My initial impressions of my new Ibiza Rhapsody
I want to love the Ibiza and in may ways I do but there are some serious issues that need working out before it is a serious contender. If these issues aren't resolved soon it is going back to amazon before my 30 day return period is up. If they get resolved then Iím going to be one happy camper because this will be the best DAP of all time.
Verdict so far:
Serious issue # 1 - After watching a few videos I get error messages that require me to shut off the player and turn it back on. It then works again. These are the videos that come on the device. I haven't even tried my own yet. I was however glad to see that videos (unlike podcasts) auto-resume from where you left off - although Iím not sure if this survives a power off.
Serious issue # 2 - Videos have no timeline! Thats inexcusable. How do you know where you are in a video, or how long it is? FF or RW is a joke when you donít have any kind of time reference. Iím not just talking about AOL videos but even the ones on the hard drive.
Serious issue # 3 - Buttons often donít respond to being pressed. I will try to trouble shoot more and be more specific in a later post. Even play/pause sometimes doesnít work (even if I press once and wait a while) - other times it works great. This doesnít seem to be an issue of just waiting for the progress circle to stop spinning and complete the action. Related to this, when an action is waiting to be completed the Ibiza should not allow people to continue to scroll around like it didnít register the action. All input should stop until the action is completed.
Annoyance # 1 - Adding channels from the Ibiza doesnít work. It says it is adding them but it doesnít.
Annoyance # 2 - Under Rhapsody the ďMy TracksĒ entry should sort by Artist/Album/Track. The way it is now it shows all tracks from all artists in one long messy list. Going to ďMy ArtistĒ is also a problem because it doesnít let you list your library tracks from this artist. Because of this if I knew I had a favorite song by a an artist Iíd have a hard time finding it if I didnít first know the exact name of the song and scroll through a huge list of songs from every artist.
Annoyance # 3 - No way to delete artists, albums or tracks from Rhapsody Library without using a computer. This should be allowed from the Ibiza.
Annoyance # 4 - No way to add tracks to Rhapsody playlists. You can add tracks to playlists from ďMy MusicĒ but not from Rhapsody.
Annoyance # 5 - No auto-resume on podcasts. Podcasts are nearly useless without auto-resume. Even if it was just on ones that were downloaded to the hard drive it would be much better than it is now and Iím sure much easier to implement than on the streaming ones.
Annoyance # 6 - No way to tell if the podcast you are looking at is an audio or video podcast (this is in the huge podcast index). I should also be able to tell what I have listened to.
Annoyance # 7 - Bluetooth skips badly on my fully charged Motorola S9 headset. The sound quality is also very poor. When using this S9 headset with my Motorola Q phone it didnít skip and sounded much better. The controls on the headset were also not very responsive with the Ibiza.
Annoyance # 8 - While it turns out that I find the player nice looking in person and well built overall, the barcode sticker on the back looks bad - the white silk screening on the rubber also doesnít look great and isnít likely to hold up to wear. Also, when I received the player from amazon it was sealed with a starburst sticker on the outside but there was a broken ďvoidĒ sticker on the box. The plastic screen cover on the Ibiza also looked like it had been taken off and put back on by someone eating potato chips.
Annoyance # 9 - Could the cost of 60GB hard drives been that much more than the 30s? Both are outdated by todays standards but 30 is really small.
Annoyance # 10 - Sound from hard drive and even the screen (backlight?) is audible at times - through the headphones.
Some mostly positive comments:
The sound quality is really great - Iím using Shure 530ís. Iím not an audiophile but I think it sounds as good or better than my Creative Zen M. I donít care about the EQ because I prefer to leave it flat anyways - I do understand this is important to others however and should be added. The skins are fun and well done. Having Rhapsody available on a DAP is too cool for words - truly a killer app. Other than the refinements and bug fixes that I mentioned above Rhapsody is implemented very well. Podcasting will be great when they add auto-resume - until then it is not worth using. Big points for the glass screen. Quality of the screen looks good but brightness should be adjustable and Iíd like the option to keep the backlight on when it is plugged in.
If the developers are as dedicated as they seem to be about getting the kinks worked out of this player it could be the best DAP I could imagine - other than drive size. I know it sounds like I donít like it but I really do. I see itís potential but as of now it is not living up to it.
Iím going to wait a week or two to post reviews on CNET, Amazon, etc. so that the developers have a chance to respond and correct me on anything I may have gotten wrong. As of right now I'd give it a 3/5 stars. 3.5 if amazon would let me.
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