iRiver's T60 may look look like a popular prism-shaped chocolate bar, but its ubiquity at airports will be significantly less than its Swiss doppelganger. This simple MP3 player comes in 1GB, 2GB and 4GB capacities, priced at £49, £69 and £89 respectively.
Its unusual shape, while distinctly a love-it-or-hate-it affair, should not detract any buyer from appreciating the audio expertise that usually goes into iRiver's music players. Whether the T60 deserves to bear the iRiver name or be drowned in the nearest river, needs to be determined.
Triangular shape aside, the T60 is still an unusual-looking creature. Firstly, its corrugated plastic casing is a step away from the smooth finish most commonly seen on MP3 players. Secondly, its underside houses an AAA battery.
A four-way navigation nipple sits to the right of a low-resolution 20mm (0.8-inch) colour LCD screen, and acts as a 'select' button too. In a similarly unusual move, iRiver has built in a dedicated A-B repeat button. If you're clamouring for a player that allows you to easily repeat your favourite parts of songs, look no further.
Despite its triangularity, the T60 will sit comfortably in your pocket, and its 24g weight is minimal enough to make the player unnoticeable.
The T60 supports the vanilla MP3 and WMA codecs, but will also plough through any ASF or OGG files you've got. Protected WMA content will work from online music stores as well, though you'll need to transcode any of the DRM-free downloads from iTunes Plus as iRiver shows no love for the excellent AAC format. For shame! Still, you can at least listen to, and record, FM radio. There's also a voice recorder and BMP image viewer (what? no JPEG?), though on the tiny screen this feature's usefulness is seriously in question.
If you're a podcast or audiobook lover, the resume option will save you from frustrated scanning to the part of the recording you were at before switching off the device. Playback speed can be adjusted too, if you like being read to in the manner of Chris Rock. In fact, the popular Podcast Ready podcast app can be loaded on to the T60 too, should you be so inclined.
Finally, a heap of equaliser settings and presets hand some auditory control over to you, including a five-band EQ and various SRS modes.
iRiver's players almost always give stellar performance. It was not a surprise to hear great sound quality from the prismic T60. Stream Of Consciousness by Dream Theater exploded from the player's auditory orifice with the cataclysmic power of a galactic collision. Its gusto was relentless, yet well-defined and impressively driven. This is a complex song with layers of detail, each requiring a fair level of processing. The T60 handled this task admirably and, not too surprisingly, the voice recorder performed well too.