iRiver Spinn media player
Why settle for a touchscreen when you can twiddle a knob too?
Review The iRiver Spinn seems to have been forged in the white heat of a fierce row about the merits of a touchscreen vs traditional controls. But rather than come down on one side of the fence or the other, iRiver seems to have ended the argument with a petulant 'fine, we'll have both then!'
iRiver's Spinn: why have touchscreen or physical controls when you can have both?
Eschewing the sleek curves of the iPod Touch or Cowon S9, iRiver has opted for a rather severe, sharp design, albeit with a circular spindle at one end, the upper half of which is the eponymous "Spinn wheel", which can be rotated to the left or right as well as depressed.
Physically, the Spinn is just a shade smaller than Cowon's S9, measuring up at 99.5 x 51 x 10.7mm and weighing 70g. The whole thing is rendered in metal giving it a cool, modern and solid feel.
Apart from the Spinn wheel, the external controls consist of a lock slider and small 'back' button on the top; volume and power controls on the left; and a proprietary - or common-in-Korea-but-nowhere-else - USB port on the bottom.
Be warned, unless you have long finger nails, opening the USB port cover will send you hunting for a very sharp implement. We took to using a craft knife to open it, not a device – we hope – that most people keep about their person.
The metal casing makes for a solid-feeling PMP
Fire the Spinn up and you're presented with a rather stark home page listing the eight main menu items in text along with the time and battery status. To move from one item to the next, you can either rotate the spindle or the use the touchscreen, though if you chose the latter you have to touch the centre bottom of the screen where the numbers 1-8 mirror the menu names. Swipe the main part of the screen Touch-fashion and nothing happens. To access a menu item or setting, you simply depress the spindle when it's highlighted, or touch the relevant name on the screen.
Iriver should bring the Clix back with a touch screen that clicks similar to the Blackberry Bold. The interface is very similar to the Clix D click system but with a touch screen in a 16bg. This would be the move as the Clix was there most popular player.
The Demise of iriver
You have to wonder don't you how a company that produced probably the best HDD based music players on the market four or five years ago have fallen so far behind. To the point where customers aren't even considering them as part of the viable choice when buying new players.
I’m a huge fan of Iriver and have been for many years now. I currently have the Iriver CLIX second generation 8gb and I love the player. The issue I have with Iriver at this point is why they aren’t upping up the capacity on their players. I mean really they keep maxing out at 8gb. My Clix is almost full and I need more space at least 16gb.
I hear the Spinn just received new 2.0 firmware upgrade. This newfirm ware has some new features that will enhance the player but will not create more space. Iriver 16gb or 32 gb are needed at this point.
The 2.0 firmware will now allow users to take memos or draw with the stylus through the Memo function. The firmware is bundled with the Big Album Art feature that will give a much better view to a user’s albums.
The firmware has also enhanced the support for pictures by adding some new picture management tools and the FW that comes with the auto rotate attribute and takes care of other picture files. With support from the new Reservation feature, users can now auto record DMB/DAB/FM Radio.
The firmware has also improved the video and game support of the PMP. While the video feature offers extended video playback options, the game feature addition will allow users to download new games through the iAMOLED website. In addition to this, Spinn’s 2.0 firmware also includes advanced searching tools.
The 2.0 firmware is a 3.9 MB file and is available for download now, but only from iRiver’s Korean site.
Robert and Ben
If Iriver doesn’t create larger capacity soon then they will lose me to the Cowon S9 16gb or the Samsung P3 16gb.
So long and short is
It sounds good but is otherwise crap.
So why 70% rating?