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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
    $109.99 list($129.99)
    4. Rio Cali 128 MB Sport MP3 Player
    Too low to display $164.48 list($249.99)
    5. Sony ICD-ST25VTP Digital Voice
    $122.00 list($179.99)
    6. Rio Chiba 256 MB MP3 Player
    $149.95 list($199.99)
    7. Rio Nitrus 1.5 GB MP3 Jukebox
    Too low to display list($229.99)
    8. Rio Carbon Pearl 6 GB MP3 Player
    $89.88 list($169.99)
    9. Factory-Reconditioned Rio Forge
    $199.99
    10. Rio Riot 20 GB MP3 Player (MP3/WMA)
    list($179.99)
    11. RioVolt SP250 Portable MP3-CD
    list($229.99)
    12. GoVideo DVR4200 DVD-VCR Combo
    list($99.99)
    13. Rio Fuse 128 MB MP3 Player
    list($249.99)
    14. GoVideo DVR4000 DVD-VCR Combo
    list($449.95)
    15. GoVideo DVR5000 DVD-VCR Combo
    list($199.99)
    16. RIO Eigen 1.5 GB MP3 Player
    list($169.95)
    17. Rio PMP 300 MP3 Player
    $54.00
    18. Rio 600 32 MB Digital Audio Player
    list($499.99)
    19. GoVideo DDV9500 Dual Deck VCR
    list($449.99)
    20. GoVideo DDV9755 Dual Deck S-VHS

    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. 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


    5. 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)

    6. 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


    7. 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


    8. 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

    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. 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


    12. GoVideo DVR4200 DVD-VCR Combo
    list price: $229.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000068BRK
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Go-Video
    Sales Rank: 14309
    Average Customer Review: 3.14 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    GoVideo's DVR4200 brings the convenience of VHS recording with the simplicity and quality of DVD, from front-panel AV inputs to high-resolution component-video outputs and even MP3-CD playback. The DVR4200 allows you to conveniently record TV programs while watching a DVD or listening to a CD. If it's the DVD you want to record, the unit offers one-touch copy. The hi-fi VCR's four-head design gives the player superior slow motion and stop-action control, while Complete Program Record actually adjusts the VCR's speed to make sure it records programmed recordings in their entirety. Its component-video output is ideal for use with the latest high-resolution televisions, and standard composite-video and S-video outputs work with most older TVs.

    The DVR4200 is compatible with standard CDs, audio CD-Rs and CD-RWs, and discs encoded with MP3 audio files. Using its coaxial digital-audio output, Dolby Digital 5.1-channel signals are rerouted to a Dolby-decoding AV receiver to enjoy stunning surround sound from movies. When used with a compatible receiver and a six-channel speaker system (left, center, right, left/right surround, and subwoofer), the player puts you in the middle of the action. The unit's Virtual 3D surround sound can also simulate surround effects through an existing pair of speakers.

    The DVD player offers standard composite-video outputs (two), S-video (one), and premium component-video outputs (one set, three RCA jacks). The VCR section offers two sets of composite-video inputs, one composite-video output, and one RF (cable-type) input and output. For audio, two sets of stereo, analog-audio RCA outputs are for the DVD player (one of which doubles as a VCR output), while the VCR accepts two stereo analog-audio inputs. A coaxial digital-audio output routes DVD audio signals to an AV receiver. A convenient child lock protects the front panel from fingers, toast, and other nonmedia, while the included remote control operates both the DVD and VCR features. Auto clock set and channel search simplify VCR setup (no more flashing 12:00!). The DVR4200 comes with two AAA batteries, a user's manual, and a stereo analog-audio interconnect. ... Read more

    Features

    • Plays DVDs, audio CDs, VHS tapes, and MP3s on CD-R and CD-RW
    • Watch a DVD while recording a television program
    • Dolby Digital output for easy connection to surround sound systems
    • Complete Program Record automatically adjusts tape speed to ensure you record a complete program no matter what tape you use
    • Convenient child lock protects the front panel from fingers, toast, and other non-media

    Reviews (22)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Decent space saver but limited features
    The DVD player in this dual deck is OK, on a par with
    lower-end budget players. The VCR in this deck is OK, on
    a par with lower-end budget VCRs. So far, so fair.

    BUT the recorder won't record any DVD that is Macrovision
    encoded (which is most of them), so don't expect to use this
    as a one stop way to record your DVDs. The DVD player also
    doesn't play VCDs or SVCDs. So it has basic functionality,
    but little more.

    Overall, this is useful for those who want both a DVD
    player and a VCR, and who want to save a bit of space. But at
    the price you could purchase a better DVD player and a better
    VCR separately. So this only makes sense for those who need
    to save the space.

    David

    5-0 out of 5 stars 60 second set up!
    My daughter is the *very happy* recipient of this dual deck. She is not exactly an electronics wizard, but she called to say thanks and just bubbled over about how "simple" it was to connect ("really, Dad, I just plugged it in and connected 1 wire and my roommates and I said 'it can't be that simple' but we turned it on and it was like working great"!). She said the remote was "smooth" and the picture quality was "awesome". She also raved about the audio volume the CD player was able to produce and she was "wowed" by its ability to produce this volume cleanly while playing MP3s, ergo becoming, I am informed, the new music center for her dorm room. Anyway, she should remain happy, as GoVideo (& now SONICblue) has been around for quite a while, producing the first dual VCR decks (mostly for copying tapes that were [of course] not copyrighted, such as personal videos) more than a decade ago and since then having greatly expanded their product line, all the while maintaining a pretty good reputation for quality and service and an excellent track record for high value electronics.

    5-0 out of 5 stars GoVideo DVD/VCR player
    We have had this player for a year now, and are very satisfied with it's performance. it's is VERY easy to use and we especially like the "lock" feature to keep the kids from messing with it.

    I'd buy another one as a gift.

    2-0 out of 5 stars No go video
    I just recently bought this DVD/VCR player. It was very easy to set up and play, but right from the get-go I noticed that the dvd picture looked a bit stretched(elongated). I'm a huge fan of widescreen dvds and didn't like the look of the picture. The reason I noticed it was that I also have a SONY dvd player and compared the pictures. The bars of the GV player are thinner than the bars of the SONY showing that the picture is indeed elongated. The picture and people just looked more natural with the SONY player, but those without comparison might not notice the difference. It depends on what you are used to.

    Also another thing I REALLY, REALLY don't like about the machine is the remote control. The search and skip button are the exact same button!! So if I want to fast forward/scan a little bit I accidentally skip to the next scene instead. It's very frustrating.

    And for those that are planning to record DVDs to VHS, don't hold your breath. You can only record DVDs that don't have Macrovision(some type of anti-recording protection) and most original DVDs will have it. I've also tried a CD-R and it didn't recognize it even though GV says it will play CD-Rs.

    I have no complaints about the VCR. It works great.

    Basically, you get what you pay for. This is a low price machine and you can't expect it to be exceptional. If you just want to watch a movie and don't care about the look or anything else and want to save space, go ahead and buy it. Otherwise, I would recommend just buying separate players.

    p.s. I am not endorsing the SONY player. DO NOT buy SONY DVD players. They have different sets of problems all their own plus a court case against them. Check the web for those reviews
    if you don't believe me. Just don't do it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works like a charm
    It plays DVDs and VHS tapes, just what I was looking for. I definitely got my money's worth. ... Read more


    13. 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


    14. GoVideo DVR4000 DVD-VCR Combo
    list price: $249.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005I9PZ
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Go-Video
    Sales Rank: 17824
    Average Customer Review: 3.46 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • DVD/CD player with 4-head, hi-fi stereo VCR
    • Component-video, composite-video, and S-video outputs offer optimal connection with compatible DVD player
    • Plays DVD-Video, Video CD, SVCD, and audio CDs
    • Dolby Digital and DTS digital-audio output for 5.1-channel surround sound (with compatible AV receiver)
    • One-touch copying from DVD to VCR for non-Macrovision-encoded DVDs

    Reviews (26)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gotta love it
    I bought this a while back and I love it. I can play cd's, dvd's or tape a movie. Its great to have a combo, I'm glad this company thought of it. However because of the type of satellite that I receive I am not able to record a movie and watch another channel at the same time. But that's a minor complication for me and not big of a deal. Though it might be to some other people.

    Overall the quality is great! Its easy to use, and what could be better than a combo? Its great I would highly reccomend it to anyone. However before you go use it, like anything else read the directions, if you're a movie junkie you'll come to appreciate this beauty.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Sound problems too - but still good
    I've really enjoyed my DVR4000, but just wanted to let you know that I also noticed a difference in the sound between this unit vs my satelite receiver. Volume has to be turned way up on surround system. Warning - don't forget to turn it down before changing input LOL. Been there done that. However, I have to be honest in saying that there may well be an adjustment to the unit itself that I have overlooked in the manual.

    I've also had problems with some DVD's getting stuck/pausing. Most of the time it is a smudge on the disc. Sometimes it's not and I don't really know if that's typical of DVD players or not. I still don't know what's more irritating: watching a VHS tape with bad resolution or a DVD that sticks. Being that this is my first DVD player, I have nothing to compare it to.

    The VCR is good. It has the VCR+ ability for ease in recording. It is a 4 head, Hi Fi VCR, so I'm pleased since the unit replaced my old 2 head VCR. Love the tape speed adjustment feature that allows enough tape when running low. Tapes recorded on 2 head VCR's have pretty bad sound quality i.e. a lot of "wind" sound, but it's tolerable.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Transition Piece
    I bought the DVR4000 about 4 months ago and I have to say it's a sturdy, reliable system. The VCR player is 4 heads and chock full of recording and playback features. The DVD player is easy to use and has presented no major problems so far. I noticed that some scenes skipped on the DVD player and the sound went in and out, but I think it's the result of a faulty DVD rather than the player itself. This happened on a total of 2 DVDs out of a dozen or so that I've played in the interim.
    Overall, this is a good system to have if you're not quite ready to ditch your entire VHS library, but at the same time build your DVD collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Had for over a YEAR works great even after move to Italy!!!
    I bought this one almost a year and a half ago in maine. I was thrilled to get a machine that didn't take up much space and is a cinch to connect. I am a military wife and we moved to Italy. We now connect it through a transformer due to the electricity and a satalite box. I am able to connect my surround sound speakers to it with ease. Very simple hookup I have not had any problems. I love this machine! Thank you GO VIDEO!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Ugh
    I was really excited to finally get a DVD player. But I'd only had it about a month when it started to skip scenes and freeze periodically. It wouldn't even play some DVDs that I found played perfectly on my cousin's player. While playing one DVD, it froze every few seconds. This is a horrible player, and it's obviously cheap for a reason. ... Read more


    15. GoVideo DVR5000 DVD-VCR Combo
    list price: $449.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000053HKI
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Go-Video
    Sales Rank: 44109
    Average Customer Review: 3.54 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Features

    • Play DVDs, audio CDs, MP3-encoded CD-ROMs, or VHS tapes
    • Watch a DVD while recording a TV show to the VCR
    • Joystick remote with glow-in-the-dark keys controls both DVD and VCR decks as well as your cable box
    • Dolby Digital decoding, DTS output, and choice of optical or coaxial digital audio outputs
    • Will copy only non-Macrovision-protected DVDs to VHS

    Reviews (13)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A combo with no compromises, both units are great
    The DVR5000 is a great idea that is also well executed. At first I was skeptical that the idea of a combination DVD/VCR would result in a good product. Not so with this system, both units are very nice. First, the DVD supports just about everything you'd want in a decent quality player (Dolby Digital output/decoding, S-Video outputs, etc) as well as some nice "extra" features such as the MP3 CD support. The VCR side of the box also supports everything you'd expect out of a VCR these days.

    Hooking up the unit is pretty simple and the instruction book does a good job of guiding you through just about any configuration.

    Using the unit is also pretty easy. Controls for both units share the same remote, and in many cases the same set of buttons on the remote. Usage of the remote is generally intuitive. The only downside is in the on screen menus. While they are pretty easy to navigate, some menus aren't accessible at certain times (for example, the DVD setup menu is not accessible while a DVD is playing). Neither the menus nor the instruction book give any explanation behind this -- you kind of get the hang of it as you use the machine. Finally, if you are using the S-Video output for the DVD player you'll find that the on screen menus are not viewable via this output. To see the menus you'll have to switch your TV to the VCR input. The documentation is actually very clear about this, but it is annoying nonetheless.

    My only other concern is about Go-Video's customer service. I sent them an email via their website and never received a response. It wasn't a major issue so I haven't pursued it any further, but it makes me worry about the overall quality of their support.

    Overall I recommend this box. It combines two great units into one space saving, high quality device.

    5-0 out of 5 stars SUPER SWEET UNIT..............A MUST HAVE !!!
    WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOUR OLD VHS VCR FINALLY DIES, BUT YOU WANT TO START A DVD COLLECTION TOO? THIS IS THE ANSWER TO YOUR PRAYER. I LOVE THIS ALL-IN-ONE UNIT. I CAN RECORD A TV PROGRAM USING THE VCR, WHILE WATCHING A DVD MOVIE AT THE SAME TIME!!! HOW COOL IS THAT? THEY SAY YOU CAN RECORD A "NON-PROTECTED" DVD ONTO A VHS TAPE... WHAT I LIKE IS HAVING ONE UNIT WITH ONE SET OF CABLES TO DEAL WITH & IT SUPPORTS SURROUND SOUND SYSTEMS & HAS VIDEO INPUT & OUTPUT PORTS. NO EXTRA SPACE FOR BOTH A DVD & VCR UNIT? WELL THIS COMBO IS ONLY 4" HIGH BY 17" WIDE AND 14" DEEP, IS NICE LOOKING & HAS CONTROLS ON THE FRONT OF THE UNIT TOO, JUST IN CASE YOU MISPLACE YOUR REMOTE. "GO VIDEO" IS NOW KNOWN "SENSORY SCIENCE", AND THEY HAVE A WEB SITE FOR MORE INFO. NOW IF THEY WOULD DEVELOP A COMBO 13" COLOR TV/DVD/VCR, I WOULD BE A HAPPY CAMPER. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED WITH THIS PURCHASE.

    3-0 out of 5 stars VCR going bad after a year or so
    My GoVideo DVR5000 DVD/VCR combo worked well for quite a while, but now the VCR half is starting to go bad. I'm not sure how long I've had it - at least a year, maybe closer to two. Recently, when I play back videos recorded with this unit, the tint is frequently (but not always) off for the top third of the screen. At first I thought I was imagining it, but then I started noticing backgrounds that should be a solid color changed color towards the top of the screen. For example, I was watching an interview that was conducted against an all-blue background, but towards the top of the picture the background turned more and more green. Things that should be red near the top of the screen are usually purple.

    After a lot of playing around with various tapes, and then playing around with the connections in the back of the player, I think I've narrowed the problem down to the composite video output jack. When I switched from using that to using the coaxial video output, the problem went away. But that's not really a solution, so I bought a new player and moved the Go Video to another room where the TV uses coaxial.

    Oddly, the composite video problem only seemed to affect the VCR half of the unit, and not the DVD half.

    I haven't had many problems with the DVD half of the unit. It will occasionally freeze up, or refuse to read a DVD when I first put it in the player, but after a few tries it eventually reads them.

    I'm really bummed that the VCR is going bad, because other than that problem I really like this unit. I've been reading reviews to decide what to get as a replacement, and it doesn't seem like anyone makes a reliable DVD/VCR combination anymore.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Built to last a very long time - needed a fan installed.
    I work on DVD players.. actually I diagnose the problem, inform the owner and then dispose of them. Virtually every DVD player under $1000 has a disposable brush type spindle motor which will often fail after about 1500-2000 hours disk spin time. These motors are not replaceable. The machines are designed to last typically 2-3 years before replacement.

    The DVR5000 has a digital brushless spindle motor. A motor not found in DVD players unless you purchase a Pioneer DVD-V7400 $1400 Industrial rack mount machine. What gives the DVD-V7400 reliability is the brushless motor... the near identical motor found in the DVR5000.

    The DVD spindle mechanism...the most critical part of any DVD player... contained within the DVR5000 will probably outlast the DVD format altogether. Meanwhile, you will go through 4-6 Toshiba or Pioneer machines in the same timespan.

    Unfortunately, the DVR5000 has too much stuff crammed into too small of a space. The power supply is almost three times the size of a standard DVD player.. and likewise generates 3 times as much heat. The VHS deck takes it share of power as does the high torque DVD brushless motor.

    Go-Video made a mistake of not allowing sufficient ventilation of the chassis AND the inclusion of a forced air cooling system (a fan). They also placed the DVD decoder board directly above the power supply. When things heat up, electrical alignments of the decoder board drift, laser output diminishes and then the DVD stutters.

    I installed a cooling fan tapped off of the power supply. The fan turns on automatically when the unit is on.

    Since the fan installation, all skipping problems have gone away. The machine runs cool inside, the laser now tracks properly. FYI, DVD lasers are very senstive to heat; their output drops significantly with rise in temperature.

    It is very unfortunate that this overheating issue was overlooked by the engineers. Otherwise this could have been a flawless and easily the most successful and reliable machines on the market.

    I give the machine a 5 rating despite the temperature problem due to the exceptional quality and longevity incorporated into the DVD mechanism. Truely independent thought from an independent company from the disposable thought of this day and age.

    The DVR5000 WAS NOT designed to have a 2 year lifespan like the "quality name brand" consumer grade equipment. Looking at the componentry and exceptional construction of the DVR5000 machine, it was designed to have a trouble free 10 year lifespan.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy anywhere!!
    This is the worst product I have ever bought. The DVD player did not work since day one it keeps on freezing up. So I took it to get repaired since it was under warranty. That did not help matters. I took it to be repaired twice. They kept it for months at a time and when I did get it back I had more problems then when I started with. Call customer service? What a joke their idea of customer service is hysterical. The number that they give you to call you can't get through. I waited on the phone forever and still never got through. I e-mailed them at least 100 times. Their response was,"If I had any other problems to go to their website." To do what? I still don't know. My advice is to stick with the major name brands. GoVideo is generic and they don't know what the hell they are doing. The only reason I gave 1-star was because the VCR works. ... Read more


    16. 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


    17. Rio PMP 300 MP3 Player
    list price: $169.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000JBAT
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Rio
    Sales Rank: 16425
    Average Customer Review: 3.46 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Review

    Welcome to the future of personal audio. The tiny Diamond Rio player plays MP3-encoded digital music, the open Internet standard that's shaking up the industry. It stores your music files in 32 MB of RAM instead of on CD or tape, so it has no moving parts and it can't skip.

    About the size of a deck of cards, the Diamond Rio player weighs under three ounces and can store up to an hour's worth of music files encoded at 64 Kbps or half an hour's worth of files at 128 Kbps. The supplied Windows software and PC connector cable let you upload new selections, delete old ones, change the playback order, and even create new MP3 files from your own CDs.

    What about sound quality? MP3 is a compression technique that discards a lot of the information captured by normal CD encoding. True audiophiles will hear the difference. But the overall effect is surprisingly clean, and the Diamond Rio's extreme portability more than makes up for the subtle degradation.

    The Diamond Rio connects to your PC by a parallel-port adapter. In our tests, hardware setup consisted of nothing more than plugging the supplied parallel adapter into our PC's parallel port, attaching the connector cable, and dropping a single AA battery (supplied) into the Diamond Rio unit. The parallel adapter has a pass-through connector so that you can use the port for your printer or other parallel device.

    Software installation under Windows 98 also went without a hitch. The default installation puts two applications on your system: the Rio Manager and the MusicMatch Jukebox. You use the Rio Manager to download new selections to the Rio player, delete selections from your lineup, or clear all memory so you can start with a fresh slate. It also lets you view the size of each selection, control the play order, and see how much RAM you have left for storing music. We downloaded a bunch of MP3 music files off the Web to the Windows desktop, dragged them into the Rio Manager, and clicked on Download. Approximately three minutes later, we had stored 30 minutes of digital music.

    The supplied software lets you make MP3 files from your own CDs using your computer's CD-ROM drive. You can select 128 Kbps, 80 Kbps, or 64 Kbps encoding. The highest-quality 128 Kbps encoding is definitely worth using for music you really care about, but it creates files that are twice as big as those encoded at 64 Kbps. This means you'll be able to store only about 32 minutes of music at a time.

    The Diamond Rio is a computer peripheral, and, as such, it's not quite as easy to install or use as a conventional portable audio gadget. But it delivers great sound, extreme portability, and access to the wealth of MP3 music on the Web. It's a trailblazing technology that's a pleasure to experience.

    Pros:

    • Compact, lightweight
    • Won't skip
    • Uses open MP3 Internet music format
    • Allows you to create MP3 files from your own CDs
    • Near-CD quality audio
    Cons:
    • Only 30 minutes of play at near-CD quality
    • Requires a Windows 95/98 PC to use. Not compatible with Windows NT or Mac.
    ... Read more

    Features

    • Palm size for easy portability
    • Supports MP3 compression
    • Expandable playback time with removable memory cards
    • Skip free--no moving parts
    • Includes CD music sampler

    Reviews (271)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A great portable system with a few problems.
    The Rio PMP300 is a great portable system if you have access to your own computer. Some advantages are that it's very small, very light, it doesn't skip, It only takes 1 battery which runs for at least 10 hrs, and the music can be free on the internet. You can also take tracks right off your favorite CDs. The 1 problem that I have with it is that it only holds 32 MB which is about 7 or 8 CD quality songs. It could hold more if you don't mind radio quality. If you want to get more memory on this thing it's not cheap. You can double your memory from 32MB to 64MB for about $100. I am going to wait for the price to go down before I buy more memory for mine. The software that it comes with is pretty good too. I also like the overall design of the buttons and player. It has a Hold option, 5 different Equalizers, Replay and Random modes, and a cool A~B feature which is pointless fun to play with.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Well.... it's pretty good.
    I bought my Rio PMP300 last fall, and it's been my primarysource of personal music ever since. I think MP3's are a great alternative to CD's when used ethically, and the Rio 300 is a fairly inexpensive option. I must say that the Rio is efficient on batteries, has very good sound with very little distortion (if it's distorted, it's probably the ripper/encoder that made the MP3), and since it's completely electronic with no mechanical parts, it obviously never skips. I run with mine and use it in the car with a cassette adapter, and I love how light it is. Despite all these pluses, there are a few things the wary consumer should know:..As for mechanics, the Rio 300 has limited onboard memory - I get along fine with the 32 MB, but at times, especially on long trips, I wish I could play more than about 3/4 of a CD at 128bps (about "CD quality"). Be ready to shell out more for that flash memory add-on. The case on the Rio 300 is relatively fragile. Don't count on putting it through a lot of abuse, and be careful with the belt clip, as it may strain the thin plastic - - mine cracked, but a little superglue fixed it and it's fine now. The bottom line: if you don't have a lot of money but you want that MP3 player, it's a good buy. As for me, I'm about to convert to a minidisc player/recorder with a USB MP3 adapter.

    3-0 out of 5 stars I love it, but...
    I have one of these, and I'm very fond of it. It does a good job, and is very durable (I've had mine for years and haven't been incredibly kind to it, but it's still good as new.) The design is plain but classy, and it's easy to use. It takes almost no time to familiarize yourself with the buttons so you can fool with it without looking. There aren't any buttons or switches that are easy to hit accidentally, and in general, it can take being tossed around a little in a bag so long as it's reasonable. Don't crush it and don't spill anything on it, but it's not like it's the Mona Lisa.

    As many have mentioned, it holds about 30 minutes of music, unless you can find a memory card (I'm not sure if they are even made anymore, but I have seen them for sale) which will give you a whopping hour. If you're just going to use this for walking the dog around the block, or standing in line, or a quick run in the morning, this isn't such a big deal.

    The USB-type cord is primitive and weird, so you'll probably be using the parallel port adapter, which isn't really a problem, but can be an inconvenience if you have a lot of things that use your parallel ports.

    I'm pretty sure the company no longer supports this device or its software, since they have gone on to bigger and better things since its debut. Caveat emptor.

    Also, it is not compatible with anything after Windows 98, but you can get around that easily by downloading the free program "Dreaming of Brazil" which works with XP, NT, and 2000. (Google search for "Diamond Rio mp3 player" or "Dreaming of Brazil.")

    A few pointers from my humble experience with the Rio PMP300:
    If the headphones it comes with break, you can replace them with any headphones that fit the headphone jack. You should also take the battery out of the Rio when you aren't using it-- it sucks energy when it's idle. If you happen to need a little bit of misc. storage space, you can use the Dreaming of Brazil program to transfer any items that will fit, which can be handy.

    I imagine this is not the best mp3 player you can buy, but if you can get it cheap, it's still a pretty good one. The main problem I have is the tiny amount of storage space and compatibility issues. Shop around for an iPod or a newer Rio or something if you're very concerned with absolute top quality.

    1-0 out of 5 stars The Diamond Rio PMP300
    Think about this...[quite a bit of money] for a mp3 player that holds max. 9-10 songs. That is the most rediculous thing i have ever heard. You can get a Nomad II for [less money]with 64mb built in. I recommend getting that mp3 player. I just bought a 128mb card for the PMP300 and it doesn't work. This Mp3 Player only takes certain 32 mb cards which are [quite expensive]. When i drop the mp3 player it shuts off completely as if there was no battery in the device. Alot of times when you take the battery out and then put it back in it doesn't even register as having a battery in it. It is not a high technology device at all. Something else that made me even more mad was that there is no longer customer support for this product. I think this company should get their act together. I highly recomend buying another mp3 player b/c this one isn't worth it at all.

    4-0 out of 5 stars rio mp3 player pmp300
    i brought my pmp300 brand new but moved some time ago and have not been able to find the download cables it is a great mp3 player but i am getting bored with the same mucis thats on the player if you have one for gods sake DONT LOSE YOU DOWNLOAD CABLES because you can not get them for love nor money ... Read more


    18. Rio 600 32 MB Digital Audio Player (MP3/WMA)

    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004SPUN
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Rio
    Sales Rank: 4253
    Average Customer Review: 3.12 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    With the Rio 600, Diamond adds customizable features and high-end audio you can't get from other players. Capture and play back up to a hour of digital-quality music from the Internet or your CDs. Seize your audio, master your mix, retool your memory, even select your faceplate color--it's complete freedom of choice.

    The Rio 600 supports the most popular audio formats like MP3 and WMA, and it is upgradable to support emerging digital standards so your Rio is always up to date. SDMI compliance means you can download secure tracks from all the major recording labels. The 32 MB of memory will hold up to an hour of digital-quality music and 16 hours of spoken word. You can also upgrade your Rio 600 with separate snap-on memory backpacks up to 340 MB to give you up to 9 hours of music playback. The USB interface allows you to download songs from your PC or Mac to your Rio faster than with any other interface type. ... Read more

    Features

    • 32 MB of built-in flash memory
    • Large, easy-to-read LCD screen
    • Fast USB connectivity
    • Can accept additional memory backpacks to expand memory up to 340 MB
    • PC and Mac compatible

    Reviews (247)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good Performance, Buy MANY batteries!
    I got the Rio 600 through the Pepsi Points promotion last year (2000). The audio is great, the menu structure is very understandable, the screen has a light function that's very similar to Indiglo, and the casing fits your hand well enough that you can operate it with one hand. Unfortunately, the Rio 600 has some flaws. First, the Rio says it can run off one AA battery for 11 hours. That's true in more than one sense of the word. The clock inside runs off the battery, greatly reducing playtime. Unless you use the Rio constantly, you're going to be changing batteries every two weeks. Second, 32 Mb of memory is not a lot unless you convert your mp3s to Windows Media Audio (WMA). To do this, you will need to download the powertoys package for the Windows Media Player, it does not ship with the Rio (at least when I got mine). Finally, the control program you install on your computer to transfer songs is very cumbersome. I have a part-time job as a computer lab consultant and even I have to look around in order to make the program work. I don't even use it anymore, I just use the "Portable Device function" in Windows Media Player--which is a lot easier to use. In short, the Rio 600 has a short battery life and a complicated control program, but makes up for it with an affordable price and excellent sound quality. If you get it, I recommend getting the rechargeable battery.

    1-0 out of 5 stars If you like shoddy craftsmanship, then purchase this player
    I bought this player off of Tigerdirect, and it was great for about 3 months. (minus horrible battery life and small storage capacity, even w/ the extra 32mb backpack). After the first three months, it simply stopped working. Wouldn't turn on, no response at all.

    Wrote SonicBlue, after a couple of weeks of going back and forth and finally convincing them that it wasn't a firmware update issue, they agreed to 'let' me mail it to them (at my cost) and they would repair or send me a replacement. i guess they did replace it, but after about three months of use, i am getting the same problems again. I wish I had believed other reviews about this product. If you're into masochism, then by all means, get this thing. if not, save up for an iPod or anything else but Rio. You get what you pay for... (paid $70)

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent product- rio 600
    I was very pleased with the Rio 600. Before recieving it, i was worried it wouldn't turn out so well because i had checked online reviews about it and said that it doesn't work, etc. However, for me it worked great! I took it on a field trip, it worked perfectly. very easy to change the battery. the battery can wear out fast, but don't keep the backlighting on so much, and remember to turn it off. by doing that, the battery lasted for three days for me. the rio-600 is a bit larger than other rio models, but yet, its still very compact. i did not use the headphones provided and the sound quality was pretty good. i didn't use the software either, but easily got mp3 files uploaded through real player. its very easy to download file from there, just add in rio- 600 as your audio device, and then copy files from there. rio-600 has little memory, but i still got it to download six files. i heard you can also add a memory card which lets it have up to 320 mb of memory! overall, i'm a satisfied owner of the rio-600.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Horrible battery life, cheap quality plastic design
    I was not impressed with this MP3 player at all. First of all, im not sure if mine was defective but it would only go 2-3 hours of playing time before the battery would flat out die. I tried upgrading the firmware or calibrating the battery beforehand. This brings me to the quality of the design, when I try and get to the battery compartment. You have to remove the entire back cover and then open this other flimsy door to get to the one AA battery. Try and squeeze the battery in the small space while so worried that the small plastic holders are going to break off. One you got that in, you have to carefully position the back cover to fit back on with the metal contacts in place. Whew.

    Goods:
    -Nice blue backlight
    -Small Light Design
    -Somewhat easy menu system.
    -Easy to copy songs using iTunes on mac [no experience with pc software]
    -Fast/Easy USB.

    Bads:
    -Cheap flimsy plastic case
    -Extremely short battery life
    -Hard to replace batteries [Afraid of breaking something while squeezing that AA in an extremely small plastic holder thing.
    -Horrible customer service when trying to get it fixed. They keep saying to flash the memory upgrade firmware I have done all that with no avail!
    -Doesnt use any traditional upgrade memory method [compact flash or smart media] It needs some kind of special backpack to strap on the back for only another 32MB of memory.

    In conclusion, I would not recommend the Rio 600, even though it was quite cheap. Spend about $20 more for a Creative Labs' Nomad IIc. It has double the memory and easy to expand.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Most horrible thing I ever bought
    This was a horrible and udderly usless piece of junk. When I first got mine (the first one i got) it worked for about 3 days. Then it just stopped working and i just heard static when i wanted the song to play. Along with that, the software didn't work (i have a PC). I tried countless times to upgrade on its site, called costumer support(which was very inconsiderate and didn't care if it got fixed or not), and did everything possible to fix it. Then I got another one, thinking this one was just a bad one. I was wrong. Same problems with the software, and it worked for 5 days, then i just got static again.
    All in all, don't buy this one and get an archos or something (archos work very well.)even if it is a little more money. ... Read more


    19. GoVideo DDV9500 Dual Deck VCR
    list price: $499.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000JFE0
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Go-Video
    Sales Rank: 47445
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    20. GoVideo DDV9755 Dual Deck S-VHS Hi-Fi VCR
    list price: $449.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004TC8E
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: SONICblue
    Sales Rank: 28691
    Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Product Description

    With Go-Video's DDV9755 S-VHS hi-fi Dual-Deck VCR, a number of recording and playback options are at your disposal. You can watch a video while recording a favorite TV program, record from two sources simultaneously, and play two tapes consecutively with video-sequencing playback and record. Expand your home video library or make multiple copies of a single tape with EZ Copy one-touch duplicating, a process in which both decks communicate with one another. Tapes are cued, copied, rewound, and then ejected automatically without accidental reuse. Date/time stamping documents your recorded movies and programs. VCR Plus+ C3 simplifies conventional cable and television recording. The event timer can handle 16 different programs over a 365-day period. Quasi S-VHS allows you to record and play back S-VHS tapes.

    With Q Sound, hi-fi audio is rapidly processed into a special signal that can be experienced over a standard pair of stereo speakers. Separation and depth are increased without compromising the original audio. The Go-Video DDV9755 also features audio dubbing, which records your own music on tape using the front microphone input. The Go-Video DDV9755 also copies surround sound and can record from four different sources.

    New Duraheads facilitate longer life and greater reliability than ordinary video heads. The flying erase heads on the second deck remove noise bars between recorded segments and enhance visual effects such as slow and fast scan. Digital auto tracking also helps eliminate video imperfections. There is a jog shuttle on the illuminated multibrand remote for frame-accurate control and trick play. You can create your own home movies with eight-scene automatic editing. Front and rear audio-video inputs let you hook up a camcorder, video game system, or Web browser for added entertainment. V-chip technology lets parents monitor what their children watch.

    Go-Video offers a warranty of a year on parts, 90 days on labor. ... Read more

    Features

    • Dual-Deck 4-head VCR with Q Sound technology and quasi S-VHS playback
    • Patented EZ Copy duplication allows for 1-touch recording and communication between both decks
    • VCR Plus+ C3 programs your VCR and cable box in 1 easy step
    • Create high-quality home movies with 8-scene automatic editing
    • V-chip technology lets parents monitor what their children watch

    Reviews (6)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Overpriced, functionally challenged
    ...It has never operated well. Deck one broke a few weeks ago (out of warranty). The audio has always been muddy, and has needed at least a 50% boost above other connections. It did OK recording on SP, but only on new or re-blanked tapes. Otherwise it's usually worse than any other VCR I've ever owned. It doesn't provide "frame-by-frame" control for recording as promised -- it has the same one to two second lags as any other VCR. There is also at least the same amount of signal loss between decks as between any two machines, again contrary to ads. It has horrible problems making tapes that track well on other machines, and ditto for playing tapes made on other machines. Sometimes it can't even track on tapes it made itself. I had a ten year old Panasonic and a ten year old JVC that did better recording and playing. It also doesn't have an S-video out, so even if you can record with it, you can't output with the same quality. The remote isn't bad for features (slow reverse on the jog/shuttle, but not on a button, so the speed varies), but the buttons and placements aren't all that well designed. Convinced yet? Buy two machines from somebody else.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for archiving
    Everything about this deck is driven by the on screen menu, which comes with comprehensive documentation. As with any new toy, you'll need a little patience, but within a week you should have all the necessary tricks memorized. There are special settings that control tape quality - such as if your master tape is recorded in SP or EP and if audio is hi-fi or mono. S-Video is available with the purchase of an S- Video cable (not included) and only needs to be enabled, like everything else, through the on screen menu.

    If you have a digital cable box, this until comes with a special infrared "mouse" for lack of a better word that plugs into the unit and can change channels on the cable box when you are not home. (It does not work with every brand of cable box.)

    This unit has both front and back A/V connections. The recordings made by this deck usually result in a crystal clear freeze frame - excellent!

    Some of the things this unit is perfect for:

    Continuous recording with both decks - I recently recorded a 48 hour TV marathon with ease, only having to swap tapes every 12 hours.

    Copying favorite movies or home videos for friends and family - the quality of picture produced with the go deck is far superior to hooking 2 VCR's together. Visually, the copy is often identical to the master tape.

    Less tape swapping - if you're away from home, you can easily record different programs onto different tapes, by enabling each deck to record from the TV through the onscreen menu.

    S-VHS - You can use both VHS and Super VHS (very high resolution) tapes with this deck.

    Con: this particular unit is long and may not fit into every entertainment center. You should measure before purchasing it to avoid disappointment, if space is a concern. Go Video does offer stacked decks.

    Macrovision -- these units no longer disable the macrovision signal (by law), so you can no longer make back up copies of your store purchased videos if they are macrovision coded.

    This is an excellent product with tons of features that I'll probably never be curious enough to use, such as commercial editing through the programming of tape position numbers (e.g. edit out everything between 1h 12m 24sec - 1h 14m 07 sec), simultaneous recording, and recording from the tv while watching a seperate videotape. (sounds handy, don't it!)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Arrrrrrrrrrrgh!
    This electronic equiptment is not the thing for me! Being a man's man, i have trouble with anything that does not require a chainsaw. However, i used my chainsaw to RUIN this equiptment!! i strongly advise you NOT to purchase this machine as it has ruined my life since i got it. my wife moved out. my dog was struck by lightnening. thanks Go-Video.

    No prob, Bob

    5-0 out of 5 stars Go-Video dual deck delivers!
    After purchasing the Go-Video dual deck DDV9755 VCR(s) I'm happy to report that it's been worth every penny and will be very useful to anyone who would like to organize a video library. I have many S-VHS tapes, so the S-VHS feature is very helpful. The audio/video dub with flying erase head allows me to do professional looking edits. Also since I have written time locations on our home videos to mark where different scenes begin, I am able to use the time search and it will stop itself at the exact place I want - no hit or miss search or forgetting to stop at the right place manually. I have looked high and low for all of these features and it is very difficult to get them all in one place with one tape deck deck let alone two. I have just gone over basic information here - there's much more it's capable of and with extra equipment such as a video mixer and/or sound effects or titler, the possibilities are endless. (I have a mixer and can't wait to get started on the more technical stuff like wipes, fades and artificial backgrounds). This is also the best price you'll find anywhere - I did a fairly thorough search.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best thing I've ever spent my money on!!!
    My favorite feature of this vcr is the ability to edit videos. I made a project for school that had alot of screw-ups in it. I just used my Go-Video vcr to edit them. It makes the cuts in the video look seamless. You can video tape little Johnny's birthday party, and then later edit out the part when he starts to cry or those oh-so embarrassing moments... you know what I am talking about. I recorded a marathon of my favorite show wich was not available on video, and then later I cut out all of the commercials. As you can see this is my personal favorite feature of this vcr, this is an absolute must buy!!!! ... Read more


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