Review: iRiver iFP-899

On Saturday, I received the iRiver iFP-899 I won on eBay. I immediately messed around with it for two hours. I must’ve made 5 unpublished podcasts that day.😀

Initial thoughts

I like the size and shape. Since it’s triangular, the built-in mic can point at a certain direction for a more optimal positioning. The menus aren’t as simple as an iPod — there’s a learning curve with the click, long click, etc.

Size comparison of an iRiver iFP-899 and lip balm

Size comparison of an iRiver iFP-899 and lip balm

Recording

I’m trying to figure out optimal settings for the Line-In Record Volume. 40 might be the best when using my Griffin Lapel Mic. 30 might be good when recording a band practice [using the built-in mic] in the garage, and I set it as far away from the drums and amps as possible.

I think it sounds awesome compared to using my iPod + Griffin iTalk.

File management

I have to put up with iRiver Music Manager. (I haven’t found a freeware or open source alternative.) What I’m happy about is that I can drag files from iTunes onto it. What does that mean? I can setup a smart playlist in iTunes and drag the songs into the iRiver Music Manager window, rather than navigating through folders in Windows Explorer. Sweet!

I don’t like that any recordings I make don’t have timestamps. I figure if I can set the clock on the device, it should be able to keep track of that.

FM Radio

What can I say? If I ever get bored with my MP3s while I’m walking around with my iRiver, I’ll just switch to FM radio. The headphone cord is used as an antenna – it sounds fine. Recording radio works remarkably well.

Conclusion

I’m stoked! I haven’t tested it out in school yet, but tomorrow, I’ll record the lectures and see how they come out. Recording lectures is the main purpose for it, and secondary uses include sporadic podcasts, recording band practice, and if I can figure out the proper settings, maybe even recording live concerts.

Note: The latest iRiver Ulta Portable Player (T10 Series) don’t include the Line-In jack. That’s why I didn’t opt for those.

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. He's also a photographer, card magician, and cat whisperer. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!)

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