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iRiver Spinn media player

Why settle for a touchscreen when you can twiddle a knob too?

The Spinn's FM radio, though lacking RDS, proved both easy to tune and to assign pre-sets. The stereo Bluetooth also worked as advertised, the connection a pair of Sony Bluetooth cans proving very straightforward. The device also comes with a voice recorder and a couple of Flash games, though ours got erased during an MTP-Mass Storage switch before we could sample them.

iRiver quotes a battery life of 25 hours for audio and five for video. We found those numbers to be about right, getting 22 hours and 4.75 hours, respectively, but they are still a long way short of what you can get from a fully charged S9. You can only charge the Spinn through the USB cable.

iRiver Spinn

The Spinn is currently only available in 4 and 8GB flavours. We think a video player needs more storage, or memory card expansion. Even 8GB is only going to be good enough for ten or 11 full length .AVI feature films.

The 4GB version can be yours for £136, the 8GB for £165. With the 8GB Cowon S9 only a few quid more and the 8GB Apple iPod Touch the exact same price, we struggle to see why anyone would plump for the Spinn unless Flac playback is your absolute and overriding priority.

Verdict

As a music player, the Spinn not at all bad - it gives a strong performance across the genres and is particularly impressive when playing Flac files. As a video player, it's less successful, proving mysteriously intolerant of some file types and seriously hamstrung by only having 262,000 colours on tap. The UI is also a little too half-baked and the firmware just a bit too infused with strangeness for our liking, though the arrival of version 2.0 may see some of these issues remedied. ®

Thanks to AdvancedMP3Players for lending us the review device.

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iRiver Spinn media player

Beaten by the Cowon S9 in all fields bar outright sound quality, and even there the Spinn's superiority is marginal.
Price: £136 (4GB), £165 (8GB) RRP