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Subject: First experience of iRiver H-140

First experience of iRiver H-140

From: Dave Chapman <dave_at_dchapman.com>
Date: 2005-01-15

My new H-140 arrived today, and here are my first impressions, from the
point of view of a long-time Rockbox user on the Archos JBR.

Firstly, size and weight. The iRiver is slightly smaller and slightly
lighter than the JBR, but not significantly. Most of the perceived size
difference is due to the lack of bumpers on the four corners and the
curved battery compartments on the archos.

The iRiver has the more standard USB "B" socket on it, so that's more
convenient than Archos's choice of using an A socket. The screen is
much larger, and the other physical difference is that the iRiver's
buttons are spread around the unit - some on the front, and others on
the left and right sides. On the Archos they are all together on the front.

Now to playback - most of the files I listen to on my Archos are
"time-shifted" recordings from digital radio - these are MP2 files. So
my first test was to copy some of these to the iRiver.

These ".mp2" files weren't even recognised in the file browser. I then
tried the obvious hack and renamed them to ".mp3". The iRiver still
didn't play them. So my new "multi-codec jukebox" can't play 90% of the
files on my old Archos...

My next test was a .wma file that I recorded from a webcast. This was a
48KHz Stereo 128kbps file. The iRiver didn't like this - there was
constant clicking during playback and it also seemed to be playing back
slower than it should be. My best guess is that the iRiver was playing
it back at 44.1KHz.

I then tried out the WAV playback by converting a short 48KHz ".mp2"
file to a 48KHz WAV. This played back perfectly. Not trusting my
hearing 100%, I double-checked that the iRiver was indeed playing back
at 48KHz by playing the file back simultaneously on both my PC and
iRiver. They stayed in perfect sync. So at least I know there are no
hardware problems with 48KHz playback.

I then compressed that WAV file to .ogg using the default settings of
"oggenc" - I just typed "oggenc file.wav", which gave me an average
bitrate of 107.0 kb/s. The iRiver refused to play this file -
attempting to play it just caused it to think for a few seconds and then
move on to the next file in at directory.

Next test was a 48KHz MP3 - no problems there.

I then converted my WAV file to 44.1KHz and then re-encoded to ogg -
again, no problems.

As a final test, I re-encoded my 44.1KHz WAV file to a 192kbps MP2 using
"toolame". This failed in the same way as my 48KHz MP2 files.

So to conclude:

OGG - only works at 44.1Khz, not 48KHz
MP2 - no playback at either frequency
WMA - doesn't work at 48KHz
WAV/MP3 - works at both frequencies.

But apart from the fact that the iRiver can't play back any of my
recordings, I'm happy I bought it and I think I would recommend it as an
upgrade to any other Archos owners - assuming we can get Rockbox working.

Regards,

Dave.
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Received on Sat Jan 15 13:28:27 2005


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