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irock! 730i MP3 Player
Page 3 - Features & Conclusion
Author: Philip Lam (Phirewerkz)
Date: September 03, 2003
Category: Audio
Options: Printable Version 12 pt Times New Roman 10 pt Times New Roman 12 pt Tahoma 10 pt Tahoma

This MP3 Player is equipped with many features. Like other irock! devices, it comes equipped with A-B Programming. This allows the user to create a set start point and end point in a song. After these two points are set, the player will loop through that selected section until you press the A-B Programming button again. This is useful when you only like a portion of a song, or just want to figure out what the artist is singing.

One unique feature that many other MP3 players donít have is the ability to record. The 730i comes with a built-in microphone which allows the user to record up to 34 hours of voice recording. After recording several conversations in different circumstances, I found that the built-in recorder is pretty decent. In case if you find it's not up your standards, a microphone jack is also integrated beside the headphone jack. This MP3 Player can also be upgraded to 256MB of storage with a SmartMedia memory card.

The 730i comes with 4 playback Modes: Normal, Repeat 1, Repeat All and Random. It also comes with 5 preset Equalizer modes: Flat, Classical, Pop, Rock and Hip-Hop. What surprised me was that the Hip-Hop EQ mode had less bass than all the others, even Flat. Moderate to heavy bass comes to mind when I think of Hip-Hop; this EQ setting seems to set it to a very low bass level. Reviewing these EQ settings would be a good idea for irock!.

Another problem arose; Since the Equalizer modes are in the Options, it can not be accessed while a song is played because the button toggles between MP3i features (while music is playing) and options (when music is not playing). Unlike the irock! BLiNG!, you can only change the equalizer after the song is finished. Also, other variables included in the options menu (Backlight duration, Contrast, MP3i Default Mode, Repeat Mode) can not be accessed during music playing.

The sound quality of the irock! 730i surprised me a bit. Any music that was playing seemed to render a lower quality than heard on the computer. Some of the fault lies in the ear buds; when the same song is sampled using Sony earphones that came with my Sony MZN1, a slight increase in quality is evident but not enough to achieve the sound quality I am accustomed too. One alternative would be to convert to WMA files, because they seem to have a better sound quality than MP3s.

Overall, the 730i is a very impressive piece of equipment which clearly demonstrates its versatility by allowing the user to not only listen, but view lyrics, pictures, and text. However, there are many things that should be improved upon, such as upgrading to USB 2.0, compatibility issues, implementing more options during music playing, sound quality and possibly revamping the EQ settings. Most people may also not bother with the added MP3i feature, because it takes up more space, and may be inconvenient if the user is engaged in another activity, like basketball. At a price of $130 US, I am confident that this product will be in the hands of consumers in no time once these problems are taken care of. I give this product 3.5/5.0 because I believe that some of these problems clearly get in the way of true music listening.
Final Score

3.5 out of 5 Weird Blue Faces

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