PC World was given the exclusive opportunity to test a pre-production iRiver PMP-120 (Portable Media Player) and now we want one! The Linux-powered PMP-120 is an alternative to iRiver's own similar but Microsoft Portable Media Center-based PMC-100. However, both devices face stiff competition from rival products. We've seen the $999 20GB Creative Zen PMC () that doubles as a 20GB pocket video recorder.
The 280g PMP-120's small size, good looks and build quality means that aesthetically it's our pick of the bunch, and its 3.5in display is also arguably superior - bright and with good (but not great) top/side viewing angles. Supported formats include ASF, MPEG, AVI, DivX and Xvid with resolutions up to 640x480 - ideal for the TV output function (composite cable supplied). However, the PMP-120 can't record video/TV directly like the Archos AV420 or AV300 series.
Audio formats include WAV, MP3 and WMA and photo files include JPEG and BMP. The PMP-120 can even download images directly from a digital camera. Media files (or everyday files like spreadsheets) are simply copied over to the appropriate directory when the PMP-120 is connected to your PC using the supplied USB 2.0 cable. Also provided are an AC adapter, protective carry case and media conversion software. The PMP-120 has a built-in mono speaker but you also receive Sennheiser/iRiver earbuds with remote control, while the integrated microphone and audio line-in lets you record audio/voice. FM Radio can be recorded also.
iRiver claims the replacable Li-Ion battery will provide up to 10 hours of music or five hours of video playback. Our one gripe was the PMP-120's terribly quirky interface, but it is firmware-upgradable which also means support for games or OGG files could be added in the future. The Mac and PC compatible PMP-120 should be available by the time you read this. - Danny Allen