Review of the Insignia Pilot 8GB
A what Pilot???
As I'm showing my new gadget to my friends this is the typical and not too over exaggerated conversation with a single individual.
A typical Brainwashed iPod User: “Whats that? Is it an iPod?” asks an unnamed individual.
Me: Looking at them with disgust in my eyes I say “Uh no sorry, you know me better... I hate anything that comes out of Apple, including their featureless-lockeddown-badsounding mp3 players”.
The Person with the Apple logo on their forehead: “Ok Fine what is it then?”
Me: “Well it's an Insignia Pilot”
The Person that Apple has a price tag on: “A what Pilot?”
Me: “It's an Insignia Pilot, it's Best Buy's store brand MP3 player... In all honesty this might be a store brand, but it kicks a lot of players socks off!”
The “iPod is my Life” person: “Oh really whats so good about it?”
Me: “Well were should I start? Well lets start with FM radio. This thing has FM radio and it allows you to record FM radio in the same quality that you hear it!”
iPod User that finally sees the light: “Really? I don't think an iPod can do that...”
Me: “No it can't sorry... on to the other features: It is a UMS/MSC device, basically it can mount to your computer just like a flash drive... an 8GB flash drive with blazing fast transfer speeds. Since this device works just like a hard drive it has no problems working with Windows 98 to Vista, Mac OSX, and it should have no problems with Linux.”
iPod is Still My Life Person: “Well the iPod does that too and I can put files on there, etc.”
Me: “Ok great, but does the player read those files? Does that little player know what to do with those files, or does it need it's mommy to tell it what it is... referring to iTunes”
I <3 iPod: “No unfortunately you need iTunes”
Me: “Well with this player you don't. It has a built in File Browser, so you can find your music by folders. I know you guys never use this, but that feature means the world to me. The Pilot supports pictures, videos, audio books, text files in other languages, and other features.”
My iPod this and that: “Well my iPod supports pictures and videos”
Me: “I'm sure it does, but does your iPod even have the ability to record audio?”
My iPod is Not so Great: “I guess not...”
Me: “Well this player has two headphone jacks! This way you don't need a Y splitter when you want your friends to listen to your music. Plus one of the jacks becomes the line in for audio recording from any device, and the other jack doubles to be TV-Out for you to be able to watch movies on the TV!”
Me: “To further crush your spirit, the Pilot has a universal mini-USB connection on it. What does that mean? Well it means if you have any other device that uses a mini-usb connection... phone, camera, etc. then you can use that cable to plug the device to your computer. A lot of wall/car chargers that have a mini-USB connection will also work. Motorola Razr and similar Moto phone users, your chargers should work fine with this device!”
I'm Starting to Dislike the iPod: “Wow that is pretty cool, I hate having to use special cables and buying special car adapters”
Me: “I guess I'll continue with other features.. this player also has 5 different backgrounds, so you are not stuck with the same one that every other iPod user has!”
The almighty iPod can't do that: “Yeah I hate the iPod colors, I'm so sick and tired of them”
Me: “Did you say you want to hear more features? The Pilot has is a Bluetooth device, so Bluetooth headphone/speaker
support – gotta love the sound of wireless”
Me: “Take a look at this rich looking screen! The colors are amazing on this device.”
I Want One of these Now: “That is one rich looking screen, I bet the battery life sucks on that player.”
Me: “One thing you must realize, the iPod is probably one of the worst players on the market, because it lacks all of the features and potential. So even with all of that the player gets about 25 hours of battery life!”
Me: The beauty of the flash based player is, simply the fact that it does not have any moving parts, thus if you drop it, it should be fine. Plus no moving parts, so you don't have to waste the battery life to spin that hard drive up.”
My iPod has more space: “But it's only 8GB in size, thats too small”
Me: “Well it's a much better deal then an 8GB Nano, plus it's cheaper! If your worried about space, this player has SD card support, to be exact SDHC support. That means you can use the memory cards from your point and shoot camera or vise versa. Plus you can get an 8GB SDHC card for about $60 now days. Wait until the 30GB card is released, then you will be set!”
It has memory Expandability?!?!?!: “Oh wow, so your memory options are pretty much limitless?”
Me: “Pretty much, just buy a card and your set! I should also mention, this is one of the few MP3 players that has a removable battery. So if your battery dies, you don't need to ship it off to a manufacturer, were it would be cheaper to just get a new player, you just buy another battery and install it in seconds!”
The iPod is actually pretty worthless: “This player is pretty cool, were can I get one?”
Well thats my little own way of pretty much giving a review for this device. I couldn't think of any other spiteful names for the typical iPod user, so I will just give you the features in a nice bullet list below.
- 2.4” High quality display with fantastic viewing angles!. I'm not sure if its 260k colors, but it does look like 16 million.
- The Screen doesn't scratch easy at all. I took a key to this thing and it had no problems with it.
- FM Radio
- FM recording
- Line In for audio recording
- Equalizer and presets and custom equalizer
- Shows you the next song in the playlist
- Cool LED's on the spinning wheel, don't like the wheel, you can just click
- The screen can automatically turn off after a user defined amount of time. On a Creative Zen Vision: M, you had to put it on hold for the screen to turn of...
- UMS/MSC and MTP – The best of both worlds.
- File Browser option and ID3 tag sorting
- Ability to delete files on the go
- Two headphone jacks for listening to music and for Line in and TV-out
- Universal mini-USB connection
- Good design and very slim. Smaller then the Razr!
- Good Interface, pretty easy to navigate
- Fantastic 25 hour battery life
- Can read .TXT files and supports Unicode in songs, ID3 tags, and Text files.
- Sound quality is pretty good, probably a bit better then the iPod's.
- One of the greatest features, SDHC support for unlimited storage!
- Integrates the files on the SD card with the main memory files!
- You can Change the background themes
- A good amount of options/settings that you can modify
- Works with USB wall chargers from phones and other devices (please check the the specifications before connecting. If the USB wall charger output is too much you might fry your player)
- Album Art support
- Line In and FM radio cannot record to MP3 files
- In Random play mode, you cannot go back to the previously played/skipped songs
- The headphones that come with the player are not the most pleasant to wear. I ended up using my Creative Zen Vision: M's headphones
- You can change the background themes but can't set it to be a picture, so you are limited to only 5 backgrounds, but they are pretty good looking
- When you plug this device to the computer, it looses it's song place and starts from a new song when you unplug it from the computer. This is not an issue with the wall charger, does not stop your music or anything
- You have a separate rating button, but it is kinda pointless, because you cannot sort music by ratings on the player.
- Could use a little stronger Bass
- When viewing photos, you are stuck to viewing them only one way, would be nice to switch to smaller thumbnails to be able to view more pictures at once.
- No search for finding songs.
- Does not support video files at VGA resolution – But honestly, what small player like that supports it? Well these major players don't: Cowon D2, Creative Zen, any of the iPods, Meizu M6.
- Library has to be rebuilt every time you start the player :-(
- Some minor bugs here and there
Overall, my impression of this player is great and I'm a very picky person ;-)
This player, in my opinion, is much better then the Creative Zen, has way more features!
Videos of the Pilot:
Insignia Pilot 8GB Outside
Insignia Pilot 8GB Interface
Insignia Pilot Settings Preview
Pictures of the Pilot:
Can be seen here