Tim Anderson's ITWriting

iRiver H320 and H340

 

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picture of iRiver H140

Review: Portable MP3 player

The iRiver H320 is a hard-drive based MP3 player. The H340 is identical except for the size of the hard drive - 40GB versus 20GB. These players are the successors to the popular H120 and H140. But beware - there are important differences between the versions of the 320/340 available in the USA, and those available elsewhere in the world. Tim Anderson explains all.

The H320 portable music player and recorder is small, neat and powerful. iRiver proudly describe the device as "multi-codec", and it will happily play MP3, the open source Ogg Vorbis, Microsoft's WMA and ASF. The unit has an excellent colour screen, and it will display images in JPEG or BMP format - JPEG is commonly used by digital cameras, while BMP is the native uncompressed bitmap format used by Windows. If you download the latest firmware from iRiver's web site, you can also play videos in AVI format. You will likely have to create video files especially for the device, since the they have to use the XviD MPEG4 codec and have a resolution of 220 x 176. It's a cool feature but probably not very useful for most people. You can also store and display plain text. There is an integrated FM tuner, which uses the earphone cable as an aerial, and you can also record audio from an internal or external microphone, from the tuner, or from any source via a line-in socket.

This is also a portable storage device. When attached to a computer via the supplied USB 2.0 cable, it appears as an external hard drive. 20 or 40GB is large, plenty enough for most people to back up all their personal data, so you can easily carry around both your data and your favourite music. How much music? Well, a CD at 192kbps usually occupies just under 100MB, which would get you around 200 CDs, or 2500 songs, on the smaller H320. You can vary this amount by juggling with different formats and bitrates.

Along with video, the best H320 party trick is on-the-go USB connection. The H320 can act as a USB 1.1 host, so you can directly connect a digital camera or indeed another MP3 player. Possible uses would be to store holiday snaps after filling up your camera's memory card, or to swap music files with a friend (although this would breach copyright conditions in many cases).

The H320 does not come with much in the way of software. To use it, simply connect to a PC and copy the music you want to use. Music files contain tags giving details like the track title, album and artist name. You can index these on the H320, enabling easier navigation. To create the index, you need to invoke a database scan either on the device, or from a connected computer. The supplied software lets you do build this index by right-clicking in Windows Explorer. A snag here is that only MP3 files will be indexed, though you can get round this with free third-party software created by iRiver enthusiasts. For managing your music on a PC, you simply use your favourite media player and library, such as the free Windows Media Player. You could also use iTunes, though you have to use MP3 rather than the default iTunes format of AAC, and the H320 will never play DRM-protected files such as those purchased from Apple's iTunes store.

Using the H320

Aside from a hold switch on the side, all control and navigation is via buttons on the front of the unit, including a four-way rocker switch, a central action button, and four additional buttons. Navigation is not difficult, but takes a little practice. If you have a lot of music stored, it's hard to avoid some tedious scrolling. Some buttons do different things in different contexts, and different again if you hold them down for longer. Press-and-hold on the home screen brings up the configuration menu, with a wide range of options and functions including formatting the drive, indexing, display and stand-by settings, tone controls and equalization (EQ) effects, and mic sensitivity. You can also enable features like voice-actuated recording and a sleep timer which turns the unit off after a preset period.

In normal use, there are four modes, Music, Radio, Record, Text. Press-and-hold on the Record button brings up the mode select menu. Select the mode you want, and away you go. The FM tuner has presets, and configuring these is a little fiddly but hopefully won't need to be done often.

I give the H320 high marks for its wide range of features, but it scores less well in terms of usability.

A closer look at the H320 display. This is a photograph, not a digital screengrab, so does not show the sharpness of the real thing. However, you can make out the main features. The level meters bounce up and down during playback, but not when recording, which is silly.

 

The sound quality is excellent, as good as I've heard from a device of this kind. The supplied Sennheiser earbuds are fine, but the H320 is easily good enough to merit investment in top quality headphones. I tend not to use much EQ, but the H320 has an impressive set of options here if you like a particular type of sound, or need to compensate for deficiencies elsewhere. For example, when playing through a car stereo I found it necessary to cut the bass output to correct an imbalance.

You can also get excellent results from microphone recordings. The internal mic is handy for a quick record of a meeting. A simple but effective tie-clip mic is also supplied with some versions. The mic-in socket appears to support plug-in power, though this is not documented, and worked well with a medium quality Sony Electret Condenser Microphone without the need for a battery.

Battery life is quoted as 16 hours, which is excellent, and you can charge via a USB connection, so travel without the mains adaptor is possible.

Likes

There's plenty to like about the H320. The screen is beautiful, and colour is not just a gimmick: it is much clearer to read than monochrome. It's great to have Ogg Vorbis support as well as WMA and MP3, and there's a full range of features. It performs three functions well: music playback, microphone recording, and file backup. The radio is adequate, and photographers will find the ability to store and view pictures handy.

Gripes

I like this device, so please take this list of gripes in that context. So what's wrong with the H320? First, the design is utilitarian rather than attractive. I reckon iRiver need to invest in a smart contemporary design to have much hope of succeeding against Apple's iPod. Enthusiasts will choose this device for its features, but the rest of the world will pass it by. Similar thoughts apply to its usability. It's not that bad, but finding and playing the music you want is not as intuitive as it should be. The buttons have too many different functions, and it's often not obvious which one to press or hold down.

A big mis-step is failure to support DRM-protected WMA files (except for the US version), and failure to support the Windows Portable Media Device specification. Compatible devices support synchronization and playlists direct from Windows Media Player, which would make this far more user-friendly. The DRM piece is about whether someone can purchase music from an online store and play it on the H320. Currently you can't, even when it is in WMA format.

It's a shame that iRiver chopped some of the features found in the older H140, like digital in/out and the ability to record to uncompressed WAV. It's also a shame that iRiver has not fixed long-standing issues like the inability to index WMA files, and the annoying gaps that appear between tracks that should run together without a pause.

The great colour display seems a missed opportunity. For example, you would have thought iRiver would make it easy or at least possible to display CD artwork when playing a particular album. As far as I can see this is not supported.

A nice leather case is supplied, but it features a bulky clip. More than just a belt clip, this will also attach to something like a thin shelf; my hunch is that iRiver is thinking of in-car use. However, the clip can also get in the way. If you remove it, a hard metal stud remains. Either way, the H320 in its case is not kind to pockets. Worth investigating third-party alternatives.

Finally, there are several variations on the H320/340 bundles, some of which exclude the remote control, which is a step too far. You can get it as an optional extra, but iRiver accessories are often not easy to obtain. It is often more convenient to use a remote rather than digging the entire unit out of a pocket in order to change track. Look for a bundle that includes the remote. Other sometimes-bundled options include a docking cradle and an external mic.

The mystery of the US version

The US version of the H320 is nearly identical in terms of hardware, but not in features. US users get support for DRM-protected WMA (good) and full Windows Media Player compatibility (good), but only when connected via USB 1.1 rather than 2.0 (very bad). They lose out on USB on-the-go (bad). In essence, the 2nd USB port that is used in Europe and elsewhere for USB on-the-go, becomes a Portable Media interface instead. It's rumoured that disgruntled US users can successfully use the European firmware to disable DRM and portable media support in favour of USB on-the-go (but don't take my word for it). However, it appears that European users cannot do the reverse, as there is some small hardware difference. All this is nonsense of course - the Portable Media interface should work through the USB 2.0 connection, leaving the other USB port free for on-the-go support.

Note that while the US version qualifies for Microsoft's "Plays for sure" logo, the version available in the rest of the world does not. Microsoft's Plays for sure web site does not make this clear; in fact, it's downright misleading. Shame.

H320 versus H140

I've used the H140 extensively, so I was interested to see how these two compare. The H320 has some nice enhancements, including colour screen, image support, the ability to record from the tuner, USB charging and USB on-the-go. The H320 buttons are easier to use than H140's joystick. For microphone recording, I found the H320 a little better than the H140 - maybe it supplies a little more plug-in power, or the microphone pre-amp is superior.

However, the H140 also has advantages. It feels more solid, with more metal in the case. It also has features lacking in the H320, mainly digital in/out and the ability to play and record uncompressed WAV. This latter could be critically important if you intend to process the recording, as files recorded with lossy compression are not suitable for this. The H140 also comes with the remote as standard.

There's a separate review of the H140 here

Putting it together

There are plenty of reasons to like the H320, which packs a great range of features at a good price. However, it feels like a product which could be a lot better given a little more work - proper WMA and Windows support, album art display, more intuitive navigation, and so on. Some of these issues could be solved with a firmware upgrade, so there is still hope that iRiver will deliver.

I believe several features are now essential for success in this market. These include excellent usability, the ability to play music purchased online, and seamless operation in-car as well as in-pocket. Despite its great specification, the H320 fails on all three counts. That doesn't mean the H320 is a complete failure, just that its natural market is a niche of users who know what they want and will put up with a little inconvenience to get it.

Summary

Good points:

Bad points:

Amazon links

US UK

iRiver H340

iRiver H320

iRiver H320 Lite version (no remote)

Copyright Tim Anderson 16th December 2004. All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2004 Tim Anderson


 
 
58 comments
Comment posted on 2010-08-11 18:36:57 by: Carl.
If you copy a mixed CD ie a compliation of say 15 or so tracks mixed by a DJ and you put them on your iRiver 320 when you play it through the player it leaves a silent pause for about half a second between each track.

Is there away t listen to it as acontinuous mix??? thanks any clues

Comment posted on 2010-04-24 10:00:46 by: Martin Q.
I have been using the H320 for several years and have made some very worthwhile upgrades.


1. The original battery has been replaced with a new 2200mAh unit from the highly recommended seller LicketySplit:
http://stores.shop.ebay.ca/LicketySplitAuctions

2. The 20GB hard drive with a compact flash card (Adata Speedy 32GB) using a '1.8" hard drive to CF' adapter from eBay.

3. I have installed the Rockbox 3.5.1 software but can still boot the original system if I want to.


The results of these these changes have transformed the H320 into a completely new experience. It now runs much longer, quieter (especially when using the internal mic because there is no hard drive noise), cooler and faster. It can also do much more while running Rockbox than the original OS would allow.

Best of luck to all the H3xx owners and users out there, and thanks to Tim Anderson for keeping his review available.


Some download links for the iriver H3xx:

Manual:
http://www.iriverinc.com/lounge/loungeView.asp?sno=484

DB Manager Program v1.70 (two different links, but I have never used this):
http://www.iriverinc.com/lounge/loungeView.asp?sno=322
http://www.iriverinc.com/lounge/loungeView.asp?sno=527

Firmware:
http://www.iriverinc.com/download/downloadView.asp?sno=787
http://www.iriverinc.com/download/downloadView.asp?sno=767
http://www.iriverinc.com/download/downloadView.asp?sno=766


More information can be found at Rockbox:
http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/IriverNavigation
http://download.rockbox.org/release/3.5.1/rockbox-iriverh300-3.5.1.pdf

... and on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iriver_H300_series

Comment posted on 2010-01-27 06:58:08 by: Saik.
Where can I find software for H320? I need installation for H320
Comment posted on 2009-12-08 14:03:36 by: hailuu in dublin.
i have a h340 and unfortunately i am not one that is very techno-minded but i love it just as much as anyone so i hope someone here can help me. My problem is that no computer can read the device when i connect it using usb and i had a full 34gb of quality irreplaceable music that i can now not access.
PLEASE HELP!! Very desperate

Comment posted on 2009-07-11 09:55:46 by: Pugly.

I just got mine in mid-frbruary iriver h320

I got the last one it was on display but actually accessories are missing so i got for good deal

Well when i got mine the battery was charge already and goodthing i have the usb adaptor to charge this device.

I tested the sound depending what type of music what in the player and what volume. I turned up the volume up to 10 and abov the volume was loud already for me.

Also tested the video clip on this player it play pretty well in normal speed.....

Also tested this device as a mass storage drive it handle it well usb 2.0

I haven't have a chance to test the second port (otg) yet

Oh yeah i have tested the microphone is sound great than othe microphone.......

Well even this device has a little weigh i still like it..

And i have tested this device while travelling on the bus or walking the music didn't even have glitch......

And the battery charge it took so long for empty battery to it took 10 hours to fully the battery and after fully charge the took so long to drain...between 8hrs to 16 hrs
if i listen to mp3 but playing video the battery run quick between 3 to 4 hours...

Comment posted on 2009-03-26 11:14:45 by: Uglyu.
Oh by the way i didn't have problem with the usb so far i first charge it it couple of hours to fully charge it and i left it until the next day just in case since is the first time charging left there at 12 hours..but it didn't over charge. But i haven't tried the other usb which is use for window media player sync.....
Comment posted on 2009-03-26 10:57:46 by: Ugly.
oh yeah the battery is good when i bought i have to charge because the battery is running after i charge it the battery stay longer than previous......Oh my firmware is 1.28K.....in the future im planning to upgrade to 1.29K but i was thinking about it....but not yet until im familiar with 1.28K firmware....
Comment posted on 2009-03-26 10:50:10 by: Ugly.
I just mine couple of weeks and i got the last one when i bought in the store and it was discontinue this product is good so far i didn't have problem h320 iriver i took me sometime to get used to it.......
Comment posted on 2009-03-04 18:16:46 by: mars.
best !!!!
Comment posted on 2008-08-17 13:46:11 by: Derek Smyth.
Hi, the H340 is an excellent Mp3 player. It does have some battery problems though (mine is on it's second battery) which I believe was because the battery used by iriver was the same as the ipod.

The firmware that comes on the H340 isn't very good though and takes ages to boot up. Forget about playing video on it as the screen is hopelessly small.

The Rockbox firmware replacement is far better, nothing fancy but has a far better graphics equaliser for tuning your sounds, if all you use the H340 for is MP3 playing them it's worth the download.

It was good to see this article.

Comment posted on 2008-04-29 21:52:50 by: Maureen Gallagher.
I'm having trouble recording voice on my iRiver H320. When I press record the recording starts but it stops after 10 seconds just as the counter displays stops at 10. Can anyone please help?
Comment posted on 2007-03-23 11:53:35 by: Tim Anderson.
Matt

> I must say I was getting tired of the H320 though because
> of the short battery life

Surprised about this; my H140 is 3 years old now and I still get 7-8 hours or so.

Perhaps the H320 battery is less good.

Tim

Comment posted on 2007-03-22 23:03:17 by: Matt.
Hi Tim,

We met at FOWA2007 last month.
I was a big fan of the H320's good sound recording quality but somebody just stole mine last week-end and I lost all recordings I made during the CeBIT...
I must say I was getting tired of the H320 though because of the short battery life and, yes, it's quite bulky by today's standards.
I'm about to buy the Edirol R09 from Roland: very small, uses normal AA batteries, has a VU meter and peak level control (this is SO usefull) and a built-in stereo mike that won't pick up hard drive noise since there is no hard drive. It uses SD cards and a firmware update allows it to read SDHC cards (goes up to 32Gb).

Regards,
Matt
http://code.golios.com

Comment posted on 2007-03-15 14:58:11 by: Brendan.
Hey christopher have you tried pressing play/pause while the charging screen comes up. I was like dat 4 a wile until i pressed play by accident!
Comment posted on 2007-03-15 14:53:52 by: Brendan.
Hey flint I have a H320 as well but how did you sync it to the media player. That would be very handy because my audio mostly has no tags. Thanks
Comment posted on 2007-03-07 07:02:37 by: chris.
I have a iriver h340 and my window media player does not sync my computer picks up that it is conected but when i try to sync it says no divice please can someone help me.
Comment posted on 2006-12-19 00:07:38 by: christopher.
How can i get my pc(xp) to recognise my H320
Comment posted on 2006-10-25 20:02:25 by: Flint.
I recently purchased iRiver H320 from an auction and to my surprise it does sync with my pc through the windows media 10. It does pretty everything the iPod does and even more!!!!
Comment posted on 2006-05-26 18:22:00 by: Andrew.
I bought an iriverH320 and the sound ports dont work any more I lost the serial # so I cant return it, I'm woundering if there is anyway of fixing it.
Andrew

Comment posted on 2006-02-07 22:28:10 by: Claire Gibson.
Hi I read your summery but I can't seem too find the price of the Iriver
Comment posted on 2005-12-26 09:40:40 by: Tashi.
My husband just bought me an iriver - how does one download music to it???? HELP!!
Comment posted on 2005-12-17 17:54:01 by: dyl.
Am I able to transfer music from store-bought CD's onto windows media player and then onto the iriver H320? I'm thinking of buying, but won't if this can't be done.
Comment posted on 2005-11-19 08:06:31 by: Anon.
I agree with Nick about the playlist. I had a lot of trouble with WMP10 doing playlists and got TDT, this works well apart from the fact that you can\'t select the order u want ur songs. You have to click the "shuffle" button to shuffle the music up into a decent order. Also about the DRM i'm really annoyed that the US users get to play protected music (though sucks can\'t use the USB thing). I have many albums I want to put on but they won\'t play and i can't convert them. If anyone knows about playlists or converting files it would be much appreciated
Comment posted on 2005-09-12 01:08:30 by: tyler.
what format to u have to use to get movies onto your iriver
Comment posted on 2005-09-12 01:07:22 by: tyler.
what format do you have to use to get movies onto your iriver
Comment posted on 2005-07-15 00:38:49 by: unknown.
To avoid the long list of songs and scrolling, I have folders for each of my artists and then make separate folders according to the genre of music. That way, I do have a few songs repeatedly saved on my iRiver but I make my own playlists that way. For example, I have a Black Eyed Peas album with all the BEP songs but I also have a favorite HIPHOP folder with my favourite top 3 BEP songs along with a mix of all my other hiphop favourites. When I feel like listening to a random mix, I just change the program to random all and see what I get.
Comment posted on 2005-06-15 22:13:57 by: Rob.
Hi, ive just got a iriver h320 and i love it but dont have a clue how to download videos onto it, where to download them to, and how to access them on the iriver once ive got them on. I have upgraded firmware to v 1.27 but dont know what to do next. could someone e-mail me and tell me where im going wrong
Comment posted on 2005-06-08 15:11:26 by: Anonymous.
IRIVER IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment posted on 2005-04-19 03:02:00 by: Joaquin.
I am in need of a a battery charger adaptor for an I-River H320. If there is anybody out there that can help me with any information as to where I can purchase one, I would greatly appreciate it.
Comment posted on 2005-04-06 23:31:30 by: Ade.
Just got the H320 4 weaks ago it's great i know nothing about MP3 players or Computers i have over 1400 songs 72 albums or something like that. It take's a while to trans from CD 2 Computer then 2 MP3 But I did all this in about 2weaks a couple of hours a night. Looked at a iPod not 4 me. If u r thinking about the 320 or 340 just buy it u will not be sorry.


Comment posted on 2005-03-17 18:09:31 by: Salamat.
hi i just bought an h320 and i would like to play some real player files, does anyone know if there is a way to do this without having to convert my real player files to mp3?
please email me
thanks

Comment posted on 2005-03-17 14:18:58 by: t johnston.
pretty piss about the miss leading advise i got from the napster site that said the 320 was play for sure i dont no much about all this but if u burn your downloads and then loads then rip them form the disc then u can put them in the 320 my porblem is that after my pc crashed when i rip music the file dosent go in to my music like it use to and ive went in to tools and properties and change it 2 save in my music but it dosent any one smart enough to answer me please help
Comment posted on 2005-03-13 13:12:00 by: daniel.
there is an interesting software for list on the go, very friendly, on redchairsoftware, named irivium explorer. this may be usefull for some of you.
Comment posted on 2005-03-09 16:49:31 by: J.
Hello enkel!
Yes, you can connect an external microphone to the player. It's even included in the package, at least in Europe.

I've read that you can record up to 320 kbps mp3 files on it, and I'm pretty sure you can change the bitrate. It can also record through line-in in the same quality.

The internal mic on the H100-series are extremely sensitive, and I'm guessing that it's the same, or similar, to the mics on the H320/340. So, maybe you won't even need to use an external mic :)

Comment posted on 2005-03-05 07:13:07 by: Tim Anderson.
> I have to scroll all the way until I get to the song. Very dissapointed
> iriver does not provide a playlist on the go.

Some people just use the file system to organize songs in a hierarchical manner, eg: Artist - Album - Track; or if you have a lot of music, you could sort the artists into groups A-F, G-L etc.

Tim

Comment posted on 2005-03-04 09:13:28 by: Edwin.
Hello Everybody... I recently purchased an iriver h320. The h320 is excellent except for one thing. If I want to listen to song #300 and I am in #5... I have to scroll all the way until I get to the song. Very dissapointed iriver does not provide a playlist on the go. Please if anyone knows how to fix this problem by upgrading a firmware or by doing something Please let me know. This is a very bad characteristic. If the problem cannot be fixed i do not recomend this product to anyone... PLEASE HELP!!!
Comment posted on 2005-03-01 10:40:55 by: helen sagar.
Hi I have just bought an iriver lite H320 but before I open it I need to know whether it can play downloaded music through the windows media player. I seem to get conflicting advice. Please help quickly.

Thanks

Comment posted on 2005-02-26 19:20:11 by: Tim Anderson.
Ronnie,

The H320/H340 will only play unprotected music, unless you have the US version which will play protected WMA files. If the music you download is not protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management), and it in a supported format such as MP3 or WMA, it will play fine. However most music downloads that are sold online do have DRM protection.

Tim

Comment posted on 2005-02-26 19:05:27 by: Ronnie.
I'm confused - are you saying that you can't play ANY music downloaded from sites?
Comment posted on 2005-02-26 15:12:16 by: Alan Bamford.
Tim your reviews are the best I have read online. I was really pleased that you were able to compare the H320 and the H 140 as the now discarded features such as digital I/O and wav recording. I make field recordings and I was hoping iRiver would improve this line in that direction over time but seems they are dropping specialist audio functionality in favour of multimedia blandness. Drat!! And theres nothing else out there other than MD units - which I want to move away from.
Comment posted on 2005-01-22 17:43:31 by: jay-z.
iriver rules

Comment posted on 2005-01-22 17:42:30 by: joe.
i think the h320 is far better than the ipod because the ipod photo cant hold video
Comment posted on 2005-01-22 17:40:07 by: david.
whats nick on about you can create playlists
Comment posted on 2005-01-22 01:41:56 by: Dave.
This is the best, most comprehensive review of the H340 I have seen so far on the internet (including professional outlets such as cnet.com. As a H340 owner and a regular on the iriver message boards, your research shines -- and your anticipation of iriver's consumer base is precisely on point. The comparative notes with the ipod and the previous H-series is excellent, and can be used by a prospective consumer as a stand-alone guide for purchase advice. I love my H340, but this is not a machine for people who are daunted by words like "firmware," "ogg vorbis," or "re-encoding." Those customers would be better off with an ipod (and frankly, a macintosh). For those who are comfortable with computers, are not afraid of experimentation, like control of thier data, and despise the "dumb-down" movement (often at the cost of features) in computing, welcome to the iriver fold.
Comment posted on 2005-01-16 15:30:05 by: RSV-R.
The h3*0 can record at variable bit rates - 40kbps ~ 320kbps which can be easily altered.
Comment posted on 2005-01-14 22:13:25 by: Jane.
HI,
Your review is very informative and covers all the points I have discovered when I purchased an h340.

The advertising where I bought the player told me it was WMA and AAC compatable which I later found to be useless to download tracks from Napster in the UK and I couldnt get it to sync with any player. However even after my initial learning curve the features that are there are great and FM reception has been fantastic.

Have you heard anything with regards to any firmware upgrades to at least make it DRM WMA and Windows Media Player compatable. That would make it all wonderful.

Comment posted on 2005-01-05 18:33:52 by: Anonymous.
Tim,

Hi Tim thank you for the reply. I will try and get more info on mysticriver.

Nat

Comment posted on 2005-01-05 16:40:29 by: Jamima.
Yes, I agree with Enkel. I´m a music major and want to ditch my minidisc player for a hard drive mp3 player. But as Enkel stated, I need to record something besides voices. Can any of the iriver hard drives do this?
Comment posted on 2005-01-04 20:42:49 by: paul bee.
After spending weeks trying to decide on what mp3 player to buy I have gone for the H320 lite version from Amazon. Does anyone know if it is worth paying the extra for the full version. I am presuming it is the extras you get and not the units spec that is different?

Paul Bee

Comment posted on 2005-01-02 16:06:44 by: Tim Anderson.
Nat,

With the latest firmware the H320/340 can play video but I've only tested it with short pieces. It is only compatible with a specific video format, so before assuming it would do what you want, I'd check how you will get video from your source format into the format the iRiver wants, as well as the length/size aspect. You could try the mysticriver forum for some answers.

Tim

Comment posted on 2005-01-01 16:16:09 by: Nat.
Hi, i am curently thinking about purchasing iRiver H320, the reviewer said something about it playing video (avi format) but he didn't elobrate on that, I am particularly interested on the video feature becuase, i like to play music videos and my collection of friends episodes on my 3 hour journey to and from uni. Basically what i want to know is, how good the quality of the video is.
Comment posted on 2004-12-31 22:12:58 by: Ryan G.
Actually, Tim, it does "index" all the other formats including MP3. I had the problem you're probably having with it, and the solution is to download the Tag Database Tool (TDT) -- which is not provided by iRiver. That will sort your music files out perfectly so that the H320/340 will detect them and arrange them perfectly.
TDT can be found here:
http://tdt.sourceforge.net/tdt.htm
For everything else you'd ever need you can find here:
http://www.misticriver.net/ (Also not made by iRiver)

Comment posted on 2004-12-27 14:31:31 by: Tim Anderson.
Mohsin

If you need a lossless format, I don't believe this will be suitable. On the other hand, I would try comparing the sound between the higher bitrate formats and the original before dismissing it.

The H140, now very good value, supports WAV, which is lossless though bulky. There is a lossless WMA, but I don't believe the H120 or H340 can play it.

Tim

Comment posted on 2004-12-27 06:02:15 by: Nick.
How can you review the iRiver without mentioning that you cannot create a playlist? Sure, you can go to your computer and use WinAmp to create a playlist and transfer it to your computer. You cannot, however, pick which songs you want to listen to and just listen to them. You have to babysit it. You must wait for the current song to end, then find and play the next song. Yes, it will play an entire group of songs from an album, artist, etc. but not in the order you want it to, just in the order they happen to exist on the hard drive. I was severely disappointed by this. It seems like the iRiver has almost every feature you want except the ability to function as a decent MP3 player, all because it can't playlist on-the-go. It pisses me off that none of the reviews even mention it too. I had to buy one to figure it out. I just assumed it would have such an obvious feature. I'm returning it. It seems iRiver placed a message on their forum in May of 2004 that it would put out a firmware upgrade with on-the-go playlisting for the H-100 series, but it never did. Must not be a priority.
Comment posted on 2004-12-26 22:05:04 by: Mohsin.

Hi, I am looking around for a good hard drive music player to transfer about 350 albums. I will be going abroad for about 2 years and naturally do not want to lug my album collection with me. I am not looking to put mp3s etc on the machine, just my albums. Keeping this in mind, can I get something similar to Apple's lossless encoding on the HS340?

Bearing in mind my specific requirements, do you think this would be a good option for me? I would have gone for an iPod but the battery life is terrible, a few friends have them and they seem to be charging it more than they play it!

Thank you for your help, very helpful and informative review, keep up the good work.

Regards,
Mohsin

Comment posted on 2004-12-17 23:10:02 by: Kirill.
Have a look at misticriver.net :D
Comment posted on 2004-12-16 23:39:00 by: Tim Anderson.
Enkel,

This device can record at a range of bitrates, from 40 to 320 kbps.

If you want to record without any compression, you need the H120 or H140.

Tim

Comment posted on 2004-12-16 21:48:11 by: enkel.
Hi,
I read your summery, which was very informative, but I'm missing something, which is very important to me:
Does the H320 provides more than voice recording?If you're using an external microphone,what is the bitrate it recordes with? Can you change the bitrate?

It's that important to me because I want to replace my old MiniDisc, which I used very often to record Concerts.
Is this possible with the H320?

Please mail back,
yours,
enkel



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