February 24, 2005

A CHALLENGE to the Cult of the iPod. Reader Anthony Williams emails:

A few weeks ago you mentioned the iRiver H320 as an alternative to the iPod. This was new to me, but I investigated and now own two! It has a first-class screen, excellent sound, good form-factor, and even plays videos made from ripped DVDs. Another bonus–I don’t have to support the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field.

I am finding the ability to play many codecs very valuable, especially OGG Vorbis, which seems superior for spoken word material. For music, I generally use WMA.

Cool. Competition is good. Though I doubt that it will make Andrew Sullivan any happier.

UPDATE: Reader Kenneth Anderson writes:

I like my iRiver. Its a little bigger than an iPod, but just as portable. The sound is indeed good, and though I haven’t yet tried to play a movie on mine, the color screen is excellent. My brother, a tech guy, suggested it because its file loading program meshes a bit better with Windows than iPod’s.

I use mine on the walk & subway to and from work in Manhattan. Most people at my firm, Davis Polk, carry iPods, so I can’t speak for any trend. But the iRiver is a pretty worthy system.

Cool.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More iRiver vs. iPod thoughts here.