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Years ago, the problem of organizing music for me did not exist. On the family computer, all my assortment of MP3 files was clearly decomposed into folders with the artist's name and album name (ID3 tags did not really interest me at all). The audio discs we listened on the way to our MP3 / CD player were arranged in perfect order on the shelves. Sometimes we cut MP3-disks, they can not be tangled in the assortment on them, so the structure of the folders when transferring music from the hard disk to the CD was preserved.

It was a golden time. He would also live more quietly, if not progress, interest in the newly-made glands is also an inclination to carry branded disks with him. The ideal variation is a player with a hard drive. If the assortment grows at a speed of 5-10 disks a week, a large memory capacity on a portable device is converted into an urgent need. Even in a 20-gigabyte model, a decent amount of music can fit. Further - better: at what time in the player is a hard drive for 40 gigabytes, it is allowed to say goodbye to the computer for a long time.

When the assortment of digital music reaches certain sizes, maintaining the routine in it (whether on a computer or in a pocket player) starts to charge more and more effort.

Let's say that the musical assortment is digitized, but all the tracks contain complete data on the composition. In this case, the portable player only needs one thing: the ability to quickly find the desired album or song. Most of the players provide a search for the desired song or album through the artist name or album name. Almost certainly not the only manufacturer of players offering a pair of different types of sorting tracks, remains Iriver. We will also begin with it.


Players iRiver, both on the basis of the hard drive, and also based on flash memory, are very easy to use. First, it is also possible to do without a program for organizing music copying on a computer. It is enough to connect the player also to copy the data. On the player itself, the desired track is simply searched in its directory.

The advantages of this approach are that it is not necessary to take care of tags in music files. It's enough to decompose the music into folders and transfer them to the player. This is almost not the only possible means of normal listening to collections of songs such as "from the universe to the thread." At me such collection (a folder "Miscellaneous") occupies about one and a half gigabytes and also, if to feed to its program or the device with sorting on the executor or an album it simply crawls on a playlist - you will not gather back in any way.

The disadvantage of this approach is also: the impossibility of searching by data from ID3-tags. Without this, you are allowed to do without, if you have a filled mess in your tags, there is also no time to bring the economy into order. But if all or about all the music is digitized from disks, it is also tagged with other information, then it's much faster to find an artist also an album than to dig in hundreds, but also thousands of folders with music.

In Iriver players, another way is also possible, but using your own software. To me such a tool would not be extremely convenient. Firstly, I would like to do without unnecessary programs. Secondly, although the software from iRiver is well done, but in terms of functionality even inferior to Winamp, not to mention monsters like iTunes.

It would be logical to expect compatibility with Windows Media Player, but the practice illustrates that even officially compatibility with this program does not guarantee there is no problem. Players often work with the offspring of Microsoft ... so-so. Often, the speed of transferring data from the computer to the player leaves you want a favorite.

In any case, the undoubted plus of iRiver players is that the manufacturer advises a couple of ways of organizing music. Other companies do not alienate such freedom of election. In addition, iRiver operates its players user-friendly, but not for record companies: music can be copied not only from the computer to the player, but also from the player to the computer. This is an undoubted advantage.

In practice, the "comfort" of the iRiver player interface has been tested on H-10 models also H-340. In the main case, we own a compact player with a hard drive of five gigabytes. The search is allowed to lead or to folders with music, or according to information about the performer also other things. In both cases, the search for the desired track is quite convenient.

The impression of a stiff sensory strip is hardly worsen. Unlike the touch-sensitive wheel in the iPod, the iRiver's touchband seems extremely stiff. The player does not immediately get to scroll through a large list of files.

The absence of a control panel in the standard set seems to make the navigation process "on the move" easier. With the speed of updating the menu, however, everything is in order. The player thinks a little at the entrance to the main menu, however in the submenu also the built-in file browser everything works without delays.

Model H-340 pleased with the button of a hurried transition to the file browser also the possibility of instant switching of playback modes. The general verdict for these pair of players: due to a couple of options for sorting the music assortment, iRiver generally wins two points from competitors. If you consider the players only in terms of ease of use, then iRiver is in no way inferior to competitors, although it also lacks some useful features, such as searching for files of songs or more clear control. In any case, the first task is solved - the desired track is in a hurry also without problems. Of course, if you have not forgotten in which directory it is located.


Creative also contracted a "sensory" disease. The Zen Touch model uses a sensor strip, but it is much easier to work with it than with a similar control element in iRiver players or with a mechanical swinging key in Zen Xtra.

Advantage of Creative players on the hard disk: the ability to search by artist name, album name or song. True, only in English. The obvious flaw: with impressive volumes of music assortment, the player starts terribly to slow down the list of all performers, or even worse, of all the albums.

The "thoughtfulness" of Creative's players is also manifested in the buddy: they turn on instantly, however they react to the shutdown command for seconds through 15. A very annoying moment, although Creative generally has very high quality players with excellent sound. And, essence, very competitive in price.

Otherwise no miracles. Search by data from tags to files. Of course, the collections are only allowed to be found by the name of the album - in the list of performers they are scattered by numerous creators. This is not exactly what you need. For objectivity, it must be said that the ability to group collections is only for software players, hardware devices have not yet learned this. Management is quite clear and simple, if not slow down.

The general verdict: a fat plus for the ability to search is also a fat minus for "brakes". Which of the following is more important - to elect you. I would like to mention a separate button in Zen Touch, which includes Shuffle mode.

The first also the main "chip" of this player was the mechanical, but then the touch wheel of the scrolling, which also gives the answer for navigation. We can say that Apple this functional element was a success. The wheel exactly follows your instructions, stopping there, in which place you also need to hastily scroll through the long lists of performers.

On the other hand, in addition to watching music by artist, album or style, nothing is not. The search is in the absence, however, the switching of the playback modes for some reason was tucked into the settings section (in new versions of the firmware this omission was corrected).

Despite this, the available funds are enough. Finding the right composition is easy enough. Even the impressive assortment of music does not cause any difficulties - the player does not hesitate to display thousands of lists of songs.

Very upsetting that the player does not know how to group collections into a separate folder. As already mentioned, this function is not present in hardware players at all, but in iTunes this function is available.

Another plus is the ability to create smart playlists in iTunes and also transfer them to the iPod. Thus it is allowed to make a dynamically updated music playlist with a rating of 4 or 5 stars. If some song from this list gets bored, it is allowed to "throw" it out of the playlist by pressing two buttons.

There are no functions for creating playlists directly on the player - you can only eat the possibility of adding also entire albums to the On-The-Go playlist. In general, if not to calculate iRiver in any way, the system of organization in Apple iPod seemed the most convenient, although the search still would not be in the way.

Players of other manufacturers in any other way copy the presented schemes of the organization of music. Alas, none of the players can not be called ideal in terms of ease of use, if the word is moving about the work with an assortment of five also more than thousands of tracks. The main disadvantages: musical collections in no way stand out, they are difficult to find in the digital library; information from tags often have to be corrected (even if it is correct), so that, for example, you can group similar albums under one performer.

Especially difficult with the classics - here in stock, as a position, there is information about the composer, performer or conductor, the name of the creation is also information about the specific elements of this work. In databases of CDs of the freedb type, these data are shoved like a god on the soul. Sometimes the information about the track is recorded in the artist's field, as a result of which the disc is almost impossible to find in the database. You understand how much time you have to spend on that, in order to bring the range in order. Sometimes the only way out really seems to be breaking music into folders according to one's own preferences - so it's definitely allowed to find something. The real solution to the problem is the release of players (or the update of existing ones) with full support of one of the popular programs for work with music. Let it be a real iPod, but with full support for the functions of iTunes. Or another player with Windows Media Player support. Alas, so far up to this "perfection" in the distance. Although Creative has also created a fairly successful MediaSource software package, it's a blessing with it, which is also with iTunes - it is compatible only with "its" players. With the obvious need for a universal solution. So now it's time to create your own musical assortment for listening to the building also in the route on a portable device - these are solid compromises.