Sound quality has long been one of the the stronger cards in the iRiver deck and thankfully the Spinn is no exception. Across the genres, the Spinn pumped out a solid, sharp and clear sound and also had plenty of volume on tap. On balance, we'd say it's a better sonic performer than the Cowon S9, and considerably better than anything Apple makes. It's particular good with Flac files.
Should CE devices really need a reset switch?
Sound modification is handled by the now familiar iRiver SRS-WOW HD 3D expander and frequency booster system, which worked well when we first came across it on the Lplayer and works no less well here. It's highly adaptable and capable of producing a sound to suit most tastes. Unfortunately, none of the modifiers work on video soundtracks.
When it comes to playlists, the Spinn supports an on-board 'Top Rated' list and allows you to drag and drop tracks into a favourites 'Quick List'. You can also sync multiple playlists directly from MTP-compatible media player apps.
While the Spinn works just fine as either an MTP or a USB Mass Storage device with Windows, we only managed to hook it up to Linux and Mac machines in Mass Storage mode. Curiously - and annoyingly - changing the player's storage setting from one to the other involves re-formatting the device and erasing all content. If music files are loaded onto the device under the Mass Storage setting, you have to manually tell the player to rebuild the media library.
A cool, modern feel
Another Spinn foible is that if you load Flac files onto it while in MTP mode, they won't show up in the library and won't play when you eventually track them down using the folder browser. Load them onto the Spinn in Mass Storage mode though and all is well.
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?