Cry me an iRiver

The world of portable audio has a new pretender to the iPod's throne with the introduction of the iFP-599T from iRiver, which boasts a whopping 1GB memory.

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By  Andrew Picken Published  December 21, 2003

The world of portable audio has a new pretender to the iPod's throne with the introduction of the iFP-599T from iRiver, which boasts a whopping 1GB memory.

Available at a hefty $450, the iFP-599T is a design led piece of kit with a magnesium die-cast body. iRiver claims that: "A combination of stiff straight lines and soft curves created an elegant masterpiece."

A key selling point for iRiver's iFP-599T is that it will work in conjunction with both Mac (MAC OS 9/OS X) and PC (Windows 98 onwards) operating systems. The device also ships with the iRiver Music Manager VER 3.0 software, which provides a number of features. One of the more useful ones is a tag editor, which lets you name the songs you have recorded.

The device weighs just 60g and its built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery will last up for up to 28 hours of usage and takes only 3 hours to fully charge. It can be recharged from computer system via USB cable while playing.

The direct encoding function allows you to convert audio format files into other mp3 files that are encoded directly from a CD player or an auxiliary audio system. You can also select the sample rate and bit rate.

One of the more intriguing features on this portable audio player is the Sound Activity Detector (SAD) function, which saves memory and power of the player during voice recording. The SAD records only when the voice is captured automatically and turns off when it is silent.

iRiver has deployed its Xtreme EQ on Xtreme 3D sound technology in this latest model and the company is confident it will offer a crystal clear sound. The addition of a Xtreme 3D button to the shell of the iFP-599T will make accessing this feature easier for users claims iRiver.

Also included is the Autosync function, which automatically separates the mp3 file. For example, if the provided cable connects a CD player and iFP-599T, all the audio files in the CD will be transferred into iFP-599T in the mp3 format, track by track. The iFP-500 series also has a jack that connects an auxiliary microphone for a better sound quality.

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