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Prizefight: Prizefight: Cowon D2 vs. iRiver Clix

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Prizefight: Prizefight: Cowon D2 vs. iRiver Clix

5:29 /

There are a lot of cute MP3 players out there, but these two take the cake! But which one gives you the best form and function?

>> Hello, again, welcome to Prize Fight. I'm Veronica Belmont, and this is the show where I try to help you makes some sense out of the crazy gadget world out there. Today we have two petite entries into the MP3 market, the iRiver Clix and the Cullen [phonetic] D-2. At two gigabytes each, these little powerhouses are ready for round one -- sexiness. The Clix and the D-2 both share a similar form factor as you can see. They kind of look like little twins. They're both rectangular in shape with a screen taking up much of the front. I like this design because it doesn't distract from any video or images that you are viewing. Now, personally I like a minimal design and so this ridge on the Cullen D-2 here kind of ruins that effect for me. Also there's more going around the edges. You've got the volume buttons and a menu button, whereas the iRiver's buttons are more seamlessly worked into the body. Okay, I can't help myself. The iRiver is just so precious. However, the screen is a tad too small for my liking. There seems to be some room here they could have utilized on the sides. So for this round they're both going to get a 4. [ Bell ] Up next in navigation, we get hands-on with these players. Well, fingers on. [ Bell ] Unlike the iPods and Zunes of the world, these little players like to be poked like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. See? He, he, he, he, he. But they each have a different approach. With the iRiver Clix, to select the icons, you click the sides, hence the name. The interface is also very intuitive and easy on the eyes. Now, there's volume buttons along the top here and a hold switch as well over on the bottom. And alongside here we have the power switch and a smart button which changes depending on what menu you're on. Now, the Cullen D-2 also has a few side buttons but I don't find them as easy to use. It also has a dedicated menu button along here on the top which I think is pretty cool. It has an SD card slot here on the bottom, so that's good for extending the memory and a more traditional touch-screen interface. You tap twice to choose, like so. It's a nice layout, but I found the responsiveness a little lacking. Maybe it only responds to the touch of a human. I guess there are some downsides to being a Cylon [phonetic], hmmm. Anyway, the iRiver Clix is going to come out on top in this round with a 5, while the Cullen D-2 slips on the mat with a 4. [ Bell ] Okay, the Clix is only ahead by one and there's still plenty of prize fight left to go around. How do these two compare in round three -- features? [ Bell ] These tiny guys are packed with features, which is nice when compared to, say, a Nano, but that's a different battle. They both play photos which, as you can see, look quite nice. And there's also some little gems built into these devices. The iRiver Clix plays flash games and also has an alarm clock. And on the D-2, he has a little stylus right here and you can slide it into the slot and use it as a kickstand. Conveniently, the little point on the end also fits perfectly into the reset button. Now, there's nothing I can find to complain about either device, so I'll reward them both with a 5. [ Bell ] Well played, little ones, but it's time for the real test -- performance is next. Luckily both of these players sound really wonderful. Sometimes flash players have a tendency to sound a little staticky, but these ones are nice especially with high quality ear buds. Now, video on the iRiver Clix is small, but it is bright and clear. It also loads pretty fast, as it does on the D-2. The screen on the D-2 is slightly larger, but every bit of real estate helps when you're watching videos. Also you can play music while viewing photos on both devices which is always nice -- you know, mood music. The only thing annoying that I notice was on the D-2 it took a second or two for the photos to become clear and unpixelated. Also, and maybe I missed a setting somewhere, I didn't see a volume meter when I was adjusting the volume and that was a little annoying. So despite the fact that these two really impress me with their quality, once again, iRiver edges out to the front. I'm handing the iRiver another 5 and the Cullen a 4. [ Bell ] Here comes the final round. We know how great they sound, but how much of your music and videos will the player support? Compatibility is next. [ Bell ] Happily, they both play MP3, OGG, Flack, and WMA, including subscription services, and they both have FM tuners. For video the D-2 supports MPEG 4 and WMV, and includes a transcoding APP For converting Divix [phonetic] and other formats, but the Clix only support MPEG 4. Now, I didn't have the easiest time getting video on the Clix, however. There's an encoder plug-in or Windows Media Player 11 that will convert video files to the right format for the Clix, but it's not free. Now, this round is going to cost the Clix. I'm giving the Cullen D-2 a 4 and the iRiver Clix a 3. [ Bell ] The Cullen gets a 21 and the iRiver gets a 22. What a close fight. The iRiver wins the match. I have to say that I'd be happy with either of these players. They look great, sound fantastic and will meet the needs of the most discerning digital media fan. Thanks for watching. If you want to e-mail me, you can do so at prizefight@cnet.com with your suggestion for shows that you want to see. I'm Veronica Belmont, and I'll see you next time.

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