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iRiver P7

iRiver P7 8GB portable media player

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The current time and battery indicator are displayed on a status bar that sits at the top of the screen at all times, unless viewing videos or images at full screen. The status bar is also home to handy 'M' button that takes you directly back to the home page.

iRiver P7

In the dock: available in the UK? The jury's out on this one

The resistive touch screen works well, with both taps and swipes being recognised and implemented with speed and accuracy. That's not to say it’s iPod Touch smooth and fluid – nothing else ever is – but it works reliably and is helped by the fact that all of the virtual buttons in the system are a decent size. Despite all this, iRiver supply the P7 with a stylus, although the only use we found for it was pushing MicroSD cards in and out.

A particular part of the media management UI worth drawing attention too is the bookmark system that allows for easy multiple bookmarking of both video and audio files and lets the user call up a progress bar that shows where all the bookmarks in a file are, and skip between them.

The P7 supports most of the file types you would expect of a modern PMP including MP3, FLAC, Ogg, WMA and WAV audio along with H.264, DivX, Xvid, WMV, RealMedia, FLV and MPEG 1/2/4 video. The only codec we would like to see added to that list is AAC, or rather AAC files in an MPEG-4 container as used by iTunes – stand alone AAC files with an .aac file extension will play just fine.

The P7's picture viewer handles JPEG, GIF and TIF images – and does so very well – and it also displays .txt files. Unlike the Cowon O2, the P7 supports ID3 tags – or rather it does for MP3 files. Try as we might, we couldn't get it to recognise the tags on Ogg or FLAC files. This isn't the end of the world as you can view all the media on the player by folder, but it’s still an annoyance.

iRiver P7

Built-in FM radio and voice recorder too

As well as music and video playback, the P7 also comes with an FM radio, which lacks RDS but has 30 pre-sets, and a voice recorder too. It can also record off-air, with recordings being stored as WMA files.

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