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iRiver S100 - Software and Interface

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



Our Score:


The iRiver S100's simple interface is built around a scrolling list of nine options, including the main Music, Video, DAB and FM radio choices alongside fringe benefits like the text reader and Extras (Flash games, basically). Each of these options makes a different background image pop-up, and you can select the images you want manually - if this all sounds like too much flashiness you can set them all to the same image.

This is where the visual pizzazz ends though, as the rest of the interface is more conservative or - in some spots - downright bad. Navigation of music is perfectly fine though, thankfully. You can browse by Artist, Album title, Genre, Playlist or Rating and scrolling through your library is mercifully quick.

The radio side of the device feels under-designed and, well, rubbish by comparison -even though it purports to be the S100's main function. The FM radio interface is one of the most rudimentary we've seen, out-simplifying even the most basic of phones. This wouldn't be bad if it was quick to scan for the right station, but it isn't particularly. Presets are also poorly implemented.

The DAB half of the S100 fares even worse. It looks nothing like the rest of the interface, cast in a sore-thumb light blue colour - and it bafflingly reverts to landscape mode for no particular reason (other than for DMB video-watching, which isn't even available in the UK). You can't change this either. The slick scrolling animation used in the music library and main menu nav is gone - the execution of the player's main feature feels like an afterthought and that's very disappointing.

Some respect is won back by the ease of use of the radio recording feature, requiring just a tap on the select button while in either the FM or DAB radios, but it's poor mitigation. There's no recording timer or EPG available, limiting the usefulness of this recording feature from the start.

The S100 offers an initially nice-looking front-end that can't cover up some dated elements at its core. You even have to manually re-scan your music library whenever you add new tracks - which will seem rather retro (and not in a charming way) to anyone who has ever used an iPod.

Dave W

April 15, 2011, 4:59 pm

I think this paragraph is missing something...

"The iRiver S100 is a DAB -compliant device, but here in the UK the new standard isn't broadcast. The difference? It's primarily to do with encoding. DAB uses the MPEG2 codec, while DAB uses the more advanced eAAC codec. In short, this means that when transmitted at the same bit-rate, DAB broadcasts will sound much better than plain old DAB ones."

It doesn't make sense as it stands. Should it be DAB+?


April 17, 2011, 3:21 pm

I've had this player for a month now and I believe the 6/10 from TR is harsh, the "real-world DAB performance" in my experience has been exceptional. I'd put the quality of the S100 DAB on par with my PocketDab 1500, if not better. 5 Live/Sports Extra + Talksport + MP3s + MicroSD all on one device = bliss.


December 7, 2011, 6:20 am

I've had one a couple of months now PROS: Great DAB reception, excellent recording & playback quality for recorded DAB radio and mp3 trax easy to use menus CONS: really badly designed on/off button! It's at the side, there's no "lock", so too many times I've had it in my bag or pocket and the button's been pressed by accident without me realising it, so when I get it out to use I find the friggin power's drained (and battery duration ain't that great either)!! Grrr....

Kartik Raj Kanna

December 21, 2012, 4:21 pm

You know, you can HOLD the system, if that'd help you ..... just "short" press the power button, and THERE, you've done it, or if you want it ON, but saving energy, try SLEEP mode .....

Kartik Raj Kanna

December 21, 2012, 4:21 pm

Um ..... anywhere I can get THEMES? I'm bored with the present one .....


June 3, 2013, 9:43 am

I had lost my IRIVER S100 charger, so can i use my mobiles USB cord to charge.... is it possible....?

J Andrew

July 17, 2013, 5:10 am

i love my iriver s100 i got it for my 13th birthday

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