Hands-on with Cowon's iAudio F2

Cowon's iAudio F2 supports both FLAC and OGG, plus you can use it with that Ubuntu Linux PC you've just bought from Dell. What more could an open-source-loving music fan want?

If you're l33t enough to know what FLAC is, take note. We've got Cowon's iAudio F2 MP3 player in the house and it supports FLAC -- and OGG! Very few players do, but since this guy can be hooked up to a Linux PC too, it's truly an open-sourcer's ideal personal audio device.

Okay, so looks-wise it's nothing special. It's super-compact and has a little colour LCD screen that will play back video clips. Cowon has decided to emboss 'Digital Audio Player' into the side of the casing  -- perhaps because we might confuse it with a Bluetooth headset, crossed with a mini mobile phone.

The buttons are unusually placed, making operation about as pleasant as being punched in the face. However, we're guessing this isn't a player for technophobes. With a whole heap of options to sort through, a plethora of supported codecs and an unfriendly navigation system, only hardened geeks are going to want this.

There's a direct recording option thanks to a line-in socket, but the maximum memory capacity is 2GB. Why the hell would you put just 2GB of memory in a player that supports lossless audio and direct line-in recording? The mind boggles.

The iAudio F2 costs a rather steep £110 and is on sale now. You can expect our full review very soon here on CNET.co.uk. -Nate Lanxon

Update: A Cowon iAudio F2 review is now on the site

 

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