Pros Expandable memory, good volume, easy to use.
Cons So-so FM reception, firmware must be upgraded, volume control only when in stopwatch mode.
Summary This is the first MP3 player I have ever bought and I did a little research on it before buying. Since CNET rated it highest as a workout player, I took a chance on it despite the bad user reviews. I am glad I did. I upgraded the firmware right away and have had no problems with it in the two months I have owned it.
The Rio Music Manager software works great for me since I prefer leaving it on random than creating playlists. And despite what some reviews have said, it does let you choose if you want to save it to the internal or external memory. Have expanded the memory with a 512 MB Secure Digital card and now have over 12 hours of music on my player.
I really like the extra features on it like the stopwatch and the FM tuner, though the tuner reception can be iffy outside. The headphones double as the antenna, so a different pair may help this issue.
"I returned it"on by kdlane73
Pros Easy to navigate
Cons Crashes often
Summary I had this player for about one month and tried to get through the crashing, thinking I was doing something wrong. It crashed almost every time it went from the built-in memory to the portable memory. I tried everything, because I liked the style and navigation, but I just couldn't justify keeping it. Also, after reading the reviews here, I became quite nervous about having a non-functional player within a short time. I bought the iRiver 895, which has worked great and turned out to have a better FM tuner on it.
Pros Sleek, Good Software, User Friendly, Good Sound
Cons IT DOESN'T WORK!!!! Powers Off. FM tuner non-functional
Summary I bought the Rio FORGE 256 mb Mp3 player because i read of it's quality and durability on the Rio Website. I spent 170 dollars on a device that lasted approximately four hours. I loaded it half way with my songs, started using it, and it suddenly stopped working. It also had a tendancy to turn off with the slightest jolt while it was working. I'm sure that RIO is already flooded with emails exactly like this, as i've read hundreds of complaints just like mine on internet message boards (AFTER i purchased my FORGE of course), but I just wanted to let everyone know that i'm completely disgusted that RIO would be so neglegent as to release such a horrible product and advertise it as the opposite. I wouldn't pay 10 dollars for this piece of crap, and i will be returning it tomorrow. If it actually worked, I'd love it. I found it extremely user friendly in the 4 hours I got to know it... It also had great sound, although the FM tuner didn't work AT ALL. I think RIO has a great idea, but they need to concentrate on the reliability and quality of their product before all the flashy ads. I will never be purchasing Rio products ever again.
Pros FM receiver and AudioBooks
Cons It keeps breaking down.
Summary Great little gadget but then all MP3 players are. The problem with this Rio 256 is that I have to keep replacing it because the thing keeps breaking down. I am on my 3rd replacement machine. All of my machines have been brand new. I would advise people not to buy the Rio 256 and I would advise Rio to fix their quality assurance effort.
Pros Easy operation, great battery life, small size
Cons No iTunes compatibility
Summary At first, this player was in bad shape, but after updating my firmware to v1.33 on Rio Audio's website everything works great. I suspect that many of the bad reviews here come from units without the update. This is the perfect fitness companion and it comes at a very low price. Plus I can use the SD cards which I already have for my digital camera for more audio tracks--without even hooking the unit up to my PC.