"Good Value, Underrated"3.0 starson by CyberbenX
Pros: Just as good as more expensive players.
Cons: Video Format, Occasionally Crashes.
Summary: Coby has a history of inconsistent quality. It's a shame the CNET reviewers got a bad one. The player I got for $30 at Menard's has much more responsive controls than the one on the CNET video. All of the features work correctly. I've Read the CNET review and I want to adress some of the Complaints. So this will be more of a reply to the CNET review.
1. It has a mechanical switch.
Really? Your bothered by a mechanical switch?
In my opinion it's easier to use the switch than to hold down a button for 3 seconds. Although If you want you can turn the Coby player on and off that way too. I guess the CNET guys just didn't try that.
2. It has a 2.5mm jack.
Well yes, it does. But because of it the device is slimmer and I don't see what the problem is because Mine came with a 2.5 to 3.5 jack so I can use whatever headphones I want. (For reference I'm using Sony MDR-V150 monitoring headphones) Plus it comes with 2.5mm earbuds, which kinda suck but hey, even iPod earbuds suck.
3. The controls are unresponsive.
Well maybe on yours, From the looks of the video you got a defective one, which would certainly skew a review of a product. Or maybe the firmware on the newer ones is much better I'm not sure. In my opinion the controls are just fine and quite intuitive. I didn't read the instruction manual and within minutes I found myself navigating it fine and going where I wanted to go when I wanted to go there. I recently got to use a Sansa e250 and the interface on that, while nice looking, was utterly baffling to me. I wont go into details because I'm reviewing the Coby not the Sansa but I much prefer the interface on this device.
4. "It turns out that you use right/left to navigate up/down through the lists in the internal menus"
Wow. Ok. How big of a surprise was this? On the iPod you scroll left to go down and right to go up? I don't see you complaining about that. If this really confuses you I suggest you get a Sansa Shaker.
5. No music Sorting.
Yes there is no music Sorting. It actually has a File Browser. Which is what I've been looking for in a music player for almost 4 years. I finally found one. It Doesn't put all the files in whatever order it wants to. I can finally use the same organization format I've been using on my computer for years on an MP3 player. Using the file browser you can also delete files without having to hook it up to a computer. Which is another feature I haven't seen on any other mp3 player. You have a choice to delete a single file or all of one typu (MP3s, Recorded Files, Videos, Pictures) The File Browser combined with Playlists creates a pretty powerful way of organizing your files the way you want to. Unless of course your already forgot how because other MP3 players hold your hand and do everything for you.
6. The volume control doesn't work.
Um, No. Mine works perfectly
7. "Only output to right channel" "Music sounded hollow and flat and was lacking bass"
Well Now I'm sure you got a defective unit. Mine has perfect sound and in both channels. It even has an Equilizer with plenty of presets and a Fully Customizable SRS WOW module which is a feature I haven't found in any other MP3 player, although I haven't looked a ton.
The Video on the device is not great. You have to use a piece of software that comes on the CD that will convert most files into the correct format to play them on the device. The software works fine although on really long files sometimes the audio gets out of sync and the device only supports AMV files at 15fps. It does come with some really sucky software for media management. I suggest you dump that and use WMP for syncing if you really want to sync.
The EBook reader works fine. It even has a bookmark feature where you can make and jump to multiple bookmarks for reading long files. It only supports TXT files but thats all I read as far as ebooks go anyways.
The FM radio works fine as well. It works just as good as the Sansa e250(Which costs a lot more I might add) that I compared it too when testing. The recording feature works fine. It takes a second or two after you hit the button to start recording.
The voice recording is a neat feature. The microphone is just as good as much more expensive mp3 players and You have the choice of recording in 192kbps MP3,128kbps MP3,64kbps MP3,32kbps MP3 or in WAV format.
The Pictures work but unless you have them at the size of the screen the scaling kind of kills the quality.
It works with a lot of formats including plays-for-sure wma's although I'm not sure how well because I haven't tried it because I don't buy DRM encumbered music.
My favorite features:
You can pause a long podcast or any file for that matter and go to the menu/read a book/turn off the player and it will be at the same spot when you come back. It has a really neat File browser system. The whole thing feels more like a Mini OS with apps and such. You can manage all the files yourself in USB disk mode if you want or set it to Media Device to sync it with WMP. I used it all day and the battery was only halfway down so I'm going to assume it can be used for about 2 full "playing with the device" days which is longer than the iPhone.
What I didn't Like:
Its crashed about 3 times in 2 days. Its not that much of a problem because It just restarts and my Position, be it in Ebook or Music is saved and I am just interrupted momentarily.The software that comes with it kinda sucks. The play pause button has already become worn off but I'm not stupid enough to forget what the button does so that isn't a problem. The Video only supports 1 format which is AMV at 15fps. The resolution isn't great but its ok.
In closing, once I put it in my pocket I cant tell it from any other mp3 player. It has a ton of other neat features that I didn't go into. I don't understand why CNET didn't buy a second one. If you got an iPod with buggy controls that only had sound on the right channel I would assume that you would send it back and get a new one. Because you got a bad unit doesn't mean it's "Terrible" it means you got a bad unit.
I would recommend this player to anyone looking for a cheap mp3 player. If you want the best of the best. The iPod is still the way to go but This player does a much better job than a lot of more expensive other's I've seen. If you are extremely picky I would suggest spending more money.