Posted by Deliverator on December 27th, 2005
My mother wanted to give my father a lightweight mp3 player for use while exercising for a Christmas gift and naturally knowing nothing about mp3 players asked my opinion. I recommended she get a iRiver flash based player with at least 512 MB of flash, rather than a shock-prone hard disk based unit. I have always liked iRiver’s flash based players. They just seemed to “get it” as a company. I remember Alex showed me an early model iRiver flash player. It had an intuitive interface, an fm radio tuner, ogg support and best of all showed up as a drive letter when you plugged it in. This let one choose how to synchronize one’s audio, whether through simple drag and dropping or through the use of a plethora of software choices. iRiver was 1st in soo many areas and all the other player manufacturers were quick to incorporate these features into their own players – though rarely surpassing iRiver’s implementations. So, I was most displeased when I checked out my father’s new iRiver T10.
Overall, this is a wonderful player, but it is likely going back to the store for one simple reason. iRiver has removed USB Mass Storage (UMS) support from this player on the US version. They have hopped into bed with Microsoft and now only support synchronization with the DRM happy Windows Media Player 10. There is NO OTHER WAY to synchronize the player. This means that users of Windows 2000, 98, XP SP1, Mac OS Any, Linux are all out of luck. iRiver has shut out a huge portion of their userbase. The usually fantical iRiver supporters over at MisticRiver have gone silent over this model and even users of XP SP2 with WMP 10 have reported numerous difficulties getting their players to detect and synchronize. The thing that pisses me off the most about this player is that most retailers of this device are openly advertising compatibility with all major versions of Windows and Mac OS. The box prominently features an emblem announcing Plays For Sure – NOT! I sure hope Microsoft is good in bed, iRiver, because you ain’t getting any loving from me.