"H10 v. Mini iPod"on by bovien
Pros sound, features, size, storage
Cons hard to navigate, slow processing, hard to transfer songs
The iRiver sound quality is definitely better than iPod. I have been using the iRiver (100 and 800 series) for the past two years, so when I tried the iPod, I was so disappointed in the iPod sound quality compared to the iRiver that I returned the iPod in exchange for the H10. The H10 has all of the EQ options as the iPod, but the H10's SRS WOW (3D) option just blows me away with its deep/rich sound. The H10 wins handsdown.
The H10 has the same features as the iPod with the addition of the color LCD, FM radio, voice/radio recording, and photo storage and display. The price between the two devices are comparable, but you definitely get more with the H10. H10 reigns in this category.
The H10 and the Mini are comparable in size and weight. The difference comes in navigation. The Mini provides user friendly and intuitive navigation. I'm the type that prefers playing with the device rather than reading the instruction first, so the Mini passed the too-lazy-to-read-manual test. The H10 did not pass that test. Perhaps it's my lack of familiarity with Windows Media Player (the only player for H10), but the H10/Windows won't allow me to easily create my own playlist or drag-and-drop files directly from other players such as iTune or MusicMatch. I had to resort to the manual. Basically, you'd have to create a playlist on Windows Media in order for H10 to sync into H10's playlist. Determined (and stubborn) not to use Windows Media, I found a way around it. I would just add folders to the H10 Browser window.
After wasting 2 hours of trying to create the proper playlist, I got a chance to fully test the H10. H10's navigation while in-use is not user-friendly/intuitive. It's time-consuming to jump from one menu to the next when all you really want is to change the volume. Plus, the processing time is sluggish to say the least. The Mini wins by a landslide in this category.
iRiver needs to do something about the processing speed and make the navigation less insane.
I gave the H10 a rating of 8 instead of a lower rating because I'm in love with its sound quality.
If you can handle those issues with H10, I think you're in for a great sound experience. But if you're just into the sound, I'd recommend one of the Ultra-portable iRivers...no issue with great sound.
Pros Beautiful color screen, excellent intuitive controls [i love the audio controls on the side, easy to use while i have it in my pocket], great menu and interface, awesome sound + volume + equalizers
Cons ONLY TWO PROBLEMS (IMO): [1} Albums play in ABC order and not track # order.. +  the player lists artists and titles that begin w/ "THE" or "A" as part of their full title.. which can be annoying.
Summary BEST PLAYER I'VE EVER CAME ACROSS. I JUST HOPE iRIVER CAN COME THROUGH ON FIRMWARE UPGRADE. CAN'T WAIT FOR THE 40GB VERSION.
Pros Color screen, radio, sound quality
Cons Using Windows Media player to download music/Firmware
Summary Iriver always makes great products, but this one is just too buggy to reccomend getting till they update the firmware. It has a hard time syncing up with WMP 10 and needs to be reset when it doens't feel like cooperating. Wait until a new firmware release then buy it.
Pros removable battery, looks cool
Cons alphabetical song listing, color display(read below), small buttons, other glitches.
Summary when i first turned this on i thought it was the greatest mp3 player yet. then i actually used it. it's not very user friendly:
1. the tracks are listed alphabetically, which to me is not a minor problem. try listening to a live album where they talk about the next sony they're going to play, but you get to hear the next alphabetical song. that sucks.
2. the color display can't be viewed without the backlight on. this presents several problems. if you leave the backlight on all the time it eats your battery life very quickly. the only solution is to set it up so the backlight turns off, but then you have to hit any button to "wake up" the unit and see the display. you also have to "wake up" the unit to perform any function, like skipping to the next song on shuffle. example; you have to hit the skip button once to wake up the unit, then again to skip to the next song. pretty dumb! the display is also too small to use it for photos. the aspect ratio is also more tall than wide, which means you get black bars and even smaller picture on an already small display. it would be much more practical to have a monochrome display that's visible without backlight, than to have a color display that's too small for practical use.
3. the album name is not shown on the "now playing" screen. not good when it's on shuffle.
4. the buttons on the side for play and track skip/scan are small and indistinguishable. it's tough to operate without looking at it.
5. with several albums, including some pre-loaded music, hitting the back button while a song is playing brings you to a blank screen, instead of the song list. hitting it againg brings you to the root "music" menu, instead of the list of albums by that artist. this appears to be some sort of glitch, but should have been detected, especially since it happend with music that came on the player.
6. i've also had problems syching with napster. don't know if that's the players problem, or napster's.
I COULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS PLAYER TO ANYONE!! i hope these problems are fixed with a firmware upgrade, which they probably all could except for the button layout. if so, this could be a salvageable unit.
Pros Its great having a mp3 player with a colour display, fm tunner, fm and voice recorder, very slim, easy to use, comes with a silicon carrying case, great sound quality
Cons Well.. all yous songs are going to be ordered from a-z, that means that that live cd you have is gona sound s**** up, the photo previews in a sch small lcd is not that usefull, it looks bad on the cas
Summary I bought this on best buy, he is ligh, slim, have a colour lcd, remov batteries, fm tunner and voice and fm/recorder, a kinda small 5gb space, but thats ok, but the unit has a baterry life that is gonna let you down...the photo preview is cool, but is kidna hard to see anything because the lcd is so tinny.. but here is what is important, the mp3 player thing..
the overall sound quality is awesome, better then the ipod, but thats it, somethimes it takes a long time to change between songs, it freezes for no reason, good you can take the baterry of, or else it would be on till now, i guess that iriver got something bad that could be really good... end of case, i returned mine and for extra 20 bucks i got and ipod 20gb and i couldnt be happyer about it.. sorry iriver.. you are lame..and you customer service is even worse..