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$253.64 Too low to display list($299.99)
1. Rio Karma 20 GB MP3 Player
$89.99 list($149.99)
2. Rio Cali 256 MB Sport MP3 Player
$109.99
3. RIO 90260465-001 Nitrus 1.5GB
Too low to display $164.48 list($249.99)
4. Sony ICD-ST25VTP Digital Voice
$122.00 list($179.99)
5. Rio Chiba 256 MB MP3 Player
$109.99 list($129.99)
6. Rio Cali 128 MB Sport MP3 Player
Too low to display list($229.99)
7. Rio Carbon Pearl 6 GB MP3 Player
$149.95 list($199.99)
8. Rio Nitrus 1.5 GB MP3 Jukebox
$89.88 list($169.99)
9. Factory-Reconditioned Rio Forge
$199.99
10. Rio Riot 20 GB MP3 Player (MP3/WMA)
$99.95 list($129.99)
11. Rio Chiba 128 MB MP3 Player
$119.99 list($199.99)
12. Rio Digital Audio Receiver with
$54.95 list($69.99)
13. RioVolt SP50 Portable CD/MP3 Player
list($279.95)
14. Rio 500 64 MB USB MP3 Player (Gray)
list($169.99)
15. Rio 800 128 MB Digital Audio Player
$7.49
16. Rio Travel Case
$89.99 list($99.99)
17. RioVolt SP90 Portable CD-MP3 Player
list($179.99)
18. RioVolt SP250 Portable MP3-CD
list($99.99)
19. Rio Fuse 128 MB MP3 Player
list($199.99)
20. RIO Eigen 1.5 GB MP3 Player

1. Rio Karma 20 GB MP3 Player
list price: $299.99
our price: $253.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AQIFZ
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
Sales Rank: 852
Average Customer Review: 3.12 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 20 GB HDD plays back over 330 hours of MP3 or 660 hours of WMA music
  • Auto-DJ intelligently finds, mixes and creates playlists from tracks on command
  • 5-band parametic equalizer with pre-sets
  • 15-hours continuous playback with rechargeable LiIon battery
  • Compatible with computers with USB 2.0 (1.1 compatible) ports running Windows 98 SE, 2000, ME, or XP

Reviews (147)

4-0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect...
I've gotten a lot of good advice from product reviews on Amazon so I feel obgligated to contribute now an then when I have strong feelings about a product. The Rio Karma is such a product.

This isn't a complete review, just first impressions. I received my Rio Karma just last night. Here are my thoughts, in no particular order:

Like the Apple iPOD, this isn't the product to buy if you drop things a lot or otherwise abuse your gadgets. If you want a player for your kid or to use while you play rugby, buy the iRiver iFP-395T. It has 512MB of solid state storage, it's light, rugged, and it comes with a functional armband carrying case.

If you want an MP3 device that has similar attributes to the Apple iPOD but gives you more bang for the buck, this device deserves your consideration. In addition to playing MP3 files like the iPOD it also handles WMA, OGG, and FLAC formated music files, so it's more flexible. It has all the standard stuff like a cool cradle that has USB 2.0, Ethernet, RCA Left/Right audio out, and power. Since all PCs shipped in recent years have USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 ports you won't have to buy an interface card to use the Karma. The USB 2.0 port is backward compatible for computers with USB 1.1 and is as fast as firewire for those newer PCs with USB 2.0. If you have an ethernet network you can plug the cradle into your network and access the player using Rio Music Manager from a networked PC. You get the same functionality that you would using USB.

Setup is easy, but the software and firmware included need to be updated to work properly. Mine arrived with Rio Music Manager 2.20 and Rio Karma firmware 1.4. As the drop in instruction suggests you should immediately upgrade to versions 2.40 and 1.7. If your PC is connected to the Internet when you install the Rio software, the installer will automatically recognize that there are newer versions available and offer to download and perform the required updates. Mine didn't operate correctly until I did this. (I have a Dell D-800 portable with WinXP Pro)

The navigation controls are easy to learn and navigation is relatively easy. The Rio DJ playback mode is a real treat with lots of useful ways to have the player automatically create a playlist for you based on criteria like genre, most frequently played, most recently played, least frequently played, etc.

The player fits easily in your hand and I had no problem with the RioStick and the jog wheel. While the stick is relatively small and light to the touch, it works fine and I haven't heard anyone say theirs broke, just speculation that it MIGHT not be very durable. Only time will tell. None of this gear has controls that can't be broken if abused.

This player costs less than a comparable (20GB) iPOD. Probably because Apple historically has a high markup on their products and they have to fund software development and support for both Macintosh and Intel PC users. Rio skips spending money on Mac support and while this will undoubtedly annoy Mac owners, the rest of us who own PCs benefit from not having to foot the bill for software and support for a cross-platform product.

I wish the Karma came with a belt pack or armband holster. I'll have to settle with a generic 3rd party product for now.

Sound quality is excellent when hooked up to my high-end stereo system. I suspect that users who are disappointed are using low quality earbuds (the included ones are good, but not fantastic). Or they are playing poor quality source material, which is often the case if you download your MP3s from an unknown source. Rest assured that with MP3 or WMA files that are properly created most of you will be pleased. If not, with this player, you can playback FARC format music files which use lossless compression and should be as good as the original CD.

The ethernet connection to the device through the cradle works fine. But you have to set a password on the player before you can connect remotely (which is a GOOD thing). If RIO adds remote control functionality to this interface in the future through a firmware update then this device could be used as a remotely controlled playback device for your home entertainment center. RIO, Please say you're working on this. If you do, I'll give you 5 stars in a followup review!

2-0 out of 5 stars It'd be perfect if it didn't break...
I was drawn in by the FLAC and OGG support, since I like to keep my music in nice high fidelity, non-proprietary formats. If the Karma delivered what it promised, I would have been ecstatic.

Let's start with what I liked about the player; mainly FLAC and OGG support. I've publicly said I'd buy a music player once OGG was supported, and I stuck with that. The use of Ethernet to support any operating system is sure genius. The Rio DJ feature that automagically makes playlists for you was pretty good. The battery life is the longest that I know about.

But everything that has been said about the terrible customer service is true. I pushed the scroll wheel in and the overly fragile thing broke. It took Digital Networks a month and a half to replace it...with a refurbished player which has major scratches on the screen. If that wasn't enough, the hard drive is on the edge and will probably die soon, which is a problem because you only get a 30 day warranty on the refurbished player, and the only thing they now offer is to sell me another refurbished player. No thanks.

If you really want this player, go ahead, but purchase it at a place where you can get an extended warranty. The manufacturer will leave you out in the cold.

1-0 out of 5 stars Has a 3 months life
The warranty is only 3 months and thats because the life of this product is only expected to be 3 months
I always though before that those complaining lied but now after 3 months my Rio Karma player is dead.
If you want to buy it then you must get an extended warranty.

1-0 out of 5 stars **AVOID THIS PLAYER** FAILED AFTER 1 MONTH !
***PLEASE SEE USER REVIEWS ON OTHER WEBSITES AND CHECK OUT RIO AUDIO FORUMS ABOUT HDD INTEGRITY ISSUES, FAULTY ITEM***
After researching tech reviews and magazine articles I decided to choose the Karma over the iPod for two reasons, 1) bigger HDD for less money and 2) Support for more formats. I am a student so the money issue was probably the biggest draw.
I purchased my Karma with alot of anticipation. Right after I bought it I happened across "USER reviews" on CNET.com which bashed the player. Several of those reviews mentioned an issue with HDD integrity while others lambasted the customer service and tech support. Undaunted I surfed my way over to the official website to scour their FAQ list. What I found were their User Forums. So I started reasearching. Sure enough, there were more than several mentions about the HDD that would, for seemingly no reason, lock-up or just fail completly, all of which started out the same, a skip here and there, and then FAILURE. I dismissed this thinking to myself that these people were probably just unreasonably hard on their players and treated them too rough. I appreciate my stuff so I, of course, would not do that.
I recieved my player not to long after I ordered it and was extremely happy. It is well designed, easy to use, and sounded great. Then on July 8th, EXACTLY 1 month to the day I bought the player the HDD failed. BAD KARMA the screen read. Based on what I had read on the User Forums what I needed to do was contact tech support and request an RMA. The thread also mentioned that needed to specify that I would want a new player or they would only send me a REFURBISHED one. When on the phone with the support tech. I mentioned this and he told me that was impossible, and that I would only recieve a refurb. unit. I corrected him by stating that I was still covered under the 90 day manufacturers warranty so I could still request a brand new player. He then informed me that there is a provision in the warranty that states if I purchase the player from an outside vendor, not RIO AUDIO, that the unit would need to fail within 30 days, at which point, I should contact the vendor I purchased the player from and request a new one. In the event that they do not replace it, only then would RIO AUDIO provide me with a new player at the "DISCRETION OF THE COMPANY". Barring this, my 90 day warranty only entitles me to a REFURB. unit. I was so ticked off I actually pulled out the warrenty card that came w/ the player to find this "PROVISION", it was NOWHERE to be found. I would not except this and took it up to a 2nd Teir supervisor, Sydney, who curtly told me that under NO circumstances would they issue me a new unit.
After an hour of calming down I decided to cut my losses and just go for a REFURB. Again, I turned to the User Forums for guidance, at which point I started to find many threads about how bad their RMA follow up is.
So now I'm just going to buy an iPod, hope to recieve my refurb. in less than 2 months, and sell it on eBay when I do and eat the loss.
SO PLEASE, **AVIOD** THE RIO KARMA AT ALL COSTS. SAVE YOURSELF MONEY, TIME, AND A WHOLE LOT OF AGGRAVATION!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Yet another hard drive failure
I will add my own hard drive failure story to the numerous other reviews on this site since I just threw mine in the trash today. It happened, of course, after the 90 day waranty period, and I echo previous sentiment about poor/useless customer support. This product had a lot of potential and was great when it worked. I will steer clear of anything by Rio in the future. For anyone considering this product, look closely at all the reviews and note the hard drive failure trend--then look for another player. ... Read more


2. Rio Cali 256 MB Sport MP3 Player
list price: $149.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AXKBK
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
Sales Rank: 546
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 256 MB of memory for over 4 hours of MP3 or 8 hours of WMA music
  • Secure Digital card/MMC expansion slot provides up to 512 MB of additional memory
  • Built-in FM Tuner
  • 18-hours of continuous playback with one AAA battery
  • Compatible with computers with USB 1.1 ports running Windows 98 SE, 2000, ME, XP, Mac OS X

Reviews (148)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good MP3 player for active use
I purchased the 256MB Rio Cali a month ago and so far it has been a great player for what I intended to use it for which is working out. I realize that you can purchase a player with more features, more memory, and better sound quality for just a little more money, but most of these players are just not practical for active uses like running and working out. This is my first portable MP3 player so I can't really compare it to others, but I am very happy with it. Contrary to some of the other customer reviews, I have found the Cali to be very user friendly. Some reviewers have said that you have to use the Rio music management software that comes with the player (which is cumbersome and only rips CD files in WMA format) to upload songs onto the player, but this is simply not true. I have successfully uploaded songs onto the player with Windows Media Player and MusicMatch Jukebox. I'm sure other programs will work also. The player will hold about 60 songs if they are ripped at highest quality. SD or MMC cards can be added for additionaly memory but I haven't done this yet. The player's rubber casing is very durable which is good because I've already dropped it several times. Battery life (single AAA) is said to be 13 hours but it seems to be less than that. There is a screen indicator to tell you when the battery is getting low. The in-ear headphones provided are OK but cheap and I plan to replace them with better quality Sony earphones. The player somes with a rubber/plastic cradle which can clip onto the armband provided or onto a belt. I really like the FM tuner which is probably the main reason I chose this player over the Nike or Memorex players which are comparable price. Overall I would recommend this player to anyone looking for something to use while working out. Spend the extra $30 to get the 256MB version over the 128MB version. Have access to 60 songs compared to only 30 is so nice. Expanding the memory with cards seems to be quite expensive and kind of a hassle. I'm not an audiophile, so if you want a player with lots more memory and other functions, get an iPod or something. But this player is probably the best out there for active use.

1-0 out of 5 stars junk junk junk
Thank god that I purchased the 2 year waranty. I have had this MP3 player for a few months and I was impressed at first even if the radio reception stinks. However, recently the mazimum download will be 19 songs, because of "non-existent" errors. The screen has frozen with the word Upgrader on it, and ive tried to upgrade it but it is still frozen on the screen. I am very dissapointed with the Rio Cali and would not reccomend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Versitile MP3 Player!
I am so impressed with the Cali that I bought for my husband that I'm going out to get one for myself! I love the easy-to-use software! I found that you can easily download a MP3 upgrade (for FREE!) in order to RIP songs into MP3 format as well as WMA, FLAC, and OGG! It's lightweight, has an FM Tuner, an expansion slot for additional storage space, and is designed for an active lifestyle. What more do you need? I too had a little trouble at first with the ear buds, but quickly got used to them. When in use, they drown out nearly everything else going on. I love it! I stumbled across this one and have since looked at what else is out there. This is the MP3 player for me!

2-0 out of 5 stars It did okay for a while
I had my wife buy this for me for gym use. That way I wouldn't have to listen to BORING 24Hr fitness music. Initially it worked fine. Downloading was easy and the software was user friendly. The sound was rather "flat" though. I like a lot of hip hop and the sound was mediocre. The radio easily lost reception while moving around in the gym. After a few weeks it started shutting of in mid song so I replaced the batteries. NO JOY. It still was shutting off. So I returned it to Walmart in hopes that exchanging it for the 256 CHIBA would be better. I will let you guys know if it was worth it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Music for running, biking, rowing... but not on the subway!
I have been using this rugged little MP3 player while exercising for about nine months, and it has yet to skip a beat or miss a note. In addition to the normal sweat and water associated with running, I have dropped it several times without ill effect. The radio reception is great, and the only physical problem that has developed is a slight fraying of the earphone cord which is visible but has not yet affected the sound. Overall I rate this product very high for those who want to take an hour or two of music with them while working out. However if you are looking to have access to your whole music collection at all times you will have to upgrade to one of the hard drive based MP3 players such as the iPod to get enough storage space. ... Read more


3. RIO 90260465-001 Nitrus 1.5GB Digital Audio Player REFURBISHED

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00067YXT6
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Rio Nitrus 1.5GB MP3 Player - Refurbished It's true, Great things come in small packages. Users who desire exceptional sound in a tight design will love the Rio Nitrus. Have access to over 50 hours of music right from your pocket. The revolutionary Rio Nitrus packs 1.5 GB into a stealthy, razor-thin design. With the ability to carry over 750 songs(50 hours of WMA or 25 hours of MP3 music) bever before has this much capacity been offered on a player this small. Fast USB 2.0 connection loads the player quickly. Simple menus, thoughtful controls, and a clear display make navigation instictive. A 5-Band Adjustable Equalizer provides a custom listening experience. ... Read more

Features

  • Includes -Rio Nitrus 1.5 MP3 Player with battery; High Performance Ear Buds; USB Cable; Power Supply; Installation Disk; Quick Start Guide
  • 1.5GB HDD plays back over 50 hours of WMA or 25 hours of MP3 music (over 750 WMA or 375 MP3 songs); May also be used to store data or photo images for transfer to another computer
  • Simple menus, thoughtful controls, and a clear display make navigation easy
  • USB 2.0 connector port for fast transfers; also USB 1.1 backward compatible
  • Transfer content between multiple PCs

4. Sony ICD-ST25VTP Digital Voice Recorder with Voice-to-Print Software
list price: $249.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001YFYNI
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Sony
Sales Rank: 758
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Take notes the digital way with Sony's ICDST25VTP Digital Voice Recorder, then convert your recorded files into text in one easy step using the included Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred Voice to Print Software. ... Read more

Features

  • Portable digital voice recorder with up to 696 minutes recording capacity, voice e-mail capability, and supplied voice-to-text software
  • 32 MB built-in flash memory, 5 message folders; includes USB cable, voice-editing software, stereo headphones, and a carry case
  • Offers stereo recording, 1-button play from record, overwrite, incremental rewind, priority marking, and battery-saving hold switch
  • 1.25-inch speaker with 350 mw output
  • Full-function LCD with low-battery indicator; runs on 2 AAA batteries (supplied)

5. Rio Chiba 256 MB MP3 Player
list price: $179.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AQIFX
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Digital Networks N.A.
Sales Rank: 866
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 256 MB of memory plays back over 4 hours of MP3 or 8 hours of WMA music
  • Secure Digital card/MMC expansion slot provides up to 512 MB of additional memory
  • Built-in FM Tuner
  • 18-hour continuous playback using one AAA battery
  • Compatible with computers with USB 1.1 ports running Windows 98 SE, 2000, ME, XP, Mac OS X

Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid player with a few minor weak points
I have had my player for ~6 weeks now. When choosing an MP3 player, I narrowed the field down to this player and a couple made by iRiver. My primary reason for choosing this one was its expandability and the belt clip (as opposed to the Rio Sport, which is the same player but with a slightly different look and a velcro arm band).
Pluses: size, weight and shape are nice - easy to hold in your hand while running; memory is excellent and easily expandable with an SD card; great display; software is simple and useful; radio reception is very good; controls and settings are easy to manipulate; good battery life compared to most comparable MP3 players; solid construction.
Minuses: the belt clip carrier looks a little bit cheap, but is secure and sturdy; the earphone jack is in the bottom of the player, which is slightly awkward but not a big deal.
Overall, I would buy this MP3 player again if I were shopping today. I'm very satisfied with it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Seems okay to me.
I should start out by saying that the Rio Chiba is the first MP3 player I've ever seen in person. I won it in a radio station contest. As others have stated they have a problem with the battery door coming off, I have not had that problem, mine snaps into place securely. Regarding the software, I was able to use it pretty easily without reading hardly any of the instructions. I'm moderately computer savvy so I think that says a lot. I think the sound is great although I agree it could be a little louder. The tuner doesn't get the best reception but I don't use it much for that anyway. I think it's a good little player but again, it's the only one I've had any experience with.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good overall, except ear pieces
I just got my Rio and I must say, it's easy to use and sounds good. I took it out running and I live in a busy area. I only had the volume up to ~20 and had no problems--I thought it was plenty loud and had no desire to take it up to the max of 30. My only complaint is that the ear pieces are very uncomfortable to me and I had a hard time getting them to stay in place, on top of it. I ended up walking the rest of the way. Once I get new ear buds, I'll be happy. I was a little worried when I ordered it that the belt clip wouldn't be adequate to run--I'm no longer concerned. It didn't budge--felt very secure. And I LOVE the FM radio feature!!! It came in perfectly clear and, being that I haven't transferred many songs to it yet, let me test it out without boredom.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great alternative for MAC users
I originally tried the iRiver iFP-190T. The biggest feature the iRiver had was that it was LOUD. However, the majority of the flash players out there seem to ignore MAC users. That's too bad, because there are a lot of us out there who think shelling out the big dough for an iPod is out of hand. Especially with the battery situation. I'll take cheap rechargeable AAA batteries that last twice as long anyday. Yes the iRiver sounded great, but was pretty much DOA when hooking up to OS X on my G4.

MACWorld magazine did the honest thing and reviewed some popular flash players. The Rio Chiba, Cali, and Fuse were given the highest honors. They were true to their word, I've had the Chiba a little over 24 hours and has been working seemlessly with iTunes. In fact, if you already have iTunes, you don't need to load any software! The Chiba display has 3 lines of text - very large. The controls are solid and easy to use. The menus are also straightforward. MAC users don't seem to have the option of creating multiple playlists (Correct me if I'm wrong - please). The transfer rate was 20 minutes for around 60 songs, about the amount of time it takes me to shower in the morning. The belt clip looks deceptively cheap. It works ok (the headphone connection is the key to locking it in place). You may prefer something a little more rugged and weatherproof. So I am quite happy with the Chiba, although I have a sentimental attachment to the name since I have been to Chiba, Japan. EXCEPT for the low headphone volume.

This is too bad, because it was a big compromise to find a MP3 player that really DID work well on a MAC, and was well rated. The price was $100 less than the mini iPod. I purchased an extended warranty plan, since the manufacturers warranties on these things are about 120 days, and they are still a little buggy. But I have a reliable and cheaper alternative for the iPOD, and it even has an expandable memory slot.

4 out of 5 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rio Chiba 256MB - Easy to use ( 1 hand) and sounds great.
This unit Sounds great and is easly controled w/one hand while on the belt clip. No arm band provided though. includes FM stereo w/8 presets and manual tunning mode (yea). Headphones are in-ear type and sound very good: by way of comparison Sony MDR-G63 sportphones sound just slightly better. WinXP's Media Player 9 recognizes the Rio and can transfer songs, delete songs and format the player: but be careful as I somehow deleted all my songs once.
Included software seems OK (I only had the unit 24 hours.)
There's a firmware (software) upgrade available: The upgrade was
so easy I did'nt realize it was done and almost did it again.
256MB = about 60 songs at a 128-192bps (Medium high bitrate).
Now I just need a cheap SD mem card (It takes up to 1Meg of SD/MMC memory). And there's the rub. Once you get used to having your music on demand you'll wnat more, more, more.
I gave 4 stars only because I have nothing to compare it to.
MK ... Read more


6. Rio Cali 128 MB Sport MP3 Player
list price: $129.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AQIFW
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
Sales Rank: 1460
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 128 MB of memory for over 2 hours of MP3 or 4 hours of WMA music
  • Secure Digital card/MMC expansion slot provides up to 512 MB of additional memory
  • 5-band adjustable equalizer with pre-sets
  • 18-hours of continuous playback with one AAA battery
  • Compatible with computers with USB 1.1 ports running Windows 98 SE, 2000, ME, XP, Mac OS X

Reviews (148)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good MP3 player for active use
I purchased the 256MB Rio Cali a month ago and so far it has been a great player for what I intended to use it for which is working out. I realize that you can purchase a player with more features, more memory, and better sound quality for just a little more money, but most of these players are just not practical for active uses like running and working out. This is my first portable MP3 player so I can't really compare it to others, but I am very happy with it. Contrary to some of the other customer reviews, I have found the Cali to be very user friendly. Some reviewers have said that you have to use the Rio music management software that comes with the player (which is cumbersome and only rips CD files in WMA format) to upload songs onto the player, but this is simply not true. I have successfully uploaded songs onto the player with Windows Media Player and MusicMatch Jukebox. I'm sure other programs will work also. The player will hold about 60 songs if they are ripped at highest quality. SD or MMC cards can be added for additionaly memory but I haven't done this yet. The player's rubber casing is very durable which is good because I've already dropped it several times. Battery life (single AAA) is said to be 13 hours but it seems to be less than that. There is a screen indicator to tell you when the battery is getting low. The in-ear headphones provided are OK but cheap and I plan to replace them with better quality Sony earphones. The player somes with a rubber/plastic cradle which can clip onto the armband provided or onto a belt. I really like the FM tuner which is probably the main reason I chose this player over the Nike or Memorex players which are comparable price. Overall I would recommend this player to anyone looking for something to use while working out. Spend the extra $30 to get the 256MB version over the 128MB version. Have access to 60 songs compared to only 30 is so nice. Expanding the memory with cards seems to be quite expensive and kind of a hassle. I'm not an audiophile, so if you want a player with lots more memory and other functions, get an iPod or something. But this player is probably the best out there for active use.

1-0 out of 5 stars junk junk junk
Thank god that I purchased the 2 year waranty. I have had this MP3 player for a few months and I was impressed at first even if the radio reception stinks. However, recently the mazimum download will be 19 songs, because of "non-existent" errors. The screen has frozen with the word Upgrader on it, and ive tried to upgrade it but it is still frozen on the screen. I am very dissapointed with the Rio Cali and would not reccomend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Versitile MP3 Player!
I am so impressed with the Cali that I bought for my husband that I'm going out to get one for myself! I love the easy-to-use software! I found that you can easily download a MP3 upgrade (for FREE!) in order to RIP songs into MP3 format as well as WMA, FLAC, and OGG! It's lightweight, has an FM Tuner, an expansion slot for additional storage space, and is designed for an active lifestyle. What more do you need? I too had a little trouble at first with the ear buds, but quickly got used to them. When in use, they drown out nearly everything else going on. I love it! I stumbled across this one and have since looked at what else is out there. This is the MP3 player for me!

2-0 out of 5 stars It did okay for a while
I had my wife buy this for me for gym use. That way I wouldn't have to listen to BORING 24Hr fitness music. Initially it worked fine. Downloading was easy and the software was user friendly. The sound was rather "flat" though. I like a lot of hip hop and the sound was mediocre. The radio easily lost reception while moving around in the gym. After a few weeks it started shutting of in mid song so I replaced the batteries. NO JOY. It still was shutting off. So I returned it to Walmart in hopes that exchanging it for the 256 CHIBA would be better. I will let you guys know if it was worth it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Music for running, biking, rowing... but not on the subway!
I have been using this rugged little MP3 player while exercising for about nine months, and it has yet to skip a beat or miss a note. In addition to the normal sweat and water associated with running, I have dropped it several times without ill effect. The radio reception is great, and the only physical problem that has developed is a slight fraying of the earphone cord which is visible but has not yet affected the sound. Overall I rate this product very high for those who want to take an hour or two of music with them while working out. However if you are looking to have access to your whole music collection at all times you will have to upgrade to one of the hard drive based MP3 players such as the iPod to get enough storage space. ... Read more


7. Rio Carbon Pearl 6 GB MP3 Player
list price: $229.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00095V19K
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
Sales Rank: 11619
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Digital Networks N Amer (DNNA) (90260591) Rio Carbon 6P - Pearl ... Read more

Features

  • Rechargeable battery -- up to 20 hours
  • Plays MP3, WMA & Audible
  • 6 GB of memory stores up to 1500 songs
  • Built-in mic for voice record
  • Drag and drop data and music files

8. Rio Nitrus 1.5 GB MP3 Jukebox
list price: $199.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AQIFY
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
Sales Rank: 1658
Average Customer Review: 2.57 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 1.5 GB HDD plays over 25 hours of MP3 of 50 hours of WMA music
  • Includes Sennheiser earbuds
  • 5-band adjustable equalizer with pre-sets
  • 16-hours continuous playback with rechargeable LiIon battery
  • Compatible with computers with USB 2.0 (1.1 compatible) ports running Windows 98 SE, 2000, ME, or XP

Reviews (105)

1-0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY A RIO NITRUS
Received my Rio Nitrus on my birthday in July 2004. Worked fine until two weeks ago when the infamous "upgrader" message appeared. Went out and downloaded the latest firmware (123)and the upgrader message changed to a "restarting" message that would not go away and effectively locked up the unit. <br /> <br /> Have tried repeatedly to reset, download and restart, to no effect. Have sent my docs to Customer Service to see if I can get a replacement unit - they said it would cost $80 for a refurb unit - all this with the unit less than 6 months old! <br /> <br /> I hold out little hope they will show some class and send a replacement unit for free (although the CS rep alluded to her supervisor perhaps the out of warranty cost of $80). Looks like $170 down the tubes. <br /> <br /> BTW - I only rated this one star because the website won't allow you to rate it zero or negative.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT PLAYER!
I got the mp3 player as a graduation gift from my sister about 8 months ago. I've been using everyday since. It's easy to use, convenient, light weight, user friendly and enough memory. Unlike the iPod where you have 20GB which no one could ever use up the Nitrus has enough memory to fit your personality use. I just went recently on a road trip that lasted more than 12 hours and i had my Nitrus on the entire time! so the battery is great too... i definitely would recommend this to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT MP3 PLAYER!!!
I got this for my birthday about a half a year ago, and have been using it every day since. Even after all that use, its still working fine. Once you get the songs onto your computer, it takes less than a minute to put an entire cd onto your player.I have about 15 hours of music on it, and plenty of space left. The only bad thing i've seen, is that you only have 1.4 gigs. The other .1 is probobly used up by the stop watch and all the other features, which is not all that big a deal. There were a couple of things wrong in the product description...(the part where it says batteries required), it has a rechargable internal battery that lasts 16 hours every time you charge it, and i belive it also said that it weighs 2.0 lbs, DEFINITELY NOT RIGHT!, its more like 2 ounces. IT'S A GREAT MP3 PLAYER, AND YOU SHOULD DEFINATELY BUY IT!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars BUYER BEWARE!
I had gotten this player as a Christmas gift and about 6 months later (after the warranty ended) it started acting up. Then I couldn't even use it any more because the hard drive had gotten stuck on something. I never abused it in any way. I don't recommend this product.

1-0 out of 5 stars Nice Hockey Puck, thats about all
Mine started acting up shortly after warranty... While searching for a replacement I decided to see what people were saying about RIO products... now I understand (thanks to all)... I won't be buying another RIO product and based soley on my experience, will not be recommending one. ... Read more


9. Factory-Reconditioned Rio Forge 256 MB MP3 Player
list price: $169.99
our price: $89.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00092CZ8E
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
Sales Rank: 12439
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Stopwatch
  • Factory reconditioned to like-new condition
  • 8 hours of Music; 256 MB
  • Upgrade up to 1 GB
  • Stainless Steel Face

10. Rio Riot 20 GB MP3 Player (MP3/WMA)
list price: $199.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000633E0
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
Sales Rank: 12418
Average Customer Review: 3.13 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Smaller isn't always better with digital audio players. MP3 enthusiasts, after discovering that their CompactFlash memory-based players held only an hour or two of tunes, soon began turning to jukebox players with multi-gigabyte (GB) capacity. With its 20 GB memory, the Rio Riot offers one of the largest capacities in a digital audio jukebox, as well as fantastic sound, multiple format playback, and cool playback features.

Memory isn't the only thing that's large about the Rio Riot--at 5.5 inches wide and 1.25 inches thick, the Riot seems more like an XBox game controller. And unlike the svelte Apple iPod (which is easily operated one-handed), we found ourselves using both hands to manipulate the buttons and scroll wheel controls that are spread across the Riot's face. But its extra-large screen was easy on our eyes, displaying the playlist (something that's missing on the iPod) and currently playing song in readable text.

The Riot provides a number of ways to access tunes, including the standard search through albums, artists, and songs. It also offers the ability to create and save playlists (instead of just transferring them from your PC) and the unique Rio DJ, which can automatically generate playlists. You can set it to find your most-played songs and recently downloaded tunes, or you can use the Entertain Me setting to gather a random sampling of music from 15 minutes to an hour or every song loaded into the Riot. This is easily our favorite feature on the Riot.

However, our least-favorite feature is its USB connection for transferring music from the PC. While USB has become ubiquitous for both Mac and Windows users and is relatively fast, it's not a great solution for transferring large amounts of data. We did an initial transfer of 5 GB of music (one-fourth the Riot's capacity), and it took well over seven hours. Using the Apple iPod's FireWire connection (which can transfer data at up to 400 Mbps), transferring the same amount of files took less than 20 minutes.

The Riot produces a very big sound with the right headphones. The pair that's included are nicely light in weight, but they produce a rather tinny sound. You can adjust the bass and treble with the equalizer setting, but there is no true equalizer feature. It also comes with an FM radio tuner, which is a nice bonus. However, we had trouble getting strong radio signals for even the most powerful stations in the Seattle market.

Despite the fact that the Riot is a spinning hard drive, it seems to have a more than sufficient memory buffer to eliminate skipping. We used our regular air-drumming test (not recommended for typical use) and didn't suffer any skips. The battery life was also adequate, around seven to eight hours. The Riot also smartly puts itself to sleep if you've paused the music for more than a few minutes.

Overall, the Rio Riot offers a lot to like in a digital audio jukebox--if you don't mind its limitations. It's not easily carried in a pocket (unless you have cargo pants), and its slow USB connection can be maddening. But it's a great choice if you're looking for a device to carry your entire music collection wherever you roam. And we really do love the Rio DJ random playlist generator. --Agen G.N. Schmitz

Pros:

  • High capacity
  • Multiformat playback--both MP3 and WMA
  • FM radio is a bonus
Cons:
  • USB connectivity isn't optimal for downloading gigabytes of files from your PC
  • FM radio reception was sketchy
... Read more

Features

  • 20 GB digital audio player stores over 400 albums at high-quality setting
  • Supports both MP3 and WMA files
  • Rio DJ remembers your favorite songs and creates custom mixes
  • Built-in FM tuner with custom presets
  • Windows and Mac compatible

Reviews (150)

4-0 out of 5 stars A very good Jukebox Player
... I have used an original Nomad player, the Archos player, and the iPod. Of the three, I definitly like this one the best. It isnt even close.

Just because this device works great for me doesn't mean it will work for everyone. I think the iPod serves a different nitch in the market so you want to pick the player that will fit your needs the best. I think the primary advantages for the iPod is the speed of the file transfers, and the size of the device.

If you need a player that will fit into your shirt pocket and transfer your CDs extremely quickly, then go with the iPod. For me I went with the Riot instead because:

1. I like the display for the Riot 100x more then the iPod. The iPod display is pretty good, but it doesn't have enough information or enough real estate for me. The Riot's interface makes it much easier for me to find my CDs, and see my play list as I go.

2. I like the ability to remove files and manage my play lists in the player itself. I travel alot, and 90% of the time when I am listening to the player I am away from my computer. Being able to remove that song from that CD you just hate is a great bonus, and whipping together an "80s Playlist" is a big advantage to me. I do have a couple of issues with the play list and que, but overall I like this feature enough that it overrides the rest.

3. The size of the hard drive. Lets face it, for most of us 20 Gigs is going to cover our entire collection, I have 150 CDs, and I ripped them all at 192 rate for better quality and loaded them all into the Riot and still have 9 gigs of space remaining. With only 5 gigs of space (or even 10 with the iPod that will come out soon), I just can't say that. To me I would rather take longer to transfer all of my music then have fast transfers where I got to pick and choose a portion of my music. For someone who is around their computer more often, or where 5 gigs is more then enough for your music collection now and in the future then this may not be a big issue.

4. Size to me just wasn't a big issue. The player is about half the size of a CD player, and with the carrying case it is easy enough to carry along. I have to walk every day to the train and back, and I have no problem with the size of the player on the way. I think the size of the iPod is an advantage, but to me I wanted the larger hard drive and bigger display rather then the smaller size. The player easily fits in my coat pocket, and when I don't have one on, the carrying case works well enough for my needs. I wish they had included a portable plug instead of the standard one, but it isnt that big a deal.

5. And last but FAR from least is the FM tuner. It is great when I get bored with my own music to turn on the FM tuner and listen to some music. It is also nice to get the news or traffic updates while listening to the player. I would have prefered an AM/FM tuner so I can listen to my sports and news shows as well, but it is a minor quibble.

6. I have noticed a number of people complaining about the battery life on this device, and I must point out that I simply have not had these problems with the device. I generally charge my Riot over night then play it all day at work and in my car, and under this usage I have yet to run out of battery power during the day.

Overall, I find this player to be perfect for myself. It can hold all my music, has a great interface and allows me to control my music while away from my computer. I think if you dont HAVE to have a player which will fit into your shirt pocket then I would go with the Riot over the iPod.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rio Riot Feedback
It's incredible, but like anything it has ups and downs, but I'm happy to say that the PROS outway the CONS.

UPS or Pros:
Long Battery Life, Rechargable Battery, Rugged, Easy to use, 20 Gigs is a lot of room, includes protective case, 400 MP3 Albums or 800 WMA Albums at 64kps., it sounds great, Large Clear screen when backlight is off or in the dark with backlight on, Windows/Macintosh Compatability.

DOWNS or Cons:
You cannot sort music in alphabetical order after you add files, Your MP3Tags are what sorts the files so they must be accurate, long file names do not scroll (they do scroll while playing), Screen not too clear when backlight is on during daytime, file management is add only, you cannot copy files from the player back to the computer. Too bad they don't publish a better software package, they use(RIO JUKEBOX). Windows Media Player 9 does not support it at the moment.

Don't get me wrong, I'm just pointing out some CONS but I am happy with this product! Hopefully RIO or someone else publishes a program that allows you to copy files back to the computer, it would make a great media library backup (20Gigs).

Webmaster:

5-0 out of 5 stars A great gadget for storing all your music!
I bought the Rio Riot in August of 2002, choosing it over the Apple iPod, and I have been very happy with it. Its battery life is as advertised, and it will store 800 albums at CD quality (if you're using the WMA format; otherwise 400 for MP3). Windows Media Player (WMP) now is compatible with the RioRiot, if you download the drivers for it. If you're using WMA files, this is almost mandatory, as you'll lose most of the track info importing it to RealPlayer or MoodLogic, and experience serious audio glitches transferring WMA files from RealPlayer/MoodLogic to the RioRiot. Transferring WMA from WMP is absolutely glitch-free.

Other reviewers here commented on the iPod's smaller size and faster file transfer. Here is my rebuttal:

* Sure, the Riot is bigger than the iPod, but the 20 GB iPod is also about twice as expensive! Not only that, the Riot plays WMA files, doubling the song count capacity at CD quality!

* Just how impatient have we become, when transferring 10 GB of songs (about 2 weeks' worth of CONTINUOUS playing time!) in 7 hours is too slow? If you're only transferring 5-10 CDs at a time, the wait doesn't really justify the additional expense to get an iPod, with its FireWire connection. Also, with 20 GB of space, you only ever need to transfer a CD once. You've got space for more albums than the average person has.

This device rocks! I bought a cassette audio-output adapter for the car, and this thing blows away car CD changers. Also, I have small children who are destructive to CDs, so storing the entire CD collection on this, and playing it through my home stereo has allowed my to box up all the CDs and store them safely until the kids are old enough not to teethe on them.

I'm looking forward to the day when I can store my entire DVD collection in a similar manner, and put the DVDs safely away.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tons of hard-disk
I bought mine from an ebay seller. It was a refurbished unit. I am very happy with this model. Not pretty, but very functional. I download my music from online and direct from my CD's. Great sound. I use it when I workout. Very satisfied. Again lot's of hard-disk for tons of songs.

1-0 out of 5 stars It just doesn't work right!!!
After numerous attempts to try to get clean playback on this unit, I cannot avoid weird noise glitches and sudden jumps from the middle of songs being listened to. Customer Support was completely useless and unfriendly. I returned it for a new one and the new one has the exact same problem. I followed all of their steps for updating the drivers and it makes no difference.

I would not recommend this product to anyone that I like! One more thing; downloading songs into this device is extremely slow. It can take hours, during which, unknown errors occur which cause me to have to start the process over again.

The battery indicator on my unit doesn't work either. It is completely untrustworthy.

SonicBlue should really be ashamed of this product and their so called Customer Service dept!!! ... Read more


11. Rio Chiba 128 MB MP3 Player
list price: $129.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AXKBJ
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
Sales Rank: 3283
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Large, easy to read, four line backlit LCD
  • FM Tuner included
  • Five equalizer presets
  • Fifteen hour battery life
  • Includes Sennheiser ear buds

Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid player with a few minor weak points
I have had my player for ~6 weeks now. When choosing an MP3 player, I narrowed the field down to this player and a couple made by iRiver. My primary reason for choosing this one was its expandability and the belt clip (as opposed to the Rio Sport, which is the same player but with a slightly different look and a velcro arm band).
Pluses: size, weight and shape are nice - easy to hold in your hand while running; memory is excellent and easily expandable with an SD card; great display; software is simple and useful; radio reception is very good; controls and settings are easy to manipulate; good battery life compared to most comparable MP3 players; solid construction.
Minuses: the belt clip carrier looks a little bit cheap, but is secure and sturdy; the earphone jack is in the bottom of the player, which is slightly awkward but not a big deal.
Overall, I would buy this MP3 player again if I were shopping today. I'm very satisfied with it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Seems okay to me.
I should start out by saying that the Rio Chiba is the first MP3 player I've ever seen in person. I won it in a radio station contest. As others have stated they have a problem with the battery door coming off, I have not had that problem, mine snaps into place securely. Regarding the software, I was able to use it pretty easily without reading hardly any of the instructions. I'm moderately computer savvy so I think that says a lot. I think the sound is great although I agree it could be a little louder. The tuner doesn't get the best reception but I don't use it much for that anyway. I think it's a good little player but again, it's the only one I've had any experience with.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good overall, except ear pieces
I just got my Rio and I must say, it's easy to use and sounds good. I took it out running and I live in a busy area. I only had the volume up to ~20 and had no problems--I thought it was plenty loud and had no desire to take it up to the max of 30. My only complaint is that the ear pieces are very uncomfortable to me and I had a hard time getting them to stay in place, on top of it. I ended up walking the rest of the way. Once I get new ear buds, I'll be happy. I was a little worried when I ordered it that the belt clip wouldn't be adequate to run--I'm no longer concerned. It didn't budge--felt very secure. And I LOVE the FM radio feature!!! It came in perfectly clear and, being that I haven't transferred many songs to it yet, let me test it out without boredom.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great alternative for MAC users
I originally tried the iRiver iFP-190T. The biggest feature the iRiver had was that it was LOUD. However, the majority of the flash players out there seem to ignore MAC users. That's too bad, because there are a lot of us out there who think shelling out the big dough for an iPod is out of hand. Especially with the battery situation. I'll take cheap rechargeable AAA batteries that last twice as long anyday. Yes the iRiver sounded great, but was pretty much DOA when hooking up to OS X on my G4.

MACWorld magazine did the honest thing and reviewed some popular flash players. The Rio Chiba, Cali, and Fuse were given the highest honors. They were true to their word, I've had the Chiba a little over 24 hours and has been working seemlessly with iTunes. In fact, if you already have iTunes, you don't need to load any software! The Chiba display has 3 lines of text - very large. The controls are solid and easy to use. The menus are also straightforward. MAC users don't seem to have the option of creating multiple playlists (Correct me if I'm wrong - please). The transfer rate was 20 minutes for around 60 songs, about the amount of time it takes me to shower in the morning. The belt clip looks deceptively cheap. It works ok (the headphone connection is the key to locking it in place). You may prefer something a little more rugged and weatherproof. So I am quite happy with the Chiba, although I have a sentimental attachment to the name since I have been to Chiba, Japan. EXCEPT for the low headphone volume.

This is too bad, because it was a big compromise to find a MP3 player that really DID work well on a MAC, and was well rated. The price was $100 less than the mini iPod. I purchased an extended warranty plan, since the manufacturers warranties on these things are about 120 days, and they are still a little buggy. But I have a reliable and cheaper alternative for the iPOD, and it even has an expandable memory slot.

4 out of 5 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rio Chiba 256MB - Easy to use ( 1 hand) and sounds great.
This unit Sounds great and is easly controled w/one hand while on the belt clip. No arm band provided though. includes FM stereo w/8 presets and manual tunning mode (yea). Headphones are in-ear type and sound very good: by way of comparison Sony MDR-G63 sportphones sound just slightly better. WinXP's Media Player 9 recognizes the Rio and can transfer songs, delete songs and format the player: but be careful as I somehow deleted all my songs once.
Included software seems OK (I only had the unit 24 hours.)
There's a firmware (software) upgrade available: The upgrade was
so easy I did'nt realize it was done and almost did it again.
256MB = about 60 songs at a 128-192bps (Medium high bitrate).
Now I just need a cheap SD mem card (It takes up to 1Meg of SD/MMC memory). And there's the rub. Once you get used to having your music on demand you'll wnat more, more, more.
I gave 4 stars only because I have nothing to compare it to.
MK ... Read more


12. Rio Digital Audio Receiver with Rio Digital Audio Connector (PCI)
list price: $199.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000059YXO
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Digital Networks N.A.
Sales Rank: 16229
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

The Rio Digital Audio Receiver streams music directly from your PC to any room in your house via existing phone lines through a home phoneline network (PNA) or via an Ethernet network. It works with your existing speakers and stereo setup to transfer MP3 and WMA files at up to 10 megabits per second without interrupting the regular use of your phone line. The receiver can simultaneously stream different music selections to different rooms wherever an additional receiver is located.

The Rio Receiver features a large LCD display that shows song, album, and artist name, bit rate, and total playing time. Play functions include play, pause, stop, fast forward, and reverse within a song, and skipping backward and forward as well as repeat and random. The Rio Receiver also comes with a remote control.

You can sort music by artist, title, album, or genre and then customize the Rio Receiver's interface to view your playlists. It is compatible with existing digital audio software such as RealNetworks Jukebox and MusicMatch Jukebox.

Using a standard telephone line, the Rio Receiver operates on a separate frequency from your telephone or modem, allowing you to use your telephone line normally without interference from your Rio Receiver. The receiver requires connection to a home PNA from your PC, or use of the included Rio Digital Audio Connector PCI card installed into your PC.

The Rio Receiver also supports 10 Mbps Ethernet. You can connect the receiver to your existing Ethernet hub with a standard Category 5 Ethernet cable, or directly to a host computer using an Ethernet crossover cable.

The Rio Receiver requires a desktop PC running Windows 98, 98SE, 2000, or Me on an Intel Pentium MMX with 200 MHz processor at minimum. You can connect the Rio Receiver into a stereo system via RCA jack connection. It also has an integrated amplifier that allows the Rio Receiver to act as a stand-alone component using external speakers (either bare-wire bookshelf speakers or powered speakers with a 1/8-inch jack).

Included with the receiver is the Rio Digital Audio Remote, a 15-foot standard phone cord, a 6-foot standard phone cord, a 6-foot RCA cable, and a software installation CD-ROM that includes the Audio Receiver Manager software. The optional Rio Digital Audio Connector PCI card is also available if you do not already have a home PNA. ... Read more

Features

  • Stream CD-quality digital audio to any room with an available phone jack
  • Connect to stereo system or use as a standalone receiver
  • Sort music by artist, title, album or genre and create custom playlists
  • Compatible with existing audio software like RealNetworks Jukebox and MusicMatch Jukebox
  • Digital audio sent over your existing phone lines without interfering with your phone service--also works with Ethernet network; includes Rio Digital Audio Connector PCI card for connecting to home phoneline network

Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Works great with FreeBSD/JReceiver
I have four of these being served by JReceiver on a FreeBSD 5.0 box. Two are on a CAT5-wired network while two are using Netgear XE102 powerline/ethernet bridges. My only complaint is the display size; it's too small. It would have been nice to also output the display to video. I rip all of my CDs to a big disk on the FreeBSD box. These are also exported using Samba so all the Windows boxes can use it as well. I think the Rio Receiver is a great product for the money.

1-0 out of 5 stars Good product gone bad
I own three of these. I also own three AudioTron (Turtlebeach) units. Sonic Blue missed the mark on several points:
1. You MUST run THEIR software on your server.
2. You MUST log in ( and stay logged in)to the server for their software to work (it SHOULDN'T, but does!).
3. They don't pay any attention to Track Numbers on an album. It allways play in ALPHA order. This will not do!
4. They don't have digital out.
5. They abandoned the product, even though you can still get them (as of 5/1/03) they are NOT supported and will NEVER have an patches.

The thing that they DID get right is that the unit has it's own 10 watt amplifier (if you choose to use it). And the the analog audio quality is much better than that of the AudioTron. (But the AudioTron has digital out).

At current prices...these are worth the price. At the retail price...they died horribly. But realize that the price is low because the product died a horrible death and is not supported.

If you do get one - just remember to have your Ripping software create an M3U playlist for each album. Then you have the unit play in album order.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent purchase
I have had a rio receiver for a few months now and could not be more pleased. I can't remember the last time my old carousel cd player has been powered up.
My setup: I have my receiver connected to my home stereo through the rca jacks. I stream my mp3's to my rio through a dlink wireless router (713p I think) and have a wireless to ethernet bridge from SMC on my rio. This configuration works great and I do not have any problem with drop outs.

I have ripped all of my cd's to my computer, and used a program to generate playlists. This is one of my only gripes about the receiver: if you want to play albums with the correct track order, you need to use playlists, as selecting music by the album will play the songs in alphabetical order. It doesn't bother me because I have the playlists. The only other thing that I would complain about is the tiny display. You either have to learn the menus if you want to use the remote, or just select the music on the receiver itself so you are close enough to see what you are doing.

Some very cool things about this receiver: there are a number of open source free programs out there for it! There are some programs that let you listen to shoutcast internet radio streams, and they work very well if you have a broadband connection. There are other programs that let you choose your music through a web server, however I feel that takes away from what the receiver is meant to do: let you choose your music at your stereo, not your computer.

These units can be found easily for under a hundred dollars right now, and when you compare that to the price of the audiotron, the streamium, the slimp3, or any similar product there is no reason not to go with this!

5-0 out of 5 stars This product is everything advertised, plus more!!
If you have a large collection of mp3s on your computer, this is the right thing for you. I bought this product being kinda skeptical at first but after I pulled it out of the box and set it up (which took like 5 min.) it played music with perfect quality and with no odd pauses! The only thing I have noticed so far is that the remote control does not work too well. Don't get me wrong, it's a handy little feature, but it does not get too good of reception unless your pointing it straight at the rio. Say your trying to enter a song title on the remote (very cool feature) from across the room and the Rio Receiver accidentally misses one of the letters... you have to type it in all over again! Also, sometimes the rio doesn't turn on with the remote. I usually have to go press the power button on the unit to turn it on. The other thing, which I found odd, was when I got it, the rio was smaller than I expected. The pictures make it look real big. Well worth the money!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good product for digital music collectors
I have two of these in my home, transmitting 40 Gigs of music independently to two separate rooms (maybe more in the future) via HPNA. It is a simple product, and gets the job done with minimal fuss.

Sound quality from this unit is very good. Having listened to the same songs from CD and from MP3 (128 bit rate), I am unable to tell the difference. Output and network options are given and work without configuration. Controls are good, as is the remote, and allows quick navigation of the hundreds of "albums" I currently have available. The ease of access to your music makes CDs seems archaic.

The user interface is reasonably good, but could be improved if it was improved via firmware to follow the Apple Ipod's system (already close, though). Diamond/Rio/Sonicblue has not updated the software or firmware at all since I got the first one several years ago, however. The unit does not otherwise appear to be discontinued.

You can force the unit to play tracks in sequential order by naming the files with number and title (i.e., 01-Song Name), and then deleting the Track tags (V1 and V2).

This could be a five star product if the manufacturer would make an effort to improve the firmware and software. ... Read more


13. RioVolt SP50 Portable CD/MP3 Player
list price: $69.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005YU7N
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: RioVolt
Sales Rank: 11494
Average Customer Review: 2.83 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

The RioVolt portable MP3-CD player grants free listening across standard audio CDs, as well as the MP3 and WMA (Windows Media Audio) files that you've recorded to CD-Rs and CD-RWs, letting you enjoy over 20 hours of digital audio from one CD(or around 250 songs). Plus, RioVolt's large backlit LCD supports both ID3 tags and CD Text, simplifying song identification from any compatible disc, while 120-second antishock circuitry guards your listening almost anywhere.

Amazingly, the RioVolt sports a playback time of up to 10 hours on two AA batteries (included), making it the first disc player we know of that can't play a single CD in its entirety.

The ID3 text display includes track number, song name, artist name, folder (album title), and overall playing time. The RioVolt also lets you navigate through directories and search for tracks one by one or in blocks of 10.

A sleek eight-function remote control lets you operate the RioVolt while it's tucked away in its carrying case or even in a backpack. The RioVolt comes bundled with RealNetworks music management software and Adaptec CD-burning software for use on your PC or Macintosh.

Audio features include adjustable equalization curves with five presets (normal, jazz, rock, classical, ultrabass), repeat and shuffle play modes, and programmable playlists.

The RioVolt comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

... Read more

Features

  • Plays CD-R and CD-RW discs and standard audio CDs
  • 120-second anti-skip protection (above average)
  • Adjustable EQ, Repeat and Shuffle play modes and programmable playlists
  • Supports ID3 tag title display
  • 10 hour battery life using only two AA batteries

Reviews (58)

4-0 out of 5 stars Cheap and it works
OK, a few things that the description for the SP50 lies about:
1. The display is not backlit.
2. You can not add a remote.
3. There is no EQ.
4. It does not come with burning software, but you can use anything that can burn a MP3 CD (most any good burning software).

That aside, this is a good, cheap player. Navigation is a little sketchy, you have to select a track in a folder to jump to that folder, but the manual doesn't tell you this. The CD comes to a complete stop during MP3 playback, and spins back up every 120 seconds to save batteries. If it's not spinning, you have to wait about 3 seconds for it to spin up and get data. Most players do this, even the iPod does it (it has a hard drive so it kind of has to). Throw away the included earbuds, they [are poor quality], which is typical.

If you need a cheap player that you don't care if it gets dropped/smashed/soaked in napalm and set ablaze, and can play MP3's, get this player. It even comes wih batteries.

4-0 out of 5 stars SP50 is good
Although there are many negative reviews here, my player doesn't have any of the problems that the others have. It does everything it says on the box and overall it is a great MP3 player for the price that it is offered at.

THe first thing you do before you even purchase it is to look for some moderately good headphones. Anything will be better than the earbuds that come with it. The batteries that come with the SP50 do not have good battery life. They don't last nearly as long as what it says on the packaging. After I went through the included batteries (Only took about 3 hours, with extensive searching and messing around with the buttons to learn it), I popped in some new batteries and they have lasted over 6 hours, and are still going strong. It DOES read ID3 tags - Just that when you first start the song, the file name of the song shows, and then the Title, Artist, and Album, as well as the kHz and bitrate. All of my MP3's on CD-R discs have played without any errors, although it shuts down by itself sometimes (May be user error, I might have accidentally held the stop button down or something, but it has happened 3 times now).
The playlist feature is a pain to configure, so I don't reccomend that you use it. Instead, use the RND mode. If you have the songs on any mode, once you stop and start it again, you will have to set the mode again, and in my opinion, it is a real pain because RND is literally on the bottom of the list.
Although it has its faults, the SP50 does provide great sound quality. With the bass boost on, the sound is incredible, even on very high volumes. Those reports of distorted sound at high volumes, the sound quality is excellent with my Sony MDR-G52 headphones. The lock feature was a nice addition that is usually found on higher, more expensive models. The extra line out plug is an added bonus, though the bass boost function doesn't apply to it. It is quite slow when it comes to starting or switching between songs, and it is noticeable to other people and yourself if it is quiet. The ESP works great.
Overall I think that this is a good entry-level player with enough functions for it's low price. I highly suggest that you buy the SP50 for your playback needs. By the way, I bought this "fully working" version (It doesn't have the problems that the other people have) at Best Buy.

1-0 out of 5 stars Made in China, and it shows
What is wrong with this player:

The volume control knob is messed up, right channel comes on before left.

Line-Out refuses to work

No remote, and it would be easy to put one in

This player feels like it's going to split in two.

$.01 per unit and the screen could be back-lit

Navigating your songs is next to impossible if they are not in folders, and it only plays
in the order they were burned (leading zeros are required)

High bit-rate (160kbps) reduces the anti-skip to around 50 seconds, down from 120.

If it's moving when it gets more MP3 data, it will skip and pop (loudly)

Adjustable EQ is a bass boost switch, sounds like you're listening through a blanket

Eats batteries as a light snack, no matter the type

Good luck with tech support, it's outsourced to India, they have thick accents and are clueless, and the number is a long-distance call!

Do not buy this player!

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't beat the price
I bought the SP50 for [cheap] after mail in rebate. It plays any mp3 disc i throw at it. The only thing is the headphones just plain [horrible]. But for the price get some better ones.

1-0 out of 5 stars possibly the largest waste of money
This CD player is horrible, go with the iriver. Mine broke the first week i had it and support is so horrible that you cannot get any help. Iriver is a much better company, better support, and better quality. ... Read more


14. Rio 500 64 MB USB MP3 Player (Gray)
list price: $279.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00000JSGF
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
Sales Rank: 6991
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

This metallic gray Rio 500 stores up to two hours of digital-quality music and up to 32 hours of spoken audio programs. Rio 500 is also the first portable digital-audio player to support both the Macintosh (iMac and G3) and Windows 9X platforms. Access thousands of music and audio files at RioPort.com and over 16,000 hours of Audible.com audio programs. Instantly create, customize, and mix your favorite music and audio selections on your PC or Mac for playback. This lightweight unit plays skip-free music, as there are no moving parts. It's the perfect companion for active people on the go.

The Rio 500 contains an updated hardware design featuring easily accessible controls and a backlit display that shows song/book title, artist, time, and more. And it uses just a single AA battery for up to 13 hours of continuous play. ... Read more

Features

  • Supports Microsoft Windows PCs and Mac (iMac and G3)
  • Skip-free design--no moving parts
  • Automatic bookmarking features for listening to spoken audio
  • Palm size for easy portability
  • AudibleManager software for spoken audio content (Windows 9X only)

Reviews (290)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great workout machine
Most of the important points about this machine have been made elsewhere, but I'd like to summarize and add my experience.

Ease of use: Forget the software that comes with it. I use Realjukebox and the transfer of song is a snap. USB port makes transfer speedy. The backlit screen is great and the controls are intuitive. The belt clip case is not very useful as it hard to remove the unit while exercising and difficult to press the buttons through the webbing. Its small enough to carry.

Durability: I've dropped this on a hard gym floor twice from a stairmaster and it kept on playing.

Battery life: One AA battery lasted 5-6 hours.

Quality of sound: Typical of other MP3 players. Changing headphones makes a little difference.

Memory: 64 Meg = about one hour of tunes.

The reason I love this product so much: I used to tire of my workout tapes very quickly and it took forever to make a new mix. Now that I have lots of MP3's stashed on my computer (don't tell Lars Ulrich!) I can make different mixes very quickly. This really enhances my workout experience. This product is just what I was looking for.

JPO

4-0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect
The Rio is overall a great product. The buttons and "interface" on the player itself are for the most part intuitive (though it took me some time to figure out the more "advanced" features) and are easy to use, even when you're fumbling around in your pocket to change a song.

The fact that the player is unskipable (it's not like MiniDisc where they SAY it doesn't skip and it really does) and extremely lightweight makes the Rio the perfect exercise companion; I take it on every run.

For 99% of purposes, 64 megabytes memory is enough (unless you're a fan of 256 kb encoding). I can almost always fit ten or more songs on the player, and changing them is easy enough. So don't worry about the memory size-it's enough.

The software (I use a Macintosh) is well done and makes it very easy to transfer songs to the player itself. The only thing I was less than perfectly happy with was the wait while the songs copy (in the scheme of things, a very small flaw). The USB interface was no problem at all, even on an older, less compatible iMac (Revision A).

The headphones included with the player are neat looking, but not great sounding. The fidelity is low, with barely any low and low-mid-range sound. Assume you will have to spend at least another $25 for decent ear-buds.

The only feature I feel the Rio lacks is recording capabilities like the Nomad. But again, no big deal.

Overall, a great product. I'd buy one for a friend.

4-0 out of 5 stars More Rio support for XP users
This is a durable little MP3 player. I have had mine for about 4 years and it's still going strong. I also had the issue of the software not working with XP. Rio audio products are now owned by Digital Networks, but there is little to no help at all on their website for the Rio 500. Anyway, that is my only complaint. There is a great website called Rioworld.org that has several different freeware programs available that will let your Rio 500 work with XP. There is also a couple of recovery files in case you get a gray checkerboard screen (problem that can occur if there is a power failure during upload of a song).

5-0 out of 5 stars Rio 500 and Windows XP
To the person who can't transfer music to their Rio 500 under Windows XP, check out Sveta Portable Audio from http://www.dbpoweramp.com/. I've been using it since I got a new PC with XP installed and it works great, much simpler interface compared to the supplied Rio software.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good player, terrible company
The player is great, small, light and easy to use. You must either use a Mac (works great with iTunes), the Riositude program (freeware, google for it)or win98. I use mine whenever Im outside:running, yardwork whatever. You'll need to replace the earbuds but if you buy a used one do you really want to use someone else's earbuds? The serial number will rub off so write it down as another reviewer suggested.

Also, if you buy a used one, make sure you get the USB cable. It's proprietary and you can't get it anywhere. (Refer to rio support coments below.)

Customer support at rio (or sonic blue or whatever they call themselves this week) is a joke. I will not buy another product of any type from them ever. ... Read more


15. Rio 800 128 MB Digital Audio Player (MP3/WMA)
list price: $169.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005AW1F
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
Sales Rank: 13939
Average Customer Review: 2.34 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

The ruckus over MP3s and the Napster-focused copyright battle has overshadowed the huge portability advantages of digital music. Only a few years ago, "portable music" meant carrying around a bulky CD player and either a CD wallet or a load of plastic jewel cases. The Rio (now part of SONICblue) line of digital-audio players pioneered portable MP3 devices, and the new Rio 800 flagship model has the potential to redefine what portable audio should be--if it can overcome a few shortcomings.

This version of the Rio 800 comes with 128 MB of memory, enough for about 2 hours of near-CD quality MP3 music. (Another version comes with 64 MB of built-in memory.) It can also accommodate Windows Media Audio (WMA) files, which can double the playing time, thanks to the format's high compression. If 128 MB isn't quite enough for you, SONICblue sells proprietary Memory Backpacks (instead of standard memory cards, like SmartMedia or CompactFlash) that can boost your Rio by an additional 32 or 64 MB. Unfortunately, prices are still fairly high for these Backpacks; hopefully they'll come down as Rio's popularity increases.

Another great feature is the built-in microphone feature that lets you record meetings and notes to yourself, then play them back later. And if your tastes run more to spoken-word recordings, Audible.com media files take up even less memory.

The Rio 800 is powered by a rechargeable battery, which we found to be perfectly acceptable. It averaged around 6 to 8 hours of continuous use per charge and required only a few hours to recharge. A red light let us know when the battery was being recharged, turning off when the battery was ready. The 800's carrying case is also much improved from earlier Rio models--smartly designed, form fitting, and providing easy access to all the controls.

The control buttons are centrally located, and with some practice we were able to operate the Rio's various functions without looking at it. On the unit we tested, we had to be sure to push toward the top of the volume rocker to increase the sound level, rather than where the volume icon was located, but that barely registered as a minor irritation.

A boon for frequent exercisers is the (misnamed) Hold switch, which locks the controls in case of accidental bumps. The Rio also comes with a pair of folding headphones that look cool but were uncomfortable to wear for more than about 20 minutes.

The LCD screen is a bit larger than most and has plenty of room for information like the current song title, sample rate, time, track number, and volume. However, to display that much info means using a small font, so at times it was hard to read. And the circular display window put form over function; it looked nice but it was sometimes difficult to see objects around the edges due to the shadow projected by the circular frame. We had to tilt the unit nearly every time to see the play indicator to find out if the music was stopped or just paused.

Overall, though, these criticisms are minor quibbles compared to what the Rio 800 offers: a portable repository for all your digital audio needs, from tunes to voice recording, with high-quality playback. --Jeff Carlson

Pros:

  • Great memory storage for MP3s--even better if using the WMA format
  • Voice-recording function
  • Rechargeable battery

Cons:

  • Display can be hard to read at times
... Read more

Features

  • 128 MB of built-in flash memory
  • Large, easy-to-read LCD screen
  • Uses ultrafast USB port to connect to your PC or Mac
  • Comes with stylish carrying case
  • Built-in microphone

Reviews (185)

5-0 out of 5 stars This player is great...they fixed the problems.
I bought my Rio 800 recently and I absolutely love it and have had no problems with it. Rio stopped shipment of their previous Rio 800 models due to all the battery charger problems (described in many of the reviews on this site). However, they just this month (March 2002) started shipping new Rio 800 models that have fixed all of the previous bugs.

This is by far the best player out there. I held off on buying this until they completely fixed all of the battery charger problems. And now that they have, there is nothing to dislike about this player.

2-0 out of 5 stars Beware! Buggy Product!
Everything about this player is great from excellent sound to big memory to overall usablity. However, the MAIN problem with this product is that it has major defects as if the product was RUSHED? If the product did what was advertised, this product would have been great. The company definitely should have done more test before releasing the product. The first Rio 800 that I received had physical defect and some minor battery problems in that in won't play for a very long time: 3 hours? The 2nd replacement Rio 800 I got had major battery defect in that I only get 30 minutes of play time before the battery completely drains down to nothing. After experiencing these two, there is NO way I am going to buy anything from this company ever again. There product breaks easily due to their flimsy design (physical defect due to shipping). Heck, the Nomad's heavier magnesium casing feels way more sturdier. Furthermore, the battery life issue is a huge problem. Their advertised 10 hours is more like 3 hours or less. And you'll be lucky to find a battery that works. Its too bad you can't replace the battery. And last of all, their software is clunky and buggy crashing my system as well. Beware of this product!

1-0 out of 5 stars Garbage
Unfortunately there is not 0 stars. The product I bought just make a humming noise. Customer service? No answer to 6 e-mails. I tried calling. First, false information provided (deliverately?): just download the firmware and it will work. Then, they mock you: just send us the details and proof of purchase and we will replace. They do not (two attemps). Never, never buy anything from this manufacture or trust it.

5-0 out of 5 stars come on guys its 100 bux
the mp3 player is the greatest 1 out there(for the price of course) try 2 find an mp3 player for a 100$ betta then this 1 i mean im 15 and if i gotta get buy an mp3 player myself of couse im not goin 2 buy 1 for 400$ but when i saw this product it look great nice sleek style and pluss it was 100$ cant get betta then that so when u say that it stinks what r u baseing ur view on i guess ur setting ur standerds 2 high

4-0 out of 5 stars Not That Bad
I have owned my Rio for a while now and it works great!!! I admit it has some problems but the company has solved most of them aredy.
Problem: 2-4 hours of life insted of 11-12
solution: replace the battery with an other rechargeable battery of the same type. (Nickel Metal Hydride)

Problem: does not work with XP
solution: they have resently released a installer that will seat up everything on xp. just go to support then download (on the left side of the screen). after that chose what version or rio 800 you have. then go to software and the first thing on the screen will be the support sofware for Xp. read the Warning befor downloading it.

Problem: it has stopped working
solution: due to a design flaw the charger port and the head set hock up is the same size. people have been confusing them and putting the chrger in the head set place. this will destroy the player. contact custimer support for a replacment.

problem: bad custimer supprot
reason: due to theis problems and flaws they have been backlogged in support department for some time. you will eventualy be able to get ahold of them and will send you replacemet parts and see if you will be able to get a replacement player. ... Read more


16. Rio Travel Case

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004YMGL
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Diamond
Sales Rank: 15438
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

This case is made by the company who manufactures Rio players, so you know the particulars of the player have gone into this travel case. The sleek black, rubberized, rigid exterior will protect your player and accessories. Compartments hold the player, headphones, extra batteries and a USB cable. Fits Rio 300, 500, 600, 800, 900 and Rio One.

What's in the Box
Travel case. ... Read more

Features

  • Fits Rio 300, 500, 600, 800, 900 and Rio One
  • Rubberized exterior
  • Compartments for Rio player, headphones, batteries and USB cable
  • Flat black color
  • Modern design

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for my S35S
Pro's
-Large-enough room to fit my head phones in
-Sturdy-the case is very sturdy in construction, i'm confident my player is safe in there.
-Pockets-Large enough to fit my accessories and enough pockets to keep everything in order.
-Elastic straps-perfect for keeping my player and accessories secured so they aren't fumbling around.
-Looks-the sleek black look is in my opinion very cool.

Cons
-Large-Although i staed this as a pro, this can also be a con. its quite large as i stated, but in my opinion that good, but it can be bad for other.

overall-
great for keeping rio's and other MP3 players safe from getting banged up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Rio Case
Being the typical music-loving teenager, I have a Rio500 and I take it everywhere. This case helps a lot for carrying around the player, headphones, memory cards, and other acessories. A lot better than letting it loose in my backpack and getting all beat up, and having to dig around for it all the time. It also keeps everything organized, nice for packing to go on a road trip or vacation.

5-0 out of 5 stars rio 600 case
a great case that is big enough to hold your earphones and some mp3 discs. if you have a diamond rio 600 you should get this case

4-0 out of 5 stars space
The case has lots of room in that you can put headphones, the player, and more Mp3 discs that have other music on them. ... Read more


17. RioVolt SP90 Portable CD-MP3 Player with 120 Seconds Anti-Skip
list price: $99.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005NVBF
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: RioVolt
Sales Rank: 10422
Average Customer Review: 3.34 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Plays standard audio CDs as well as MP3- and WMA-encoded discs (potential for over 20 hours of music on 1 disc)
  • Electronic shock protection up to 120 seconds
  • Supports ID3 tags and audio CD title display (CD Text)
  • 15-hour battery life using only 2 AA batteries
  • Easy navigation on large LCD. Resume Play feature.

Reviews (185)

4-0 out of 5 stars good performer, great value
The SP90 has met/exceeded my expectations. I have a Nomad II MG mp3 player for jogging/vigorous sports, so I was primarily looking for a replacement for a 10 yr old Sony Walkman CD player that finally expired.

My key selection criteria were price, sub-$ [money], ability to play mp3/wma and of course std audio-cds. I wasn't looking for a high-end unit with tons of gizmos -- if you want such a player, look elsewhere.

FYI - I did the firmware upgrade (sp90hack), see earlier reviews for details, and without any exaggeration, it was quicker and less challenging than getting the player out of its inpenetrable packaging! I would recommend implementing this upgrade.

*Pros*
- No skipping whatsoever, and I've put it through its paces; walking/running with my dog, cleaning house with all the motions associated with vacuuming, dusting, ironing, etc.
- Great sound (clarity). I'm currently using a $[money] pair of Sony headphones.
- Simple interface.
- No problem reading audio discs or mp3/wma discs that I burned (all at 128 bit rate as recommended). I see some reviewers have problems with this - perhaps more a function of their CD burning software, not sure. Also, many reviewers recommended burning at 1X, 2X. I had 2 audiobooks (8 hours each) I burned to a single CD each. Each audiobook had 8 CDs. I burned the first book onto a single CD at 2x speed. Kinda time consuming and since CD-Rs are only a few cents I burned the 2nd audiobook (8 CDs) onto a single CD at maximum speed based on pre-record test, at least 4X. I've had NO problems playing back this disc either.
- Good battery life. For audio CDs I only got around 6-8 hours, but playback of mp3 discs I'm getting 12-15 hours.

*Cons*
- Big letters on LCD truncate the file information, or you have to wait for the ID tag to cycle.
- No backlight. I knew this going in, but may be important for some.
- No officially supported firmware upgrade, but workaround as mentioned.
- Appearance. Not very stylish, unsophisticated. I wouldn't say it looks like a toy, but more geared for the teen market.
- Entire unit is that hard/brittle plastic, including the buttons. I would have preferred rubberized controls.

You get what you pay for. A very good quality CD/mp3 player without frills for around $[money] (after rebates), and since some new models are hitting the market, I imagine you'll be able to pick the SP90 up for around $[money] within a month or so.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good deal at first....until it breaks
I got this player about a year and a half ago, used it mainly for travelling at first, then around the apartment instead of stereo (nice especially when you want to listen privately or not wake up neighbors). BUT, after fairly light use during this time, it now doesn't work....most of the time I'll pop in an mp3 cd, and it will 'choke', and display will read "no disk" error message. Sadly, this appears to be a common problem with this model (search the net and rio forums). So, until it happens, it's a great player for the money...but be aware, it's NOT a long-lasting player...moderate usage will get you 12-18 months, I think, and heavy usage, mmmmaybe a year.....me, I'm replacing with a Sony ;)

If you do buy one, batteries in mp3 mode last about 10 hours in my experience, and only a few hours for normal cd's (2-4hrs). I used NiMH rechargables with no problem. ALso, there is a 'hack' on the web where you can update the firmware of this model with a version 2.10 which gives you more options....intended for the SP-100, I think.

1-0 out of 5 stars Too hot=no play.
I received this CD player as a hand-me-down from an older sibling, and, at that point, it was in seemingly perfect working order. Turns out, it was in perfect working order, but only some of the time. It skips more often than Michael Jackson gets a plastic surgery and will short out if it is too hot/cold wherever you are using it. Furthermore, I timed how long it takes to load a cd, when it was working, and it sometimes took over a minute and a half. The buttons are too sensitive and the equalizer settings are less than grand. Overall, a great paperweight, but not a good cd player.

3-0 out of 5 stars Almost 2 years and still tickin!
I bought this product from a local Best Buy after returning a couple of solid state mp3 players conked out on me. I was fed up with mp3 players, and decided to give this guy a shot: the ability to play mp3 CDs was appealing.

I have had this product for almost 2 years, and take it to Gym often. The good thing is that I have dropped this sucker many times and it still works. It certainly seems durable, at least with my experience.

The bad thing is this player is not motion friendly while skipping often. You can walk with it, even fast, but the minute you start running: skip, skip...Thus not very good on treadmills either. However, if you just want to read in coffee shop or stroll on the beach, this CD player works fine. The battery life is ok.

Finally, I have noticed that ever so often (very rarely), the player has a tendency to keep spinning while not playing the song. However, I don't know if it is because I have dropped it one too many times or it's just a faulty CD (even though it happens has happened with more than one brand of CD's).

All in all, this CD player is a decent product for its price, but it does have its faults.

2-0 out of 5 stars good for about 3 months
I got this mp3 player last christmas..... about 2 months later, the anti skip barely worked, it would wit perfectly still on a table and skip.... after another month of putting up with that it broke down completely and I just gave up at trying to fix it... now I'm getting a new mp3 cd player if your rich and can afford to replace it every 3 months then go ahead and buy it, it was great while it lasted ... Read more


18. RioVolt SP250 Portable MP3-CD Player with FM Tuner and 8 Minutes Anti-Skip
list price: $179.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005QXWI
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: RioVolt
Sales Rank: 9504
Average Customer Review: 3.66 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Plays standard audio CDs as well as MP3- and WMA-encoded discs; integrated FM tuner
  • Electronic shock protection up to 8 minutes; upgradable firmware for enhancements
  • Supports ID3 tags and audio CD title display (CD Text) as well as M3U playlists
  • Includes 2 sets of headphones (earbud and over-ear)
  • 15-hour battery life using only 2 AA batteries; includes rechargeable batteries. Resume play feature.

Reviews (260)

5-0 out of 5 stars Life is GOOD thanks to the RioVolt!!!
WOW! with that said, let me make a few brief remarks about how amazing this thing is. for starters, lets just look all that it can do: cd player, mp3/wma cd player, fm radio, programable play lists, shuffle, repeat, resume, remote control and equalizer. it comes w/ 2 types of headphones, pleather carrying case (with shoulder strap and belt clip) and a set of rechargeable batteries. next, let's look at the specifics: it DOES NOT skip (I was brave and while engaging the 8 minute skip protection, i dropped this thing about two feet to the ground and no skip), the equilizer has presets and a user configuration ability (nice!), when you create your mp3 cds, you can organize the folders on the cd and then flip through them on the RioVolt (this is good as it makes it easier to find what you want i.e. songs categorized by genre, album, or artist is easy and convenient = BONUS!!). finally, the price is right. now i know that rio's portable mpe3 players like the rio 600 and 800 have been known to be a little quirky, but allow me to lay your fears to rest by saying that the rio volt sp250 couldnt be any better if it tried. if you want a great discman to play cd's, fm, and mp3 and are skeptical of the high capacity mp3 players like nomad and archos (as you should be) then the rio volt sp250 should already be in your hands. if not, stop reading reviews and go buy one!! merry christmas!!

4-0 out of 5 stars It is good
I have had mine for a year now and it kicks azz! I don't think they break so easy, since mine was wedged between a metal stopper and an iron crate being pushed by a forklift! It dented the batteries in the case, I can't charge the batteries in the player anymore and the lid is a tad bit crooked, but it still plays perfect and the display works fine too. That convinced me that is was rock solid. Just hope you don't have any problems with it, because Riovolt has the worst customer service ever rated, they are horrible to talk to. just so you know.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great player
I have had mine for over a year now and haven't had any trouble. Mine gets extremely lite use, (I only use it every other month), but the the case has held up. I've taken it on several trips and never had a problem. I'm sure to keep it in the included case although it is a bit ugly it prevents scratching and gives a little cushion if you drop it. The sound quality is excellent and I haven't had any trouble with the firmware. Battery life is acceptable and the controls are easy. I haven't had any skipping problems either. Overall I would recomend it, but if you need a rough and tumble player this is not for you. Spend the extra cash and go with a flash or hard drive based player.

3-0 out of 5 stars I've had one for a year
I was issued this player when I began my training. It is a pretty good player. It comes with 2 sets of headphones. AC adapter, rechargable batteries, carrying case, remote, and some software. I don't really believe it is worth the money for what I use it for. I don't use the radio. I only use it to listen to music now and used it to listen to MP3 files on discs issued to me for class. I think it is a bit ridiculous to have an 8 minute shock protection, especially when mine skips when I run. I had to stop it and didn't even use it the last time I ran because it was skipping so bad. I have dropped mine a few times and now it makes a funny noise when the cd rotates, but it still works. I know people who have said that it is easy to break the plastic. I know someone who has to use a rubber band to keep it closed. I think it is a nice player, however I am very disappointed in the 8 minute skip protection that doesn't work, I really don't think it is worth the price.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not good
If you are looking into buying a Mp 3 player DON'T buy this one. I had it for two years and I had to replace it onced beacouse of the cheap plastic. The plastic tab that closes the cd player just snaped off. Plus sometimes when you hit a bump in a road or when u shake it up it will start skiping. I really think that if you are interested in a Mp 3 player, Cd player and a radio player you should look for diffrent one. ... Read more


19. Rio Fuse 128 MB MP3 Player
list price: $99.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AQIFV
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Digital Networks N.A.
Sales Rank: 16796
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • 128 MB of memory plays over 2 hours of MP3 and 4 hours of WMA music
  • Backlit LCD displays ID3 track details and player settings
  • Adjustable equalizer with pre-sets
  • 18-hours of continuous playback with one AAA battery
  • Compatible with computers with USB 1.1 ports running Windows 98 SE, 2000, ME, XP, Mac OS X

Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent player, BUT
Make sure you have an easily accessible USB port before choosing this player -- its size requires me to unplug my mouse when using it with my laptop, or climb under my table to plug it into the back of my computer case when using my desktop (the front-facing ports are at an angle that won't accommodate the Fuse's size).

This isn't to say that this player doesn't function well -- in all aspects, including battery life, sound quality, and user interface, I really like it. My Fuse has been a solid performer for about 6 months now, and has stood up to a lot of abuse already.

A Better choice would most likely be a Rio Cali (slightly larger, but has an FM radio and is available in 256mb for only slightly more money).

4-0 out of 5 stars Fuse
This is a great player, but if you are one of those intend to go to the gym or run with it, you might want the rio cali instead. The fuse is small and compact with great sound. But it doesn't come with a belt clip or arm band. i love it though, was worth its price.

4-0 out of 5 stars Its reliable but
A couple things I noticed were that when I took it out of the packagethe joystick was bent to the left a bit down at the stem so fixing it is impossible. Folks at rio said they wouldnt replace it because it was "customer abuse" and as others have said it interpheres with other cables although i can just barely slip it in. Updates via Rio Music Manager are ongoing which is great, and transfers are fast. Although I dont go for the quality of music i go for quantity. If you use Windows Media Player Sync for transfering your mp3s you can fit well over 70 songs on this thing. Ive owned this for about 7 months now, dirt and dust gets underneath the screen but you can crack oopen the bottom and blow it out, also the screen gets very scratched for me just get some plastik sandpaper (about 2000 grit) and some toothpaste and sand it down. I keep mine fairly glassy. Another Con about the fuse is its inability to accept external memory, but doesnt bother me as much as other people i know that owns it. 70 songs is good enough for me. Other than what I have said I would probably get a Rio Nitrus if I was put back into the place of buying it. about 10 times the space and just over 150 dollars makes it a great competitor with the overly expensive Apple Ipod Besides who has 40 gigs of music except a radio station...Nobody thats who

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice, cool, and made from Rio!
This player may not have FM radio, but it does have nice clarity, sleek design, and reliability knowing that it comes from the best, Rio. There is no way I'm ever owning a heavy, bulky cd player again.
It holds about 2.5 cds at a time(30 songs)and comes with updated software, which is neat and easy to use. It has a great price and holds all the music you will need. The earphones are "buds" with 4/5 rating on comfort and clarity. Holds right in your pocket for on the go travel. It has a nice joystick, and seems will last a good while. And if you want to change the music,put it in the USB port and put more on! It's that easy. So if youre looking for an affordable Mp3 player, this is the one to get!

1-0 out of 5 stars BEWARE OF RIO
BEFORE YOU BUY ANYTHING FROM RIO, do your research -- I'm an adult who purchased 2 of their MP3 players to listen to while using the treadmill at the gym. Aside from the complaints that come with many electronic gadgets (eats batteries, controls difficult to use, etc.), BEWARE THAT THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE IS ESPECIALLY UNHELPFUL. By checking online, you'll see that many individuals (myself included) have gone through numerous devices to find that the quality is poor, replacement or repair is grudgingly, if at all. LOOK AT ANOTHER BRAND BEFORE YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY. ... Read more


20. RIO Eigen 1.5 GB MP3 Player
list price: $199.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AZVUR
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Rio
Sales Rank: 18215
Average Customer Review: 2.43 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • USB 2.0 for fast transfers
  • 16-hour continuous playback
  • 5-Band adjustable equalizer with pre-sets
  • 25 hours of MP3 or 50 hours of WMA
  • Transfer content between multiple PCs

Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars Jinx
I purchased a Rio Eigen and it fell out of my lower cargo pants pocket - about 2 feet to the floor. The display now says "upgrader" and nothing I have read will fix it or get it to work. I'm going to try to return it and see what they do - its only 2 months old. I'll post again with their response.

1-0 out of 5 stars Junk, Junk, Junk
I've had an Eigen for about two months now. Last week at the gym, the Eigen fell about 4 feet onto a rubberized floor. Shouldn't be a problem, right?

Wrong. It played one more song, then displayed a message, "Upgrader" on its LCD. After doing some poking around on Rio message boards, I learn that this is very common when the Eigen or Nitrus is jostled. Some fixes include upgrading the firmware, reattaching the hard drive's ribbon to the main board, or just whacking the unit against the table a few times. Unfortunately, like most people, none of these worked for me.

The Eigen is a piece of junk. I wouldn't buy it again if a comparable unit were within $100. It just isn't worth the risk.

1-0 out of 5 stars Piece of Garbage, Lousy Customer Service
If I could give a "O" I would. I bought the Rio Eigen with high hopes that it would be a cool, convenient way to have music when I worked out. From the beginning I had trouble with the software - and I am no computer newbie. Of course it was a long distance call to India - at my expense - to try to get things fixed. Finally,it worked for a short time, but within a month the unit would not work at all. I called again (3rd or 4th call, again at my expense) and returned it - $5 or so for postage and insurance. The customer service rep had promised a replacement unit - new. The UPS package (and what a headache connecting with UPS!) said in large letters "RECONDITIONED." I refused the package and am now working with my credit card company to try to get a refund.

1-0 out of 5 stars WWWWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH
When i got this thing i thought is was the player from heaven. less then a week later...it gave me hell. It made a weird bepping sound, would'nt play music with out turning off, and it would not connect to the usb port. in all i just got a replacement and if it dosnt work im gettin the iGP-100. Burm yours.

3-0 out of 5 stars nice, but not good enough
I just got it yesterday, it works good, but for the control manual, not as good as I wished. i perfer iriver here. the program buttom is so small and flat, can hardly feel it. i have to use my nail tip to push it. the rotation control has no real big functions, i can not even choose the song in the same album while it is runing. i have to touch the program buttom and start over to select songs in different album. all in all, the sound it good enough for a mp3 player, size is cute. but the control manual is so so. really so so. ... Read more


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