Interesting and novel though the Spinn's hybrid UI is, it's hard not to feel it is also just a little pointless. If the touchscreen worked better, you wouldn't need the spindle, so the player could be made smaller or the screen bigger. On the other hand, with the exception of some of the optional settings, the Spinn can be used without actually touching the screen at all.
Could have been made smaller
Typical of the Spinn's rather half-formed UI are the 'back' controls. Both the button on the top of the player and the control on the screen are too small to be used comfortably and neither is in a particularly convenient place for a function you'll be using regularly.
Within the limitations of what part of it you can actually touch, the resistive touchscreen reacts smoothly and promptly, especially once we updated our review device's firmware from version 1.21 to 1.50.
The Spinn comes with a full complement of haptic feedback for both the screen and the Spinn wheel. They work just fine if you like that sort of thing, but can be switched off if you don't. Though the Spinn lacks an orientation sensor to auto-rotate the screen if the device is turned round, this is one of the functions that can be assigned to a long-push of the spindle.
Incidentally, since the Spinn's UI is Flash-based, getting hold of new menu styles is simply a case of tracking down some relevant Shockwave Flash files and dumping them into the player's Themes folder. It took us less than ten minutes to find some on a Korean site, all of which looked much better than the basic design provided by iRiver.
Touchscreen or spindle - the choice is yours
Codec support encompasses MP3, WMA, Ogg, APE, ASF and Flac audio, along with MPEG 4 Simple Profile and WMV video - so no AAC audio or H.264 video. Subsidiary file support only extends as far as JPEG and TXT files.
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?