not sure. Also, many reviewers recommended burning at 1X, 2X. I had 2 audiobooks (8 hours each) I burned to a single CD each. Each audiobook had 8 CDs. I burned the first book onto a single CD at 2x speed. Kinda time consuming and since CD-Rs are only a few cents I burned the 2nd audiobook (8 CDs) onto a single CD at maximum speed based on pre-record test, at least 4X. I've had NO problems playing back this disc either.
- Good battery life. For audio CDs I only got around 6-8 hours, but playback of mp3 discs I'm getting 12-15 hours.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I guess I never reviewed this, this was a really great mp3 player back in the day. it read CDs and was easy to use. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Linda
I purchased this item back in 2002, and at the time I was pretty pleased with it; however, I've had a lot of thoughts about it since then. Read morePublished on April 13, 2010 by Caroline McMASTER
I've had this CD player for three years and it just recently quit working. It wasn't just three years of use, it was three years of use and abuse. Read morePublished on March 7, 2005 by Ryk
I have had my unit for 3 years now and the only problem in all that time is when the lid button to indicate closed position broke off. Read morePublished on July 22, 2004 by J. Hoerr
I got this player about a year and a half ago, used it mainly for travelling at first, then around the apartment instead of stereo (nice especially when you want to listen... Read morePublished on May 15, 2004
I received this CD player as a hand-me-down from an older sibling, and, at that point, it was in seemingly perfect working order. Read morePublished on April 11, 2004 by Becky B Conn
I bought this product from a local Best Buy after returning a couple of solid state mp3 players conked out on me. Read morePublished on March 3, 2004 by talos72
I got this mp3 player last christmas..... about 2 months later, the anti skip barely worked, it would wit perfectly still on a table and skip.... Read morePublished on January 6, 2004