iRock! 830 MP3 Player

October 18, 2003
Check out the entertaining review on the iRock! 830 MP3 player - by the new reviewer on the block, Larry "Rude" Moody!

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Take a quick peek in your nearest CompUSA or Best Buy: other than the disturbing amount of hunting and street racing games being sold, notice any other trends? No, I’m not alluding to the growing number of mousepads with kittens printed on them: I’m talking portable mp3 players - every color, every shape, everywhere! I’d say that, by my precise calculations, there are at least 46 million different models to choose from right now, from almost as many companies. From the popular-yet-overpriced Apple I-Pod, to the key chain-styled offerings from I-River, there’s one for everyone. For this article, I’ll be giving you the skinny on the 128mb-equipped model 830 player from the good folks at “<a href="">iRock</a>!”

Yes, I said “IROCK!.”…you know, as in “I-Pod”, “I-River”, “I-Mac” “I-Won”, “I-Tunes” etc...etc.... Let me be off topic here for a second: am I the only one sick of the whole stupid “I” thing in regards to computer products? Frankly, the name “irock!” makes me chuckle a bit every time I see it. For one, it feels like an obvious attempt to ride the coattails of the aforementioned Apple I-Pod line, and, and most distressingly, it brings to mind the popular yet highly annoying mid-eighties car, the Chevy Camaro IROC…And let’s not mention the exclamation point at the end of the “irock!” name - signifying, I assume, that you must scream the name at the top of your lungs whenever you say it. That, or the “irock!” company wants to show you how hip and extreme their products are. Hmm, I guess it could be worse. It could have been the “irock-mega-eXXXtreme-interactive-mp3-playa-inda-hizzowse! BEE-ATCH!”

Yeah, I guess could be much worse.


But does the slightly goofy “irock!” company name keep the product from being any good? Of course not. In fact, aside from a couple of tiny quirks, there’s little to complain about. It’s a solid, fairly well designed player, and is a fine choice for anyone looking to bring a little of their own secret, skip-free music to church, funerals, and/or jury duty.
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<b>The Stuff</b>:

<center>MP3 and Bra</center>

The irock! model 830 is pretty darn small...I’d say about the size of a small beeper. (Yeah, I said BEEPER - remember those? Back in the days when cell phones were a luxury only afforded by overfed yuppies, movie stars, and drug dealers? Hmm?) Anyway, the digital readout on the 830 has a pleasing blue-lit hue, and the text that scrolls over it is clean and clear - no complaints there. The actual plastic surrounding its innards are colored a metallic/off-white, which, I have to admit, I really like. It’s damn sharp, and at certain angles it shines like a freshly-laid pearl. The amount of actual buttons on the device is kept to a minimum. Like other players, the irock! 830 combines multiple functions to a single button, and, for the most part, this works just fine. You flick the top switch back and forth to scan and change songs, adjust the volume with two more buttons, and hit the “play” to start, umm, “irock!-ing”. It’s so easy, even an oxygen-deprived monkey could use it.

Hell, even Aron could use it.

<center>MP3 Player 1 Player 2 Player 3</center>

Well, maybe it’s not quite that easy. There are times you’ll struggle a bit to get to just the right point in a song, but really, how often do you really need use that feature? If you answered with anything but “never” or “almost never”, the music you’re listening to must really suck, and because of that, we’re all thankful the “irock!” 830 comes with decent headphones.


The earbud-style headphones that come packed with this player are noticeably well constructed. They’re comfortable and sound great. Every MP3 or WMA file sounds as crisp as can be, and aside from the fact that it’s pretty gross to share these kinds of headphones with your crusty-eared friends, you can’t ask for much more. Well, maybe some free Q-Tips in every package. (On a related note, our webmaster Aron Schatz recently thought he was removing the earbud headphones from his ears, then realized he hadn’t PUT THEM IN YET. Ew.)


Considering the cost, the irock! 830 doesn’t cheap out in the accessories department either. The 830 comes with a nice, silky strap so you can hang it around your neck like some kind of high-tech Flavor Flav, as well as a sturdy, black leather-like case to clip it to your belt (or a hat, or possibly lower lip). The required USB cable to hook it up to your PC or (cough)I-Mac(cough) is also included, as well as a AA battery. Irock! and co. say you will get 30 hours of use from one battery: I’m not sure how many hours I have on it so far, but it’s still kicking. However long it really lasts, it’s long enough. The 830 also has an FM radio tuner which works about as well as possible for such a compact device. But hey, don’t you buy an mp3 player so you won’t HAVE to listen to the radio? It’s a nice feature, but it’s not needed in my opinion.

Lastly, the included software…

Some might wish to pay attention to the software bundle when choosing a mp3 player, but nowadays, I’m not sure why anyone should really care. On both my Windows XP PC and my Windows Me PC (yes, WinMe. Go ahead and laugh, I have my reasons) I simply plugged it into the USB port and dragged over my MP3s. Bingo, worked perfectly every time. In fact, I have to admit that I didn’t even bother installing the software: It’s just not necessary. As long as you have the MP3 files and can cut and paste, you’re set. However, if you’re a bit stupider than that, the irock!’s included software is as good as any I’ve (never) used.


So, let’s see: with the irock! 830, you’ve got a nice looking, <a href="">low-priced</a>, easy to use, well-constructed, crisp-sounding little mp3 player. As long as your willing to forgive the slightly misguided irock! co. for the EXXXTREME name/attitude, and don’t plan on sharing your headphones with anyone with ears dirtier than your own, I say go for it. It’s a great choice.

I'd like to thank <a hr


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