Our Spinn proved rather erratic when it came to video file playback. For instance, a 25f/s 640 x 352 .AVI DivX file played without fault, but while a 25f/s 660 x 278 Xvid file also played, there was noticeable frame skip. When we reformatted both files to the Spinn's native resolution, 480 x 272, they refused to play at all. Similarly some WMV files played and some didn't, even though all were within the player's declared technical parameters.
Ideal for knob-twiddlers?
If you have trouble with video files, iRiver bundles a conversion tool that turns everything into WMV. It's rather slow, reformatting a 700MB 660 x 278 .AVI file taking over two hours.
The Spinn won't support SubRip subtitle files nor can you set bookmarks in video files – though we understand the soon-to-be-released version 2.0 firmware will address the latter issue. Another stumbling block is the apparent lack of support for PlaysForSure DRM - so no BBC iPlayer downloads.
Though the Spinn's 3.2in 480 x 272, 166ppi AMOLED screen is clear and bright it suffers from only having a 262,000-colour palette which often results in colour gradients being far too visible. One of the videos we tested on the Spinn was Downfall, a film which includes a lot of facial close-ups and monochromatic backgrounds, and these really didn't come across at all well on the Spinn, large swathes of colour block being highly visible.
Swiping the menu names has no effect - you need to swipe the numbers below
At the end of the day, the Cowon S9 is a far superior video player both in terms of quality and versatility.
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?