iRiver T30 review: iRiver T30

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Reviewed:

The Good Supports subscription WMA files; small and light; solid audio quality; voice and line-in recording.

The Bad No FM radio; occasional glitches in playing subscription downloads.

The Bottom Line The T30 is a basic player by iRiver standards, but Janus support makes it an attractive flash-based device.

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iRiver T30

Although they're often considered well designed and comprehensive, iRiver's digital music players can also be somewhat complicated. By the company's standards, the 512MB T30 is rather straightforward both in appearance and operation. The big attractions for this streamlined version of the iRiver T10 is its support of subscription music downloads and its price. The 512MB version retails for $100, and the 1GB version is available for $150.

At 2.4 by 1.2 by 1.9 inches and weighing 1 ounce, the iRiver T30 is ideal for using while working out. Slip it into a shirt pocket, and you'll hardly notice it's there. The dull black and silver plastic case of our 512MB test model isn't particularly striking--the 1GB version is a little more stunning in red--and the player lacks the joystick controls found on other flash-based iRiver devices. But the T30's simplicity will appeal to MP3 novices.

The most common compliant regarding iRiver's players has been the abstruse, techie user interface. Operating the T30, however, is fairly straightforward: Press and hold the Menu button to access the Browser (the music directory), the recording settings, and the system settings. Some users, though, will still balk at having to decode the process of setting up shuffle/repeat modes.

The iRiver T30 plays MP3, OGG, and DRM-protected WMA files, including those downloaded from subscription services such as Napster To Go and Yahoo Music Unlimited. Although we had no trouble transferring Janus files using Napster and Windows Media Player, we experienced occasional dropouts during playback of those tracks. The company just released some Janus-related firmware, however, which may address this problem; it explicitly applies to Rhapsody To Go content.

Otherwise, the iRiver T30 is a pretty basic player. You get voice and line-in recording, though unlike the more advanced T10, it has no FM tuner. This is a little strange to us, as an FM tuner seems like the more basic feature to have. The T30 also offers SRS effects, a five-band user-defined EQ, and the ability to control playback speed.

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Where to Buy See all prices

iRiver T30 (1GB, red)

Part Number: T301GB
Low Price: $179.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Built-in Display LCD
  • Run Time (Up To) 20 hour(s)
  • Capacity 1 GB
  • Color rose red
  • Weight 1 oz
  • Supported Digital Audio Standards ASF
    MP3
    Ogg Vorbis
    WMA
  • Installed Size 1 GB
  • Type 2 years warranty
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type digital player