MP3 Player and Digital Camera: iRiver iFP-1090

Sounds Right

In addition to MP3, the IFP-1090 can play sound files in OGG, ASF and WMA format. In all cases, the sound quality is good, and there are a lot of settings with which to tweak it. With the default settings, the sound is natural and well-balanced. The bass notes are defined but not overdone. There is a five-level equalizer, directional effects and bass accentuation. The earphones are not so hot though. They deliver a rather tinny sound so it would be better to use a model of better quality instead. The volume easily surpasses the comfort level - even at half the maximum level, the decibels already become too loud.

Accessories And Software

Apart from the camera function, the other minus for the iFP-1090 is its software. Like the iFP-790 and iFP-890, Windows does not detect this player as an external storage unit. So you have to use the iRiverManager program to transfer files in either direction. And though the program does allow you to convert tracks on a CD Audio into OGG files, it does so at a snail’s pace : it takes nearly 50 minutes to convert 45 tracks. Add to that the time you need for transfer via the USB 1.1 link, and you’ll wonder if your nerves will stand it. One of the accessories is an original carrying case with which you can attach the player to your arm.


In its rush to combine MP3 player functions with those of a digital camera, iRiver leaves you feeling frustrated. The quality of the photo mode is too poor for it to be useful in any way, and the length of transfer time in audio mode can be frustrating. However, the ergonomics of a real LCD screen make viewing a pleasure and the sound is of sufficient quality, provided you use different earphones.

Dimensions3.59 x 1.34 x 1.22" (91.1 x 34 x 31.3 cm)
Weight0.14 oz (63 g)
Power1x Li-Ion battery
Battery life23 hours
FormatsMP3, ASG, OGG, WMA
FM Tuneryes
ConnectivityUSB 1.1
Sound quality4
Earbud quality3
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