The Clix will play MP3, WMA, OGG and WMA DRM-format music. It supports high-quality MPEG-4 video, and video is so easily watchable you'll soon forget you're watching it on a small screen. Also supported are JPG photos and text files. There's also an FM radio (recordable to the player's memory), an integrated microphone for voice recording and five quirky games.
If you're part of the online music store crowd, you'll be glad to know your favourite DRM'd downloads from Yahoo and Napster, among others, are fully supported by the Clix. Sadly though, if you'd like to rip that old vinyl classic or bootleg cassette to the Clix, you're not in luck, as there's no line-in option. If this is a crucial feature for you, consider Creative's Zen V Plus.
Music is sorted using the traditional three-tier structure (artist/album/song), and ID3 tags are obeyed, meaning all embedded song information -- such as track number and genre -- is used to correctly sort your library.
Finally, a useful feature is the 'Smart Key'. A special button located on the side of the Clix can be assigned to a custom function, such as turning the screen on or off, or enabling shuffle mode.
Audio quality is on a par with all our top-rated players, which is to say it's very good indeed. Reproduction of deep lows on the bass-driven dance anthem Slam by Pendulum is superb, with high-frequency effects in the track equally clear and well defined. A broad range of frequencies throughout the audible spectrum are used and well mixed in the Counting Crows song American Girls, all of which are exceptionally well presented and powerfully driven into our Shure SE530 headphones.
As usual, the supplied headphones are rubbish. You'll want to invest in a decent pair immediately if you're interested in anything better than low-quality sound.
Video playback is equally impressive and the high quality of the video files supported by the Clix look nothing short of stunning on the screen. Files with up to 30fps are supported, so playback is smoother than even the smoothest baby's skin. It's really comfortable to watch videos on, although the memory limitations will prevent you from watching many full-length movies. Photos, as you might expect, look just as crisp.
Our tests showed that iRiver is almost justified in saying its new Clix will play music for a solid day, as we got 23 hours of continuous music playback. iRiver also claims the Clix will play video for 5 hours, although we managed 5 hours and 20 minutes. Not bad at all.
The built-in FM radio doesn't have the fastest auto-seek we've seen in recent MP3 players, but the Clix always finds the strongest signal available and the quality is terrific. It tuned into all FM stations in our area without any effort on our part and the player has a huge preset capacity.