Thumbs up for iRiver

My iRiver is two years old today. It was a birthday present a couple of years ago (yes, today I am now officially, unfortunately, in the grip of adulthood… gah).

Recently, the MP3 player started totally acting up. It did so on the same day I got my new PC, so that put a dampener on the whole day. I felt as though I was being punished for having the audacity to buy a PC.

Anyway, as you can imagine — I am a huge music lover — I was pretty upset about it. Eventually, I convinced myself that there was a silver lining. It provided the perfect opportunity to buy an iPod.

Yes, today I would probably buy an iPod. I would still feel like a bit of a posing prick with one, in much the same way as I wouldn’t suit driving a Porsche.

Most people are evil and superficial, and many point out the alleged “enormous” size of my iRiver. I don’t think it’s that big — I would say it’s chunky. But I really like its shape — roughly the dimensions of a cassette case. Fits very nicely in my pocket.

Somebody called outta stace left a comment recently explaining why they would “never get an iPod”. I wouldn’t say that I’d never get an iPod. But it explains well part of the reason why I like my iRiver.

But the iPod is tempting for two major reasons. One: gapless playback. I’ve picked up that you can get this for your iRiver, but only with an unofficial firmware upgrade, which I’m too much of a wuss to do. Two, and even more importantly: it Scrobbles.

(This is even more important at the moment because iTunes for Vista is buggy as shit, and the software doesn’t play very well with it either — so most of my tracks are never Scrobbled.)

Still, as tempting as an iPod is, the price tag heading towards £300 pounds (I’d need to get the 80GB iPod as I have roughly 35GB of music) is a hefty hit on the wallet. I realised after a while that my iRiver was still under warranty, almost two years after I’d bought it (If my iRiver had died a month later, it wouldn’t have been — I was lucky).

I sent the player back to iRiver in Germany, who very promptly worked out the problem (HDD failure), fixed it and sent it straight back free of charge. I was impressed with the good service.

So now I have been reunited with my iRiver, complete with new HDD, but with all of the same external scrapes and bruises that have been inflicted on it thanks to two years’ worth of my usage. There’s a bit of life in my iRiver yet. Who needs an iPod?


  1. Happy birthday!

    iRivers are fairly awesome, I had one for a while (the IHP 140 I think) but grew frustrated with the slow indexing and two minute boot time. I also never quite got used to the filing system and, well, the iPod’s user interface is *awesome*, much as I hate iTunes for Vista.

    btw, I learnt that it was your birthday from Facebook. The wonder of social networking…!

  2. […] that I wrote that post about Twitter before I liveblogged the grand prix. Nor celebrated the second birthday of my iRiver (and the 21st birthday of me) several days before the actual event. Look out tomorrow for a post […]

  3. I still have my first generation ipod its about 4 years old and works great, i have replaced the battery twice. Its never broke, I think you just need to treat things with respect!

  4. First, happy belated birthday! Welcome to adulthood! Having been there for, erm, some time, it is not all what it cracks up to be, but it’s not always as bad as it seems!

    I will die the day my MP3 dies. I’ve got a Sony HD3 which has been sharing my daily commute since Christmas 2005, and so far it is still bearing up well. And since it’s only 20Gb, it is fair to say that it’s had its fair share of loading/unloading over the years. Much better than my friend’s first iPod, which died a couple of days after the 1 year warranty expired. That would make me think twice about getting one, although, like you, I am not saying it will never happen.

    As long as there’s some life in my HD3 though, I will keep it going.

  5. […] I mean). The previous design was deliberately jazzy and distinctive. But since then I have become a can’t-get-away-from-it adult. And in the next few months I will hopefully be finished with […]