When you have the highest-rated MP3 player on CNET, I suppose it's OK to rest on your laurels a bit. iRiver's latest Clix, the Clix+, isn't much different from its immediate predecessor. It offers the same great D-Click controls, the same gorgeous AMOLED screen, and the same extensive feature list. But the company made changes where it counts: The player is slightly slimmer and comes with a lower price tag attached. The 4GB will go for $149, while the 8GB is set to sell for $199. This is much more competitive than with the previous version. iRiver … Read more
Now here's something you don't see everyday: an MP3 player with GPS capabilities. The new iRiver W7, one of a slew of devices the company has on display at CES 2008, doesn't come with a built-in GPS antenna. Rather, you have the option to buy a car mount cradle that adds the functionality. The fact that the antenna is part of the cradle and not the player is actually quite compelling: it means the player can stay relatively compact and impressively thin for pocketability during "on-the-go" use, while still offering a handy navigational feature for … Read more
As if to prove that it's not even close to backing out of the MP3 player market, iRiver debuted a whopping 12 new MP3 players at this year's CES. The company also introduced a sweet-looking, multifunctional home entertainment system as well as three E-Dictionary products and two GPS devices. Naturally, not all of the gadgets are available in the U.S., but it's still an impressive feat given the relatively small size of the company.
It was hard to narrow it down, but I think my favorite is the … Read more
Forgive me if I appear a little skeptical here about Google's Open Handset Alliance. By my count, it's the fifth consortium so far to attempt to craft something useful for mobile phones out of Linux and open-source software.
OHA has by far the highest profile, it's got the most persuasive list of members, and its timing is the best. What's not yet clear is whether the "Android" work of Google and its allies will unify or further fragment work in the area.
Rallying programmers behind a unified effort could help determine whether this effort will accomplish more than the Linux Phone Standard (Lips) Forum, the Open Source Developer Labs' Mobile Linux Initiative, the Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF), and most recently, the LiMo Foundation begun in 2006. Related efforts one step removed include Intel's Moblin and, Nokia's Maemo, and any number of other open-source projects.
Just as with PCs, somebody has to write a "stack" of software spanning from basic operating system functions all the way through communication utilities, user interfaces and Web browsers. Unlike PCs so far, though, the mobile phone market has suffered from a profusion of incompatible software foundations, despite some efforts to use Linux and Java to bring some common ground.
One of our all-time favorite players, Cowon's iAudio D2, got DAB-integrated not too long ago. Now one of our other all-time favorites, the iRiver Clix 2, effectively just got DAB'd and is known as the iRiver B20. OK, this isn't another version of the Clix, but it is a new player that looks like the Clix, works like the Clix and has the same feature set as the Clix. Plus DAB.
The most notable difference is the B20's large telescopic aerial. The B20 retains the Clix 2's innovative Direct Click navigation system and its attractive … Read more
iRiver America quietly placed an 8GB version or their second-gen Clix MP3 player for sale on their Web site today. The 8GB Clix sports all the same specs as the 4GB and 2GB versions (audio, video, radio, voice recorder), but adds a snazzy new red trim to its edge. At $239, its a hard sell against the new $199 8GB Apple iPod Nano--but the extra $40 is a small price to pay for the Clix's extra features and superior sound quality.
(via DAP Review)
QNX Software Systems, one of the old guard in the the embedded operating systems industry, made a move Wednesday to fend off rival Linux by opening its Neutrino product source code for all to see.
But don't mistake the move for a true adoption of open-source software. Although QNX's hybrid model lets outsiders see, change and extend the Neutrino software, commercial use of the software requires purchase of runtime licenses, the company said Wednesday. Academics and noncommercial developers get free use of development tools.
The Neutrino development process will be more "transparent," and outsiders will be … Read more
(UPDATE: RealNetworks has filed an 8-K form with the SEC that contains some more details about Rhapsody America. Most notable: MTV is contributing a $230 million note to the deal, and RealNetworks will in exchange be required to spend that amount with MTV on advertising. The joint venture is between RealNetworks and MTV, with Verizon as a distribution partner.)
The 2007 Consumer Electronics Show must've held some awkward moments for Microsoft.
OK, so I get the iMac, the iBook, the iPod, iTunes, and even (grudgingly) the iPhone. Apple thought up the moniker, so we can't begrudge them for expanding on the very successful franchise. But the iTrip, the iRiver Clix and Cowon's range of iAudio products tested the limits of my patience. And I could have held my tongue if BMW's iDrive had been the end of iOpportunism.
Update: I just got word from iRiver that--unlike with the Sansa-Rhapsody deal--you will not need to buy a new 2G Clix in order to enjoy the Rhapsody DNA experience. Current owners of the player will get access to a free firmware update, which is expected to become available on the iRiver Web site sometime in July. Very nice.
This morning, iRiver officially announced a partnership with Rhapsody that optimizes the second-generation Clix for use with the music service. Although the player was already compatible with subscription tracks from on-the-go services (Rhapsody included), it now includes Rhapsody DNA. This new software … Read more