Cowon iAudio 7 MP3 Player

Cowon iAudio 7

The Cowon iAudio 7 is a flash-based portable media player that looks promising at first, with its sleek black design, fascinating button placement, and a long battery life. However, once you turn on the 1.3-inch LCD screen, you would see a lot of imperfections.

The iAudio 7 has a horizontal orientation for video playback purposes, wherein the LCD screen is placed on the left half of the front panel while three touch-sensitive multifunction controls (that looks like a percentage sign) are located on the right side. It also contains a line-in jack for recording and a headphone jack, as well as a mini USB port. Other features include an already-installed media software and a pair of earphones that gives a respectable bass sound.

The images in the screen appear lousy, while the video has to be resized before it would work on the player. The player, meanwhile, can only support JPEG image files as well as AVI, Xvid, and MPEG4 video files. This is in contrast to its powerful audio, fair audio file support, and customizable EQ settings. The audio file support can handle MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, and WAV. However, it doesn’t play AAC (music files in iPod).

Navigation is a challenge in iAudio, especially when you don’t have an eagle eye to view those tiny preview images. The buttons, meanwhile, are easily triggered. A simple transfer from left hand to right hand could skip the player to the next song. Although a "Hold" button could be a great remedy, it is not useful if you intend on navigating the menus while listening.

One good function iAudio has is that you can record straight from FM with a simple press of a multifunction red button. This button can also let you record voices, ideal for podcasters.

Overall, the Cowon iAudio 7 may not be a graceful device, but it is a decent, portable media player.

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