Feeds
80%

Cowon iAudio O2 personal media player

Cowon A3 with SSD instead of HDD

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

In the O2's defence, you could say that being a video player means that remembering which files are put were is less of an issue than it would be on a dedicated music player. Fill a 16GB card with 700MB video files and you only have 20-odd files to scan through to discover what's on the card before you look into the player's on-board memory. Filling a 16GB card with 256Kb/s MP3 files and trying to keep a handle on what's where would be a whole different kettle of fish.

Cowon iAudio O2

Splendid audio quality

Cowon reckons a full charge is good for 18 hours of audio playback or eight of video. The best we managed was 15.5 and 6.5, respectively, though we could probably have improved on these if we had turned the screen brightness down.

As per usual, we plugged the O2 into Ubuntu and Mac OS X boxes and on both occasions it popped up on the desktop without hesitation, though MTP operation seemed to be restricted to Vista and WMP 11.

The 16GB O2 will set you back £204, the 32GB £243. With 32GB SDHC cards available from around £65 that means you can have a 64GB media player for just a shade over £300.

The fly in that ointment is that you can get a 60GB Archos 5 for around the £250 mark. OK, it's heavier, H.264 codec support costs extra and the battery life isn't as good, but you get Wi-Fi, a web browser and a higher resolution screen into the bargain. Or you could just buy a 60GB A3 for around £235.

Verdict

The O2 is very much a game of two halves. Format and codec support is superb and it'll play pretty much any resolution video file you throw at it. The sound quality is excellent if a little on the quiet side, it is Biblically straightforward to use, and the ability to expand the storage is not to be sneezed at.

One the other hand, having a screen larger than that of the A3 but of a lower resolution just seems daft, while some will consider the lack of gapless playback, ID3 tag and playlist support to be deal breakers from the outset. ®

Thanks to AdvancedMP3Players for the review sample

More PMP Reviews...


Samsung P3
Preview

Cowon S9

Archos 7

Sony Walkman S

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

80%

Cowon iAudio O2 personal media player

A touchscreen flash-storage version of the excellent A3 is a great idea, but it's let down a little by the screen resolution and lack of support for ID3 audio tags.
Price: £204 (16GB) £243 (32GB) RRP

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.