iPod vs. Rio Karma (andtheotherstooIguess): Fight!

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drac

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I'm a happy owner of a 3g-40, patiently awaiting the 4g-60.


I have a friend considering an MP3 player purchase. She has eliminated the iPod Mini because of limited capacity; the Creative and the Dell based on limited functionality; and the iRiver based on her strong visceral antipathy to the visual design.


The primary challenger to the iPod now is the Rio Karma.


Does anyone here own one? It has many clear advantages over the 20 GB iPod, but what are the disadvantages?

Let's not go down the road of visuals, because unlike me, she doesn't particularly like the appearance of the iPod. ("What? It only comes in white? You're kidding, right?") :D

So far, I have the following:
- it seems to me as if the reliability/ support offered by Rio is inferior to that offered by Apple
- While superior to Creative/iRiver software offerings, the Rio desktop software is not as good as iTunes
- the Karma has practically no third-party accessory support


I'm noticing, though, that none of those are hardware advantages! Has it really happened? Has Rio come up with a hardware design superior to that of the iPod?
 

Adam

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Aaah, mate, the iRiver doesn't need software - it doesn't get any more simple then that.

3rd party iPod accessories are overpriced and underperforming. Point out one exception to this and I'll eat my hat.
 

JazzyMac

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Hmmmm, I think maybe the point is you don't have to get any accessories for the other mp3 players (or not as much).

I for one have never put as much $$$ into my mp3 players. Wow.
 

evilgoat23

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OK having both here is my take:

Rio Karma:

- Comes with a cool dock and ethernet connectivity
- Plays Gapless and Crossfades
- Sound quality is a little better (subjective)
- Navigation is almost as good as the iPod
- Battery life is close to 14hrs
- Very few third party accessories
Finally, and this is my biggest worry about the Karma
The durability. Don't get me wrong it's built like a tank but numerous HDD failures and the scroll wheel popping off worries me. If you do decide to get one get an EXTENDED WARRANTY.

As far as the 4G iPod I'm still waiting on mine (eta Aug 4th) so I'll let these other guys fill you in.
 

evilgoat23

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ginalee said:
tell us about the iRiver accessories Adam, I really know nothing about them, what can you get as an add-on?
You have to realize that the iRiver comes with pretty much everything you'll need. Overall I'd have to say with all my DAPs I wish I had the iRiver functionality with the iPod's design and interface. the iRiver's drawback are the navigation stick and the database fuction with a 52 character limit. Otherwise it's an awesome player.
 

drac

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Yeah, folks, we've already excluded the iRiver.

So there are no problems with the Rio other than those I mentioned?
 

Adam

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[off topic]

Please tell me what accessories you would justify spending your money on for the iRiver.

Please don't try and assume you can win an argument based on features :D

[/off topic]
 

robcharlus

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drac said:
Yeah, folks, we've already excluded the iRiver.

So there are no problems with the Rio other than those I mentioned?
I think you've covered it. I assume that the 20GB size is not a problem -- this is the only size the player comes in. Sound seems to be quite good, and the gapless playback and wide support of format are also pluses. The main downside seems to be durability. There seems to be a general consensus at riovolutions.com that an extended warranty is a must. In short, the only objective drawback is durability, but it's hard to judge how significant that problem is. Most people who don't have problems don't post; a lot who do have problems do post.
 

Lone

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One thing to keep in mind, the Karma comes with Rio DJ software that allows you to make rule based playlists (smart playlists to you iTunes folk), that may or not sway your decision. Just reading online reviews, most people say the Karma is close or better than the iPod in terms of GUI. Hard drive problems are a concern; plus if you're one of those people who just have to a case for your player, the only one for the Karma is a very crappy (my opinion) third party offer.
 

enjoilax

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Adam:

the iTrip. That is soooo worth it. A radio station in your pocket, and no extra batterys? Awesome.
 

Adam

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Gapless would be my number one reason that I would get an Karma. But I just can't justify spending that much - yet.
 

ginalee

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I was really serious about my question before - is there a car charger or extra battery pack or photo storage thingy - I really have no idea.

So you'll know, I don't have any ipod add-ons, except the ones that came with it (dock remote and case) and I NEVER, repeat NEVER use them.

I just bought a new digital camera so I'm thinking about buying that media reader for the ipod. Maybe...
 

Lone

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enjoilax said:
Adam:

the iTrip. That is soooo worth it. A radio station in your pocket, and no extra batterys? Awesome.
I prefer the standard audio cassette adapter. Sounds just fine, and no music crapping out when driving under power lines and such.
 

Adam

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I'm sorry if I sounded harsh. But no, there are no accessories that I can thing of that you can get. Once again, sorry.
 

Shadow Skill

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You can get painted Ipod's there is hope....my next Ipod is going to be black and my new soney earphones (eta 5 days most likely) will match JOY!! :) I was actually thinking about taking a look at the Rio until I heard hdd failures..I would rather have a zen with a flimsy headphone jack than hdd failure. Tell her to checkout Colorware-pc.com it is alittle more expensive though and right now they only have 3g's the 4g's are coming soon though probably good that they dont have them already since the good cases havent come out yet. I just hope I can buy another 3g from there before they get rid of them all.
 

Zim

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ginalee said:
I was really serious about my question before - is there a car charger or extra battery pack or photo storage thingy - I really have no idea.

So you'll know, I don't have any ipod add-ons, except the ones that came with it (dock remote and case) and I NEVER, repeat NEVER use them.

I just bought a new digital camera so I'm thinking about buying that media reader for the ipod. Maybe...
If you go to the Rio store page

http://www.digitalnetworksna.com/shop/_templates/cat_list_accessories.asp?cat=78

I see an FM transmitter. No mention of photo storage, altho I wonder with USB 2.0 if one of the USB boxes that have been coming out lately would work with it. The photo thing has been my #1 request since iPod 1G, I'm still amazed at how weakly this feature exists over this product segment.

If the Karma charges over USB2 (does it?) then it would be easy to hack up a car-charger, battery pack connector. At least they had the sense to use an industry standard connector. I swear we'd have 10x the accessories if Apple hadn't used the #@%@% Dock connector (and controls all access to raw parts)

Best of luck,
Mike
 
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