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 iRock! 830 128MB MP3 Player Review - Page 3 of 3

Posted:  January 25, 2004
Author:  Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer:  iRock!
Source:  iRock!


The 830 comes with one CD that carries the necessary software applications, drivers (if your OS requires), and a few miscellaneous applications just for fun. You are provided two options for getting music from your computer to the 830, iRock's own ”Digital Download Manager”, as well as a copy of MusicMatch 8.0.  The screenshots below show the two applications, with the iRock! specific one on the left, and MusicMatch on the right (version 8.1 shown, as I decided to download a newer version).

Click Image For Larger ViewClick Image For Larger View

iRock!'s software is simple and easy to use... Just the way I like it.  It provides a no frills, drag and drop interface for getting your music from computer to portable device as quickly as possible.  Another feature which impressed me was a PC based method of establishing your FM presets.  Just type in the frequency and any descriptive information for each of the 20 presets, and even make different sets of presets (for when you travel perhaps), and download it to the device. Storing presets directly on the 830 is similar to setting a car stereo, not particularly difficult, but the computer based method is much simpler, and faster.

MusicMatch is fairly common software for portable devices, and is available as a free download in a basic version. It provides many features beyond transferring music to a portable device, which is actually one of the reasons I don't care for it. It serves as a media player, an organization system for your files, has a web interface, and can even be used to rip and burn CDs. I just want something to get the music onto my player quickly, which MusicMatch doesn't really do in my opinion, since it isn't really drag and drop. One feature I do like is the software's ability to resample your MP3s for use on a portable device.  Why waste precious space on your MP3 player with files ripped at 192 kbps (or higher), when you're just going to listen to them on relatively cheap headphones.  MusicMatch makes easy work of resampling your music as it is transferred, and I generally use 96 kbps, which allows me to cram even more songs onto the device, without a noticeable sacrifice in sound quality.

As I mentioned earlier, there are a few other applications included on the CD, to 'enhance' your experience.  Although I was only interested in getting my music onto the device, if you want a little more than that, here is what the iRock! site has to say about these other applications...

MoodLogic:  MoodLogic offers a fun and intuitive way for you to interact with your music collection reaching beyond any typical music software. With MoodLogic, you can automatically correct track and artist name information for your songs as well as create mixes based on genre, mood, and tempo rather than simply by artists or albums. Install MoodLogic now to experience the future of music listening today!

StuffIt:  BEST in compression. BEST in time-saving features. StuffIt saves you time and money, by making it fast and easy to exchange files over the internet.

Media Jukebox:  We love Media Jukebox it's a all in one media management, display dynamo, plus with the MP3i plugin for Media Jukebox it plays MP3i's natively inside its theater zone!

Samplecraze:  Samplecraze are SoundFont developers for Emu/Ensoniq and provide of LICENCE FREE sample cds. They also design excellent custom sound banks. DRUMM cd now available.


The iRock! 830's compact and lightweight design make it an excellent companion for those on the move.  The 30 hour battery life and 128MB of storage make sure that you won't be interrupted by the music ending. And if you do get tired of your MP3s before your day is done, the built in FM tuner will keep the music going.

A search of PriceGrabber finds the iRock! 830 available from a handful of outlets for as low as $79.95, making it highly competitive with similar units from manufacturers such as Creative, RIO, RCA, and Samsung. Compared to some of these other brands, you may save a few dollars, but you also get about two to three times the published battery life, with most claiming to provide 8-15 hours.

The sound quality and ease of use make the iRock! 830 a very enjoyable device to own. All of the included accessories add to this enjoyment by enduring that you are ready to rock right out of the box. The only design change I would like to see on a device such as this is the inclusion of a memory expansion slot.  128 MB is a decent amount of storage, but more is always better, and allowing the consumer to upgrade their device would be a definite plus. If you like the iRock! 830 but know you need more storage, check out the iRock! 860, which is nearly identical but with 256 MB onboard.

Other than my one design consideration, the review sample 830 had one flaw to add to the "Cons" list.  No doubt an isolated occurrence, but there was some sort of foreign matter (booger?) on the device when the silver paint was applied.  I nudged the lump with my finger and it smeared right off revealing an unpainted blotch as seen below.  Sure, just a cosmetic issue, but one that should have been caught by quality control before being shipped out.

Overall, I am very impressed by the performance of the iRock! 830 and award it four out of five stars...  "Recommended".


• Compact
• Lightweight
• Runs for up to 30 hours on one AA battery (test unit averaged 22-29 hours)
• Easy to read, backlit screen displays ID3 tags
• FM radio tuner with 20 presets
• Friendly software interface


• Memory is not expandable

Special Thanks to iRock! for providing the iRock! 830 128MB MP3 Player to BigBruin.Com for review!

Please drop by the BigBruin.Com forum and feel to discuss this review.

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