Pros Awesome colour display. Amazing output!
Cons NONE! I don't listen to friggin' FM!
Summary I recently purchased this unit, and after reading the review CNET wrote, I found the cons to be a little far off. I had no problem adding digital pics to my unit. I simply added them to 'My Pictures' folder in WinXP and synchronized it. The photos were on my Gigabeat for viewing.
The sound output was awesome. The presets are more than enough (14 or something) to play with. The cradle and software came with it out of the box. And as an ex-Ipoder, that was a nice touch considering every feature on an IPOD costs extra!
The screen size is huge compared to other players and the LCD quality is the best I have ever seen on any device this size.
Overall, my Gigabeat is a real winner. Thanks Toshiba!!!
Pros great screen, loud enough to damge your hearing, and clear great pictures
Cons the software could be better
Summary I loved it when I got it. I got fustrated with how the software works but you'll get used to it. The screen was bright and so clear it couldn't be better. You'll have fun playing around with it: looking at screen themes, picking your wallpaper, etc. I can tell you it's definatly worth your money
Pros Color screen, comes with cradle, and has SRSWOW
Cons None (For Me), software, and getting used to (you)
Summary For $294.99, I have to say this HD player is pretty good. The sound quality is the same as the ipod (I can't tell the difference). The added feature of SRS WOW lets you enahce the sound quality, but its not that great. I suggest setting it to SRS2 for optimal listening. The size is perfect compared to other HD based players in the market and the color variety is cause for pause. The software is reportedly a bit shaky and crappy, but so far I have not had any problems with it (been using it for two days, so dont take my word for it). In my opinion the software is for advanced users, you use the file directory method to get music into the player (and alot of people I know are only drag and drop fans. In essence this is one good mp3 player for those who want something besides an ipod. The F20 also has a photoviewer, and in my opinion it is THE BEST i have ever seen. Sharp picture quality and stunning detail, its the best feature of the F20. Heck, the gigabeat is nothing compared to the the ipod when it comes to ease fo use, b ut overall if tech doesnt scare you, this baby is for you.
By the way the Plus touch control thing on the front takes some getting used to, took me about 30 min. The CD transfer button on the craddle is a blessing too.
email me at email@example.com,and I will let you know how the F20 is so far and etc.
happy mp3 hunting!
"This DAP is hot!"on by goshon
Pros Great style, huge color screen, solid construction
Cons a new firmware update would make it perfect.
Summary I own the 60 Gig monster, and I was pleased from the beginning. The navigation took some getting used to, but I have it down now (I have had it only one week). The battery life is long, especially with the screen off when playing songs. By default it dims after 20 seconds, and stays on. The first day I listened to it all day, and battery came close to running out after about 14 hours. Without the screen on, I listen to it all day and battery is still displayed at full! I have a couple of gripes about the player functionality which could be fixed with a firmware update. Also, the volume doesn't get REALLY loud (it is loud enough for me, and I like it pretty loud) like other players, but sound quality is top notch. Included earbuds seem nice but don't fit my ears. The 60 Gb model comes with the dock and in line remote, which were both welcome additions. The inline remote makes my cord to be too long, though, and I like to look at the beautiful color screen anyway (photos look great BTW). Overall, I am very happy, and encourage the progress of technology that is absent in Apple products.
Pros Very well put together
Cons Learning Curve,
Summary As a musician and all around music lover, the thought of me waiting so long to get an MP3 player seems unconceivable. Yet, here I am, years after the iPod boom, FINALLY getting in on the act. Time to retire my Sony Atrac "MP3" player, and get a true DAP, but where, oh where to begin?
After studying my friend's CL Zen Nomad, and my coworker's iPod, I set off to Best Buy, and carefully examined each MP3 player of the course of about an hour. In the end, between an iPod 60 gig w/ video, a 40 gig CL Zen, and a 40 gig Tosh Gigabeat, the Toshiba blew the others away.
The initial strengths really don't need much emphasis: the eye-poppingly beautiful display said more in a still picture than the 60 gig iPod was saying with a disappointingly low-res, chugging video. Plus the gigabeat's screen was beigger and brighter. The build and contruction is very well put together, and looks more professional than either the Zen or the Ipod. The "Plus Touch" control panel, the side keys, and the remote (only comes packaged with F40 and F60 models) made navigation smooth (mostly).
This particular DAP's flaws need more depth, because they can, for the most part, be overcome. The biggest hang up by far is user interface. While the software/firmware updates are already beginning (GB Room 3.0 is available for download now), I've only used the packaged GB Room 2.0, so that's what I'll review on. The Gigabeat Room software is confusing, and the traditional "drag and drop" technique can't be performed- conventionally. After some research and BBS visits, I realized drag and drop can be performed in Windows Explorer, but you must click on "Refresh Library" within GB Room. Sadly, this is not mentioned in the manual. But, why am I complaining? I'm a man- what's an instruction manual? ; )
Many other initial "quirks" such as menu navigation, scrolling speed, to Album Art quality that baffle most (including the CNet reviewer, I noticed) can be sidestepped, again with no mention in the manual. Another nice trick is to defrag the drive to streamline the performance, although there again, is no mention in the manual that this can be done. All Gigabeat owners, if you haven't already, please visit this site: http://www.mygigabeat.com/forum/threads.cfm?forumid=1E5DC6A7-3048-2906-EAD2F731BC87FDB2. More than a wealth of information that can prevent you from returning this worthy device out of frustration.
Another flaw is the encryption. The biggest reason I've avoided Apple by far is the result of a scathing critique I read about a year ago in an issue of Business Week. They blasted Apple for the iTunes format, which they claimed was of the same nature they sued Micro$oft for, IE: iTunes will only play on certain Apple-approved stereos. Well, not so, for me- I'll get an MP3 player which can transfer between devices. Kind of. All files being transferred through WMP or Gigabeat Room are encrypted to a .SAT format. While irritating, there is apparently a back door in which dragging and dropping files while avoiding the transfer software apparently puts the songs into the player in initial MP3 and WAV formats.
In some cases though, Toshiba's anti-piracy stance works out for the better- the Digital Media Rights software being put on many new discs (Velvet Revolver and Foo Fighters are two that I've been aware of) is incompatible with Apple devices. So should you happen to buy VR's Contraband album, you wont be able to transfer the music to your iPod without buying each track of your already purchased CD through iTunes. The Gigabeat, however, is Play-For-Sure approved, and copywrited materials like the anti-piracy formatted CDs now for sale are compatible.
The only two complaints I've yet heard that don't have an immediate solution are the camera backup and song sort complaints. No, you won't be able to see photos you've transferred directly from the camera unless you go into Gigabeat room to format the photos. While this is a turnoff for some, I still don't mind, as this feature still saves me having to buy an expensive memory card.
As for the lack of sort-by-song-title, I'm not too worked up over this one, because scrolling through 10,000 songs seems even more troublesome. If you still want an easier way to access a song quickly, make a strong, consistent folder system. Don't group 4,000 songs into a folder titled "Rock;" group them into "Classic Rock," "Psychadelic Rock," "British Invasion," "Progressive Rock," "Grunge," etc., don't lump 4,000 rap songs under "Rap" - "East Coast," "West Coast," "Old School," "Gangsta," "Crossover," etc. will whittle your frustration down big time.
For all its flaws there are answers. Which is why I must call it "quirky," and why the con here is the "Learning Curve" needed to get sidestep all the obstacles. To their credit, Toshiba's Gigabeat is still a fledgling in the market, a butterfly fresh out of its cocoon, beatiful yes, but it can't fly right away. Yes, Toshiba made a few glaring interface blunders, but this is their first attempt at the market. This is the only reason I didn't give the device a 10. Does it play music? Very well, with only a little distortion on highest volume/bass songs (I believe this is due to the limitations of the ear buds, though). Does it's display give you all the bang for the buck? And then some! It sets out to do what it was intended to do, which is always good for a seven at least, but the beauty of the screen, and the durable construction give it more value in my book. The sidestepping and extra work involved in some tasks take away from its joy. I remain optimistic that with a few nice firmware/software updates (there is already a new Gigabeat Room 3.0 out), this will be one of the top DAPs money can buy.