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Customer Review

21 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good hardware, bad software and usability for playlists, December 8, 2004
This review is from: iRiver H320 20GB Digital Music Player with Color Display (Electronics)
The hardware is great - see the other reviews about the color screen and storage space.

However, I feel the firmware on this device is severly lacking in the ability to use playlists created on your computer. I ended up returning the device. If a 20 GB device hods all those songs and you can't easily play them back the way you want what good is all that storge space?

I was on hold for 35-40 minutes to tech support and when I got an answer as to how to create a playlists I was assured there is only one way to do it, and iRiver has no plans to improve it!:

1. You copy your songs to the device using windows explorer - this part works great - no drivers or extra software needed.

2. You create a playlist in winamp (you cannot use any other software to make playlists such as Windows Media Player) by clicking "Add file" FOR EACH SONG AND NAVIGATING in the popup window to ex. g:\(path to the file location) on the H320. This becomes extremely tedious after the first click.

3. Save the playlist onto the H320, not your computer

Thus there are the following usability problems:

1. The h320 device needs to be connected to the computer when creating playlists.

2. Songs cannot be browsed and added using Windows Media Player or the Winamp interface, instead you are basically creating the playlist one song at a time through a basic popup window file browser window. The window closes after each song is added and you need to completely renavigate down the same tree again and again and again and again ...... for the next and all the other songs

3. Playlists that run on your computer are useless - they need to be completely recreated for using on the h320, even if you are using syncing software to auto sync and have the same directory structure on your PC's music folder and your h320 root folder.

Another gripe about the software is the photo browsing software. You need to have your photos in one folder to browse seamlessly. If you have a folder for each download of photos, like me, and you copy that folder structure to the device, it is very tedious to change folders when browsing photos. You basically have to turn photo browsing mode off, choose navigate mode, go into the new folder, and turn photo browsing on again. Also, you cannot create playlists of photos to show which would be nice. Photos that average 500 kb and were taken with a 2.1 MB camera also take about 4 seconds to load up for each one, so it is pretty slow to browse more than a few. They look great on the screen though, better than the $600 IPOD photo model I saw.

The headphones earebuds are too big too and fall out/don't fit - plan on getting new ones if you7 buy this.

I would suggest holding out on this until there is a firmware update and it has been reviewed by new users.
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