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Slick Clix
I make no secret of the fact that I'm not one of Apple's greatest fans, not where portable music players are concerned at least. My musical companion for the past year or so has been a SanDisk Sansa which, apart from a few video playback foibles, has accompanied me all over the country in hotel rooms and in tents. It has sat in hot trouser pockets, been dropped off tables and beds and nestled under tonnes of clothing in the bottom of holdalls yet still works like it did when new. Better sound quality than an iPod and cheaper too, I've always considered it a tough act to follow.

When Advanced MP3 players offered us a chance to look at the new, second generation we obviously said byes but it was more from a sense of professional curiosity than any great expectations that it would offer anything new or exciting.
Advanced MP3 Players, in case you didn't know, is located near Edinburgh, Scotland and commenced trading in 2001 with the ethos of "unparalelled customer service, an unrivaled product range and an unbelievably detailed website".

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Unpacking the Clix the first impression is that build quality isn't the best, but there's a reason for this. The whole premise behind the Clix is that rather than having a separate direction pad to navigate with, the whole device acts as a giant direction pad with a micro-switch on each of its four edges. Because of this there's a small amount of movement between the upper and lower sections of the device which is immediately noticeable when you pick it up. I'm sure a little damping could have been used to make the screen feel less "loose" and rattly but it's not really a major issue in general operation. It seems many players have been returned for this reason alone with purchasers assuming it's a fault.

If I have any initial disappointment it's that iRiver, like so many before it, have fallen into the trap of assuming we all want a high gloss finish on everything. Don't get me wrong, I have no issues with a high gloss piano black finish on the things I don't need to handle but when it's something I have to pick up and prod at then I want something with at least moderate fingerprint-shrugging capabilities. A matte black area around the screen would have worked just as well for me as its current all gloss formula and wouldn't have left me fighting the urge take a microfiber cloth (or a sleeve) to it every time I pick it up. If I can get a shine on my car I'm happy, I don't need it on every item I own, particularly those I fondle regularly (make up your own jokes here).

Plays Music, Video, Photos, Games & More
Built-In Flash Memory for Skip-free Playback
2GB and 4GB version available (in White or Black)
iriver Direct-Click SystemTM
Large & Vibrant Color LCD with Dynamic GUI (2.2 inch)
Plays up to 25 hours
Supports Music Files such as MP3, WMA, ASF and OGG Q10
FM Radio and FM Recording Reservation
Voice Recording
Photo Album & Slide Show
Movie Player
Flash Player & Game
Text Viewer
Alarm with Real-time Clock
USB 2.0, Ultra Fast Data Transfer
Supports Urge Service
Firmware Upgradable
cool Dockingstation