Pros Bluetooth, Wifi, Rhapsody integration, Podcast integration
Cons Only 30GB, battery life, a few bugs, price
Summary First I want to say don't review a product you don't own. I've only had this for a couple days but I do actually own one.
First this device is heavy on features. Bluetooth and wifi with Rhapsody integration is really nice. You get access to the full Rhapsody library right on the device, no computer necessary. You can also subscribe to audio podcasts and download them right on the device. And bluetooth playback is awesome! I also love the interface. It's quite attractive and completely themeable with airskins.
On the negative side the device still has a few bugs in the software. When downloading the device slows down noticeably. It also seems that the DRM on Rhapsody tracks affects performance. The gap between Rhapsody tracks can be as long as 5 seconds. Playing my own DRM free MP3's, the gap between tracks is only a few tenths of a second.
There's also a few missing features like bookmarking (absolutely necessary when listening to long podcasts)and video podcasts. Fortunately the developers are actively seeking input from users and have indicated that those features should be added in a future firmware. Some people have also complained about the lack of an EQ. I think it sounds quite nice without, but that may be a necessity for others.
Overall I think this is a good device with the potential to be better with a few firmware updates. If they fix a couple of the bugs and add a few more features, I wouldn't hesitate to give it a 9. As it is right now I think it's a solid 7.Updated
I've now had the ibiza for 4 months and I'm happy to say it's better now than when I bought it. Several firmware updates have been released that have improved the player signficantly.
First for those that require it, they've added equalizer presets. It's not a full blown parametric EQ, but it does offer 8 presets in addition to off.
Second they've improved performance dramatically. The gap between tracks has been shortened to well under 1 second. It's still not gapless, but it's dramatically better than it was. They've also shortened the boot time of the device from 45 seconds down to about 20.
Third they've added Audible support. It's currently only available in the beta firmware, but it will be publicly available by mid April. The one drawback right now is that Audible books don't sound good when listened to with Bluetooth headphones. They do however sound great with regular headphones.
And finally they might be adding Flickr integration. It's currently in the beta release but it might not be included in the final release. I hope it is because it works quite well. Currently you can view all of the photos in your account, search all public photos and download any picture to the device for offline viewing.
I would now say with all the bug fixes and additional feature the ibiza is a solid 9. The only drawback now is lackluster video support. Fortunately they've said that's the next big feature improvement in the queue. I can't wait to see what they come up with!!
Pros Many features (internet radio, bluetooth)- continuous development - online community
Cons battery life, but outlasts many bluetooth headsets
Summary I got an Ibiza about a month ago and have had plenty of time to try it out. For the money this a great gadget that easily outperforms the competition in features and space. (Considering that many flash players are entering this price range.)
There is now updated firmware that fixes nearly all problems that are expressed in the editors reviews: New EQ settings, Better Bluetooth compatibility, and several internet features that make the product even better.
The online community provides fast feedback and continuous support for concerns and future software updates. They allow limited distribution of the products software for developers who wish to tinker. This allows for faster firmware improvements and upgrades.
Also, using airskin creator allows for very customizable displays in minutes. I have been very satisfied so far and can imagine that with future firmware updates the product will only improve. I use the device with a pair of Logitech Free-pulse Headphones and it looks very slick – people express a lot of interest.
Pros Rhapsody interface is fantastic, WiFi access to entire rhapsody catalog, Really well thought out; intuitive controls
Cons Weak WiFi signal, Battery life
Summary If you're a "rhapsody to go" user, you'll really enjoy this player; Certainly one of the very best players for rhapsody.
It would still be a solid player for those not using rhapsody, but there are many more options out there to choose from that are equally as good.
User interface is very well designed.
The firmware upgrades (that are continually being updated) have greatly improved this player and CNET should consider updating their review.
WiFi signal is weak; my PDA in the same room pics up far more signals. And the battery life needs to improve also. Neither issue is a problem for myself, but I could see how it would be for a lot of users.
Bottom line: This is the player to get if you want a large volume rhapsody player. The WiFi connection gives you access to the million plus songs in the rhapsody catalog, that's pretty amazing if you ask me. If you don't plan on subscribing to rhapsody I would say it's just above the middle of the pack.
Interaction with the programming staff on the Ibiza website is pretty cool. They really are responsive to customer feedback and firmware upgrades seem to take user opinions to heart.
Pros I received the Ibiza as a Christmas gift last year and a year later I haven't used my IPod in almost a year! The WiFi feature not only allows me to search, listen and download directly from Rhapsody but the firmware improvements can be downloaded!
Cons I can honestly say I only use my Ibiza for music, not for the video or podcast features so I haven't had any major problems or glitches. Any I have had have been solved by the great forum for users I am a part of.
Summary This is hands down the best Mp3 player I have ever owned. If they marketed this product better and more people knew about it and used it it would give IPod a run for it's money! I also love the bluetooth feature, Haier has come out with great accessories including a great bluetooth headset which can be paired with your phone, audio dock and FM transmitter! All in all a gret product getting better and improving all the time. I love it and it works great for what I use it for, and having Rhapsody at your fingertips without a PC makes it even better!
Pros Love the current feature set.
Summary Make this into a 100+Gig device, and put in an HD radio receiver (I mean, hey, you have the antenna, just put in the software), I'd be ALL OVER this thing.
I still don't know why MP3 makers aren't making the switch to HD radio. The first player to do that would certainly give the iPod a run for it's money.