Get a grip on digital music

Want to put your entire digital music collection on a huge-capacity device smaller than a paperback novel? Look into Creative Labs's Nomad Jukebox 3 and Sonicblue Inc.1's Rio Riot. Each packs a 20GB, notebook-style hard drive; delivers rich, powerful sound; is mobile; and sells for $999.

Despite being a little bulky for most pockets, the Rio Riot emphasizes portability: Its hourglass figure is easy to grip. The larger Nomad is shaped like a traditional CD player and is difficult to grab without accidentally pressing one of its dozen buttons.

You hook either player to a PC via a USB 1.1 port; the Nomad also includes a much faster IEEE 1394 interface. Both players let you navigate through menu options and copious music lists via handy scroll wheels. And both play MP3 and Windows Media Audio files. The Nomad also plays WAV files and has a combination line-in/optical-in port that allows you to encode all three formats without a PC connection. Only the Rio Riot, however, allows you to manually adjust equalizer levels. Accompanying both shipping units are rechargeable lithium ion batteries and an adequate set of headphones.

Although the players were handy, both had glitches. I was able to fix the Nomad's repeated crashes by resetting it or by removing and reinstalling its battery. The Rio Riot suffered from similar -- though less frequent -- lockups, which resetting solved.

Choose the Rio Riot to have lots of music on the go. But if you want a stereo component that's truly mobile, I'd recommend the Nomad Jukebox 3 for its additional features.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sean Captain

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?