[Misadventures in Taiwan]



fake iRiver 795 mp3 player

direct link to file (sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. it depends on Tripod.com's mood. if it doesn't work, click the next link to go to the page itself.)

click here for podcast (link to page where podcast is located)

photos, the fake and the furious

podcast transcript

1. i just got home from end-of-term dinner/ party with classmates in tainan city. the food was pretty good, everybody had fun singing. i joined a bit but mostly i spent the time reading Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (newly bought from Eslite bookstore that afternoon).

we had kind of a private room with many tables since there were like 20+ people who came. the ventilation was terrible though. my face was red the whole time and i was continuously breathing secondhand smoke.
photos relating to this post to follow tomorrow or the day after. too tired now.

sound test (mp3 file here. ugh.. tripod doesn't allow remote loading from links.)

anyway the purpose of this post is to talk about the iRiver ifp-795 (product page) i purchased on Yahoo! Taiwan's auction page. the player arrived through the mail today, i got it around noon before leaving for the city.

the player looks identical to the ifp-795 in the product page link i put above in every way. why? because i bought it (well,bid on it) thinking that i would be getting a a genuine iRiver product.

why would i think that?
because, duh, the seller labeled said auction item as an iriver ifp-795 and posted photos of an ifp-795.

so what's wrong then?
1. there is no iriver logo on the player where there should be one.

2. the box is plainly labeled "mp3 player". there's nothing wrong with that i suppose, but i'm pretty sure that big companies like iriver, apple, creative, benq, are all obssessed with their brands and it is impossible for them to resist splashing their label and logos all over the packaging.

so if the packaging looks plain and unlabeled, it is not because they're doing the whole minimalist thing, or are eschewing "branding" because.. ok i'm too exhausted to think of clever words.

the point is, if there's no identification where you think there should be one, the product is very, very, very, suspect.

3. i've "played around" with the ifp-795's "operating system" on iriver's interactive flash thing so i kind of know what it looks like. i've fiddled with how to select mp3s, make line-in recordings, move folders, etc through the simulation thingy on their website.

the OS of the player i received is EXACTLY like the way the OS was portrayed in iriver's interactive flash demo thing.
except for:

1. when the player starts up, we don't see "iriver mp3 player" or something identifying it as an iriver product. what you get is "digital mp3 player". very, very suspect.

2. in the language choice settings, "french" is misspelled as "franch", and "russian" is misspelled as "russion". (the hell?)

3. the file names/ id3 tag titles of chinese songs could only be displayed properly if you select chinese as the mp3 player's language. if you select english, the chinese file names magically turn into ???.

that is unacceptable! even my first mp3 player, a cheap, no-name brand (it may not have a brand name, but at least it's NOT an imitation of something else) could display chinese file names even if the language was set to english! how hard could that be to do?

and i find it highly improbable that iRiver, a huge company, is unable to implement a function that a generic mp3 player could.

4. i got really scary looking earbuds. even my cheap vosonic x's drive which i griped about a few posts back (link to post.) came with classier headphones!! i am so sure iriver wouldn't do that, although the official product page doesn't have a photo of their earbuds.

5. the ifp-700+ series is supposed to be able to play mp3, wma, and ogg files. the manual only says it can play mp3 and wma files. maybe they forgot to mention the ogg support???

6. the manual was written in simplified chinese. simplified chinese= Mainland China. Mainland China= ability to rip off dvds, music, clothes, toys.. but electronic goods? down to the operating system (save for a few spelling mistakes), the look of the player?

well i kind of am at a loss as to what to do now. i'm really non-confrontational by nature. i suppose the product isn't really sucky. after all the pirates have done a good job of copying the *real* ifp-795's functions. so i basically have all the functions. save for the ogg support. but i don't have any ogg files anyway.

i bought this player because i wanted a player with line-in for a long time. i've wanted to make backup copies of my cassette tapes. it's too much of a hassle to hook up a stereo to my computer's sound card and record from there.

sigh.. i suppose the product does serve the function i wanted it to do, but how can i be comfortable with the fact that there's a 90% chance that thils player is a fake? it's more than a gut feeling, more than just seeing the crappy earbuds included. i've stated my proofs above. iriver? spelling french as franch? russian as russion?

i haven't delved very deep into the OS yet, if i discover another spelling mistake i can make my 90% hunch of this being fake into an absolute certainty.

but i still don't know what to do.

now, for a shower and some zzz's. i feel much more rested now actually. it was really suffocating during the dinner party earlier.
Comments (留言€):
Yup. More than a fake. worst than a fake...

Iriver would never make something this awful (spelling mistakes and crappy earphones instead of the sennheiser units they include). So there you have it.

At least see if you can connect it to your computer without a driver disk AND you can record at more than 96kbps (laws stop Iriver from being able to do these two things at the same time), and since it looks that laws are the last thing in these guy's minds...
Could you publish where we can get one of these, for example in the states? How much did you pay for the fake?
well technically it's not a fake. it's an OEM product.

i suppose you could search for "OEM iRiver mp3 player" on ebay.com.

good luck.

it's kind of annoying to use though, so you really get what you pay for.

converting taiwan dollars to US dollars, i got it for around $130 (more or less). but that was january. it's probably way cheaper now.
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