IRiver H320

I’ve been looking at MP3 players for a long time now. The Ipod gets the most press, and every Ipod owner I’ve spoken with is very happy with their purchase. My needs are a little different, however. I’m not quite the audiophile many consumers of MP3 players are. I have plenty of listening to do, but much of it is spoken word, not music. I also wanted something that could record sounds. I discovered a way that one could make an Ipod record, but since it wasn’t made to do that, the technique was difficult and the quality poor.

Then a couple of months ago I heard of the IRiver H320. With a 20GB drive, it has a decent capacity (they also have a 40 GB version). But it is also designed to do recording. It can record three ways: a built in condensor mike, a separate mike, and a line-in. So far I’ve only tried the last of these and it works great. It’s a much easier way to convert my old LPs to digital format than any I’ve found yet. I’ll also be able to hook it into the church sound system to directly record services.

So why did I buy one yesterday? I’d called Best Buy the day before to see if they had them. Their website didn’t list them, so I thought I’d take a chance. Sure enough, they’d just gotten a shipment in. I asked the price – to see if they gave any discount off the MSRP of $329 (Amazon, for example, offers them for $312). I was shocked when they told me they were $214. In disbelief I called another Best Buy to see if it was a fluke. Sure enough, it was for real. Yesterday I was in a town with a store and bought one – before they could change their minds.

I haven’t learned the whole thing yet – not much really – but I’ll post more review later.

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