Top positive review
53 people found this helpful
Excellent Media Player
on December 1, 2007
I've had my iRiver Clix 2 8GB for a month now and I love it. I could look up and list all of its features, but you can probably find them yourself. These are the things that sold it to me:
Plays Ogg Vorbis files. Most of my music is in .ogg, so this was necessary if I didn't want to re-encode to .mp3.
Flash storage. I knew I would be carrying this player around and using it in the car. I didn't want to worry about damaging a HDD-based player going over bumpy roads or carrying it around in a bag, or maybe even exercising while carrying it.
Battery life. iRiver claims 24 hours of battery life for this player. You probably won't get quite that, but I generally get around 20 hours. I usually top up the player once a day, but if I forget, it is still ready to run for another full day at work and in the car.
Accessible via drag-and-drop. It's nice that you don't have to use special software to transfer files on and off the player. If you prefer to use Windows Media Player, it supports syncing to that as well. Also, you can delete files off the player using the player's interface. You can browse the player via the file folders that are on the player, or you can look through by artist, song name, album, and genre as defined in the ID tags on your music files.
Playlists. The clix supports playlists, but if you want named playlists you have to create them with iRiver's software. You can manipulate a "quick list" on the player on-the-go if you feel like spontaneously making a playlist. The clix also supports ratings for songs and can play a playlist of the songs you have rated the highest. Additionally, because of how you can browse your music by artist, album, song, and genre, you might find that it is easy enough to play songs that you would want to use a playlist for normally. For example, maybe you want to play all the songs on an album in track order? Browse to an album, click "Play All", and the Clix will play all of the songs in that album in track order. Want them in a random order? You can change to shuffle mode. Want to start at a certain song and then play the rest of the album that comes after? The Clix does that easily as well.
Some of the nice-to-have features that I have used are:
Ability to play videos. I didn't think I'd use it, but I have put a few music videos on the player and watch them on my lunch break sometimes.
Themeable. I love that you can put different themes on the Clix. The formats could be more accessible, but there are over 100 themes out there to choose from, so you are sure to find something you like. I switch out the theme on my clix every week for variety. You can also load a picture onto the clix and set it as your background. Additionally, you can set the clix's UI to any of four orientations: Landscape (0), Portrait (270), Landscape (180), and Portrait (90). You can also adjust the brightness of the screen and set the UI font to any TrueType font you have.
Some of the nice features that I haven't used yet are:
FM radio. I was hoping I could use this to listen to talk radio at work, but alas, the reception at my desk is non-existent.
Recording. The Clix can record from its built-in mic (for notes to yourself, or recording lectures) or from the radio.
Flash games. The Clix can play Flash games that are made for it. It comes with a few. I've never played them other than taking a quick look when I got it, but if I was stuck somewhere and bored, I could see how they would be a nice distraction.
Reads text files. If I didn't feel like printing out the file on paper or carrying my laptop, I could put the file on my Clix. I have never used this, but I suppose it might be nice if you wanted to store addresses, email addresses, or phone numbers.
Pictures. The clix can view pictures and you can set a picture as your background on the player. You can also create playlists of pictures for the player to cycle through.
Preset and custom EQs and Fade-in. The clix has preset EQs for different music types and you can also set your own.
The player is small. Smaller than a credit card, but thicker, obviously. I have relatively small hands and I can hold and operate the player with one hand comfortably and without fear of dropping it. You might think that with the buttons on the sides and the face of the player, you would accidentally click them, but it is easy to hold the player in your hand and click the buttons with your fingers without hitting anything you don't mean to.
The functions for the side buttons are written on the back. You might think this would be annoying and confusing, but there are only a few buttons and they are grouped together on different sides of the player. I had their positions memorized in less than a day. The bonus to this is that since there is no writing on the face of the player it looks very sleek.
The screen looks great and is bright. The clix comes with a screen protector already installed to protect the screen from scratches.
The Now Playing screen will display album art if you have it loaded into your .mp3 player's tag. iRiver's included software can do this for your files if you do not have it done already. Unfortunately, there is no album art support for .ogg files.
The front of the Clix is very shiny. This makes it look nice, but as soon as you touch it, it will have fingerprints on it. If you buy the player, you just have to be willing to accept that. On the upside, unless the player is has light shining directly on it and you are looking straight at it, you probably won't see the fingerprints anyway. You can wipe the fingerprints off the player easily enough, but it's a futile effort. Of course, you might want to buy a case for it, in which case this wouldn't matter.
Just about any setting you might want to adjust to your taste can be done via the player's interface. You can set any of the display options I mentioned above as well as change the screen brightness, whether the player goes to sleep or shuts down when it is inactive and how long it should wait, how fast long text scrolls in the interface, and more. Having said that, most of the defaults are pretty sensible.
The player comes with a mini CD of included software, some earbud headphones, and a standard-to-mini USB cable. The cable is how you get data onto and off the player and also how you charge it. The connectors are actually USB standard, so if you lose or break your cable, you should be able to find another one. The player supports USB 2.0, so transfers are quick if you have USB 2.0 ports on your computer. If you want to charge the player when you will be away from a computer, you will have to buy a charger. If you do, make sure you get a charger for the Clix 2, as the connector is not the same as the connector for the Clix 1. Of course, the Clix is capable of being charged and playing music, videos, etc at the same time.
Two minor downsides to this player: the volume buttons are not in the order you would think in the standard layout (lower volume is on the right, raise volume on the left as you look at the front of the player, eventually you get used to it), and the support from iRiver is a little spotty. I haven't tried to contact them, so I don't know how their customer support is, but their web sites could be better and the included documentation is somewhat sparse and poorly written/translated. The upside is that the clix and clix 2 are well supported by several enthusiast forums where people are willing to answer your questions and have probably already written step-by-step instructions to do what you want in the FAQs.
I would definitely recommend this player to anyone, but especially if you are interested in any of the features that distinguish it from others on the market.