Monday, June 23, 2008

iriver Lplayer Seeks Battle-royale with Apple nano

iriver’s latest player release, the Lplayer, screams screen. Its most striking element is the uncluttered façade. Donning nothing but its a 2-inch screen, this pint-sized picture-show player costs less than a nano. Making no secret of the fact that Lplayers seek a stake in the Apple dominated portable media player (PMP) market.

But, despite the fact the LPlayer is decked out with more than nanos, like an AM/FM radio, voice recorder, and showing up as a drive on our computer, the sale of Lplayers will only comprise a small percentage of the total PMP market. The iriver brand needs a marketing plan, for tech savvy cities, that targets people burned by Apple or that talks about regaining control over your music, sans iTunes; hate works for presidential campaigns. Why not here?

Lplayers use D*click, the same button-free touch controlled user interface as its cousin, iriver Clix. Pressing the sides and corners of the screen allows intuitive control over menus, movies, and music. Some things are a little buried in the menu system, or awkward to activate (like the EQ?), but these are not insurmountable issues.

As with the nano, you have to buy new headphones to make this thing sing on key, and Shure offers up some splendid sets to do this.

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