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    Old 04-12-03, 04:57 PM
    extremepc's Avatar
    extremepc extremepc is offline
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    Default Rio Riot

    I just wanted to tell everyone that I got the Rio Riot about two weeks ago and I LOVE it! Although the company is going out of business, pick it up anyways! You can find it now for under $150 on eBay brand new, and it's really worth it.
    It holds like 5000 songs, has a 10 hour battery life, and has a sweet screen. The USB 1.1 transfer rate is really slow for a 20GB hard drive, though.

    Once again, go get it if you are looking for a MP3 player. It does more then the iPod for more then 1/2 the price!
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    Old 04-20-03, 07:13 PM
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    Ack, it broke already. The volume up button doesn't work. That's probably because I dropped it, but don't tell Sonicblue that . Hopefully they'll be quick in fixing it, because I really do rely on that thing for entertainment.
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    Old 05-05-03, 06:20 PM
    yertle yertle is offline
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    Default my experiences

    Personally, I thought the Rio Riot really sucked. I owned one for 6 months, then sold it on eBay. I owned a Rio CD-MP3 player (the SP100, the first one), and I really liked it - great looking, good features, frequent firmware updates, etc. So, when I decided I wanted a hard drive MP3 player, I got the Riot, because it looked good. However, I was very disappointed in it for a number of reasons.

    First of all, the backlight was horrendous. It wasn't the nice blue color of my CD-MP3 player, it was a blurry, color-inverting mess. But so what, right? Who uses the backlight much... however, there were plenty of other problems.

    The player did not come with a (wired) remote, although my CD-MP3 player did, which was a fraction of the cost. The newer SP-250 CD player had a remote with an LCD on it that had song information... and they couldn't even include any sort of remote with the Riot? It was absurd. I enjoy using a remote, because I stick it in my backpack or my pocket on random, and when I hear a song I don't feel like listening to, I want to be able to skip ahead.

    Oh, I almost forgot the most glaring error of all. Obviously, this player was probably developed before Apple's iPod, and Creative's newer Nomad models. However, that is no excuse... who in their right minds would develop a 20 gigabyte drive with the only means of transferring songs being USB 1(yeah.. that's it.. ONE POINT OH... well.. actually 1.1, which is speedier, but still.. you know how fast USB is). I put around 13 gigabytes of music on it my first transfer, and it went overnight, and was still finishing up when I woke up. This is completely ridiculous... sure, for the first transfer you can leave it on overnight... but what about when you get a new album? It took like 10 minutes just to put an album on it. When I got the Riot, the iPod was out, with blazing fast FireWire... and Creative's Nomad incorporated USB 2.0. Sure, USB 1 might have been fine for the smaller HDD MP3 players... but not for 20 freakin gigs.

    So... after using the Riot for a while, and seeing what I COULD be using... I went out and bought a 20GB iPod, which was quite expensive, but also light-years ahead of the Riot in terms of features, quality, and ease-of-use. I could have gotten the 5GB player for a good amount cheaper, but I got the 20GB on eBay for a good price, so I went with it.

    There were some features that I missed about the Riot once I got the iPod. The Riot's Rio DJ was pretty cool... basically you could tell it to make a certain length playlist (15 min, 1hr, 2hr.. whatever), and you could select to play different genres of music (which it got from ID3 tags), or popular music that you play often, or songs that you don't listen to often. This was pretty cool, and is still something the iPod does not have. Additionally, I liked being able to create playlists on the player itself, instead of having to create them in MusicMatch and importing them. Even though the playlist editor on the Riot was pretty clunky, it was still nice to have. The display (sans backlight) was nice and sharp, and the wheel was a pretty good method of navigation. However, I felt like they put the wheel in, then threw all the other buttons in randomly. The menu button, etc, were just in bad places. Also, while I continue this rant, I forgot to mention something else. The hold switch is also the on/off switch. It is a 3 state switch, going from left to right: off, hold, on. This may seem like a good idea.. but imagine wanting to put your player on hold while it's playing so you can stick it in your backpack... you put pressure on the switch to switch it to hold, and it just slides right through to off. Happened to me an annoying amount of times, and I can't think that I'm that retarded.

    Basically, I felt like the Riot was nowhere near up to the standards that SonicBlue's other offerings were. It felt rushed and cheap. I felt like they didn't test the damned thing at all... if they had given it to me for 5 minutes, I could have come up with this list of problems, as could anyone else. I had always liked SonicBlue.. but the Riot made me lose my faith in them. I am not surprised they are now bankrupt, because I would guess that their other product lines took nosedives like their MP3 players. My friend bought their newest MP3-CD player, i think the SP300? The same thing had happened with it... compared to the SP-250 it was a hunk of crap. It was just awful... the display was horrible resolution, the entire thing felt cheap like it was going to break... the list of problems on that thing was near-endless.

    My final thoughts: buy an iPod. I just got the new 15GB iPod, and I will soon be posting a review/comparison of it with the older 2nd generation, which will go up on slcentral.

    I hope I didn't come off too strong here... but my feelings about the Riot were that SonicBlue bought off a lot of reviewers. I read nothing but positive reviews... but what kind of reviewer would miss that it takes 8-10 hours to transfer a reasonable amount of music to it? My only assumption is that SonicBlue persuaded them to write a favorable review, which I found despicable to the consumer actually buying the piece of crap (i.e., me).

    -Brian Nehring
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    Old 08-04-03, 08:03 AM
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    Wow, I didn't even see this post...I was looking around the site and I came across it, so I should answer, shouldn't I?

    The Rio Riot does have it's problems, the most significant, like you said, the USB 1.1. This was a big turnoff to me. It's a pain in the ass to transfer more then a few songs on the unit because it's just so slow, around 10MB/minute. Luckily, I don't have much music on my unit, so it wasn't a big turnoff to me. I do admit though, waiting so long is a pain, but for me at least, not a reason not to buy the unit.

    Also a huge turnoff for me was the fact that you could not use the drive as a backup drive, but only as a audio player. You also had to use MusicMatch Jukebox, or RealOne. I wish I could just use Explorer, like my Archos Studio 10GB that I used to use, until it broke, and Archos's goddamn tech support refused to fix it.

    I like using the Rio DJ. It was very convienent when I am, for example, on the bus to school, I can just set up 30 minutes of audio to play, and it'll do it randomlly throughout my collection of CDs on the unit. Very cool.

    I never really found the need for a wired remote, but that's just me. I agree, SonicBlue should have added it in.

    I actually liked the backlight on the unit, I thought it looked pretty cool. I am in the dark a lot when I'm using my computer at 2 AM (for some reason, I just like the lights off), so instead of having to keep a light on to see whats on the LCD screen (which I should add, looks great), I just turn on the backlight. But, like you said, Brian, not many people use the backlight that often, so it's not a big deal.

    Overall, I'd say that the RioRiot is a decent player, for the mere $150-$200 you can get it for on eBay brand new. I mean, it does what its meant to do, which is play a large amount of audio, and the sound quality is excellent, better then I've ever heard. If I was reviewing it, I'd give it most likely a 7 out of 10.
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