Toshiba Gigabeat S30 & S60 Review

gigabeat s main Toshiba Gigabeat S30 & S60 Review

The highly anticipated third installment of Thoshiba’s hard drive based MP3player has finally been released after many months of waiting. Released in two different capacities, 30GB and 60GB, this player is graced with an amazing interface, powered by Microsoft’s Portable Windows Media Center. This platform allows for many easy to use features such as FM radio, photo browsing, on-the-go playlists, and video-out. Lacking in the file support area, the Gigabeat S supports MP3, WMA, WMV, and WMA Lossless. This media player is compatible with many different music services and some of the new video services. It also integrates with the Xbox 360, Tivo Series 2, and Windows Media Center.


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Accessories

The Gigabeat S comes with the standard array or accessories: earbuds, standard USB cable, USB host cable, AC wall charger, and WMP11. Hobefully, you will see additional accessories like docking stations Toshiba as well as third party manufacturers that make use of the proprietary docking port.

Design

The design is your standard “brick” 1.8” hard drive based MP3 player with a brushed aluminum housing and a hard, smooth plastic face. The player feels solid and sturdy, but hollow and relatively light. The plastic face of the S series is scratch resistant under normal use but just from a few weeks of use the plastic buttons are starting to show scratches. The design of the front face leads to a lot of oil and dust build up around the buttons and around the edges of the player. Overall the player is a great size and fits nicely in your hand, but will show dirt and scratches easily from typical use.

Also to note that the Gigabeat S has both USB & proprietary connections, so you get the best of both worlds. The USB will allow you to travel light, not having to carry around an extra cable, and the proprietary connection will cater to add-on accessories like docking stations, speakers, and other easy to attach accessories.

User Interface

The graphical user interface is powered by Microsoft’s Windows Portable Media Center which is basically Microsoft’s operating system for digital audio and video players. It is like a “lite” version of the Windows Media Center interface. Virtually anyone will be able to pick this player up and use it with no instruction. It is extremely intuitive and easy to use; every button does what you would expect it to do regardless of mode. No matter if you are listening to music, watching video, or listening to the radio the buttons perform basically the same functions.

Toshiba has ditched the touch interface from previous versions of the Gigabeat and went with all tactile controls. For me this is a very welcome change for the fact that touch style interfaces are not accurate on any MP3 player. With tactile controls like on the S series, you feel the button press and the player responds.

One of the reasons for a touch interface is for fast scrolling though long lists of possibly thousands of songs. However, the Gigabeat handles this just as well with the tactile buttons. When you fast scroll though a long list of media by holding the button, a big letter corresponding to the first letter of the current entry you are on appears on the screen. This saves your eyes from a dizzying credit-roll of titles when navigating large collections of media.

All the buttons are positioned in easy to reach places for any size hand. However, I do not like the position and style of the power button. The power button is too close to the volume controls and can easily be pressed. I found myself accidentally pressing it on many occasions. This can be fixed one of two ways: make the button a switch or change the firmware so that the buttons needs to be depressed for a few seconds before activating.

Screen

The screen is a 2.4” QVGA 320 x 240 pixel screen. I would compare the screen to something you would find on the latest Windows Mobile Pocket PC. The coloring is very natural and smooth, unlike players like the Creative Zen Vision:M which tends to be a bit oversaturated in color. The backlight is even and provides for a very bright screen. But just like most non reflective screens, you will have trouble viewing it in direct sunlight. Overall it is just a very good looking screen.

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Transferring Music

Unfortunately Windows Media Player is the primary way to get music onto your device. MTP does allow you to drag and drop files onto the player but tag information and album art does not get transferred correctly.

Windows Media Player 11 is more user friendly than WMP10, but it is still a huge system resource hog. I have a Dual Core Pentium computer with 1GB of RAM and WMP11 chokes on my 60GB collection of music. Screens lag when trying to scroll though albums or artists, making the program almost unusable.

With WMP10/11, it is not just a matter of slow software. Both versions of WMP are buggy when using MTP devices. I have found that the Gigabeat often locks up along with my computer. This is not just the Gigabeat, as it has happened to every MTP based MP3 player I have tested. Good technology or not, MTP is poorly implemented and tarnishes the user’s experience with frustrating crashes.

By making this player a UMS (universal mass storage) it would alleviate nearly all of these frustrations. It would be software and OS independent, making loading your Gigabeat as easy as dragging and dropping files from one location to another.

Battery

The battery life is lacking compared to other players in the 1.8” hard drive class. This is due to its small 700mAh battery and power drain from the graphical intensive user interface. Under strictly audio playback and under typical conditions battery times fell in between 10 and 12 hours. For video it came in slightly below the rated 2.5 hour mark.

Radio

The radio works just as expected- the reception is ok, but seemed to be dependant on what headphones you are using. There are two groups of presets, which are good for when you travel. The auto program function is fast and only presets the channels that are available. The radio, just like the overall interface, is very easy to use.

Photos

If you are into viewing photos on your MP3 player, you will not be disappointed with this player. With a nice screen and easy navigation, photo viewing and slideshow presenting is fairly textbook. When transferring photos through Windows Media Player, the photos are resized to 640×480 so they take up less space but look nice at TV resolutions. Photos can also be dropped into the “Pictures” folder without conversion and will support JPEGs of up to 9000×6000. However, I found one disappointing thing about viewing photos: the files can only be one file folder deep.

This player also has a USB host function which will allow you to dump all the photos from your camera to the Gigabeat. Unfortunately, it does not work with all cameras. I tested two Sony Cybershots, a Nikon Coolpix, and a Cannon PowerShot. Both the PowerShot and the CoolPix worked without any problems but none of the Sony camera’s worked. More camera support could possibly be implemented in firmware updates but it is uncertain if and when this would happen.

Audio

The quality of audio will suffice for your average user that will be using stock earbuds, but will fail to win over an audiophile. Compared to many other MP3 players, I found this player to be rather average. The highs are a bit exaggerated and the lows are a bit weak. But what is most disappointing is the lack of a custom 5-Band EQ, because you could at least tweak the “average sound” to something a little better. There are EQ presets, but they can only take the music so far.

There is also a “harmonics” setting. By enabling this option, it compensates for frequencies above 16kHz that may have been lost with compression schemes. While using a standard pair of headphones you won’t be able to tell the difference. I could barely tell in a blind test with a good set of headphones.

The Gigabeat is plagued with noise when navigating though the menus. These noises are clicking, popping, and whining that correspond to each button you press, and are very audible at high volumes. This is more prevalent with the navigation sound effect turned on but not so much when the effects are turned off.

Video

Video playback looks very nice on the screen- it is smooth and clear. While it can be a personal preference of whether or not you can watch TV programs or movies on the small screen, I found it comfortable.

Despite the fact that video looks great on the Gigabeat, getting your own videos on this device is less than pleasant. WMP10/11 handled popular simple profile files just fine; they converted and transferred without any problems. However getting DivX, XviD, and Windows’ very own Media Center recorded TV files (MS-DVR) required toying with codec installations and various settings. Finally, after getting them both to work I found that converting them is painfully slow, even on a fast Dual Core Pentium machine. DivX files took about one to two times the original running time and Windows Media Center TV shows about three to four times the video length. Also, 16:9 aspect ratio videos get distorted by being stretched to fit the screen.

If you wish to watch a lot of your own media in the form of DVDs, XviD, or DivX files, this player is not for you. While video playback looks top notch; it is tedious and time consuming to convert these videos to WMV9- even on fast machines. Native file support, like on the Zen Vision:M, would have made the entire video experience enjoyable and trouble free.

When you do get video to work, the TV out function is nice to have, even though the quality is parallel to that of a VHS tape.

Conclusion

The Gigabeat S30 & S60 have an amazing user interface that is easily tamed by even a novice user. Navigating with smooth menu transitions viewed on an accurate and crisp LCD screen is a real delight. This interface makes for one of the best user experiences I have encountered in an MP3 player.

Unfortunately, this player lacks in several other major areas. This player could have been an amazing if it supported UMS and native file support for more codecs like DivX, XviD, OGG, and FLAC to name a few. Music would be ultra easy to transfer with UMS and I would not have to deal with the frustrations of converting video if the Gigabeat supported more than just WMV9. Sound quality is par and battery life is poor.

Overall this player is good, but it is by no means great, because I feel that the above stated are series flaws. I want to be able to use a player how I want to and not be tethered by proprietary transfer methods and monopolized file formats. If I had to use one word to describe my experience with the Gigabeat S series, it would be: disappointing.

Purchase

You can find this at any online and B&M retailer. You can usually find good prices though Amazon

Pros

  • Great Interface
  • Nice Screen
  • Great Looking Video Playback
  • Great Playlist Support
  • Proprietary & Standard Connections
  • Wide Selection of Music Stores and Services

Cons

  • Windows XP SP1 Only
  • MTP – No UMS Drag and Drop
  • Only WMV9 Native Video Support
  • Buggy MTP & WMP11
  • No Custom EQ
  • Battery Life
  • Black Player Shows Dirt Easily
  • No Delete on-the-fly



61 Comments

Inflatable Dragon on June 13, 2006 1:05 AM

So it’s basically Microsoft’s version of the iPod? Same video problems (lack of formats, tedious conversion), same audio issues (lack of customizable EQ, weak sounding presets), low video output quality, poor battery life and so on.Meh, besides all that I still prefer it over the iPod. The interface is snazzier and I love the + controls. Also, proprietary AND usb 2.0 is a great thing, definitely does help when you’re traveling light. Or if you lose/forget the cable, you’re not totally screwed since you can get a new usb cable cheap or your friend might have one.Toshiba did well with this one.

elmer on June 13, 2006 5:02 AM

I’m getting approx. 3.5hrs battery time for video on my S60. Audio battery time is right around 11-12hrs which for me is just fine.Great player, great features, nice integration with WMP 11.

Sentient on June 13, 2006 7:14 AM

Battery life is a shame, but the video footage of it’s operation + all tactile controls has me sold. One question though, does it have a hold feature? Thanks.

pocketDragon on June 13, 2006 9:46 AM

How easy is it to switch to landscape? If you switch to landscape, do you still have stretching problems? Have you looked at a widescreen movie in landscape?Most of your cons I have no problem with, however if it distorts video under all circumstances….BTW, thanks for your efforts, they are appreciated.

EnzoTen on June 13, 2006 10:06 AM

Video is default in landscape mode but can be switched to portrait. Screen is 320×240 so it is a 4:3 aspect ratio, so it will always get streatched unless you have a black stripe at the tip and bottom.

pocketDragon on June 13, 2006 12:16 PM

Hi EnzoTen, thanks for the reply.I’m a bit confused by your answer. Are you saying that the player will force all video to fill the entire screen, thereby messing up the aspect ratio if it has to?orAre you saying that I have the option of it filling up the screen or having the letterbox effect (which I would expect).orAre you saying that I have to encode my movies “pre-letterboxed” (hard coded 16:9 inside a 4:3 box, if that makes any sense)?

Lacene on June 13, 2006 1:22 PM

great review, EnzoTen, however:”The screen is a 2.4” 260k color QVGA 320 x 240 pixel screen.”you sure about that?? Everywhere I read, it’s a 65k screen, which is a fall-back from the F-series’ 260k screen…..

EnzoTen on June 13, 2006 2:02 PM

@pocket dragonSorry for the unclear response. It is the first thing you said: “player will force all video to fill the entire screen, thereby messing up the aspect ratio if it has to…” This is correct. But i dont know if it is the player or the encoding that forces video to fill the screen. I will pull a video off ofthe palyer later to see which is the case@LaceneI could be wrong. But i am almost positive that i read it was 260k, but i do see that a wiki article on the S series says 65k… I definitly does not look like 65k. I will do some more investigating……lets move the discussions to the forum… it is much easier to chat than in these comments

Tomas: mygigabeat.com on June 13, 2006 4:26 PM

EnzonTen: The movies I transfered from Vongo did not fill the screen. The were shown in 16×9 wide screen…Since that is taking place through Vongo’s own software, maybe it is WMP?

EnzoTen on June 14, 2006 8:52 AM

@TomasI checked the video that was on the player. When converting WMP distorted the video from 16×9. The videos you are using from Vongo are not 16:9, they are 4:3 with black stripes at the top and bottom to simulate 16:9. If you look at the size of them they are still 320×240.The Gigabeat is probably not able to display true 16:9 (320×180). It must either streatch the video to fill the extra vertical space with 60 pixels or fill the space with 60 black pixels.@LaceneYou are right about the 65k colors. I cannot find the 260K information i though i had. Anyway… thank you for the correction.

Dave on June 14, 2006 12:08 PM

Just a couple quick questions:Does it have a hold feature?Windows XP SP1 Only…this means XP SP1 & beyond right?MTP does allow you to drag and drop files onto the player but tag information and album art does not get transferred correctly. …so drag & drop is enabled but they can lose information in the process?Only WMV9 Native Video Support…can wmv approach divx/xvid quality or does it not matter as much on this player?Is there bass boost at least?If you had to choose between the zen vision: m & this which would u pick?(these questions are whats keeping me from buying either one so far)Do I really need WM player or is it mentioned so much because it’s so common?is there hope for divx/xvid support in the future?does it support lyrics?Thanks for your time.

Chris on June 14, 2006 2:44 PM

does it have a hold feature?YesWindows XP SP1 Only…this means XP SP1 & beyond right?YesMTP does allow you to drag and drop files onto the player but tag information and album art does not get transferred correctly. …so drag & drop is enabled but they can lose information in the process?Not necessarily. Everything I put in frag and drop mode showed up fine, Album Art was sketchy though. I think it depends on what program you use to rip your music and how you store your album art.Only WMV9 Native Video Support…can wmv approach divx/xvid quality or does it not matter as much on this player?The quality depends on the source file, but generally quality is pretty damn good. I rip my movies to a 1GB DIVX avi format and WMP11 converted it and it looks great on my Gigabeat S.Is there bass boost at least?No, but there is a hip hop equalizer setting which has plenty of bass boost.If you had to choose between the zen vision: m & this which would u pick?(these questions are whats keeping me from buying either one so far)I chose this for a couple reasons: 1)WMP11 integration 2)Creative’s lack of, (actually non-existent) support for their player’s after release. Hardly any firmware upgrades, and Microsoft will be doing all firmware upgrades for the Gigabeat S. 3)Slim and sleek looking. The Vision M is just so thick… 4)Terriffic user-interface. You have to see it and use it and you won’t be able to go back to anything else.Do I really need WM player or is it mentioned so much because it’s so common?No, like mentioned before you can use drag and drop, also I believe WinAmp has a plug-in available to connect to the Gigabeat S.is there hope for divx/xvid support in the future?There’s always hope. As I said before, Microsoft will be providing firmware upgrades, so if enough people ask for it it may become a possibility.does it support lyrics?No.Chris

Dave on June 14, 2006 3:10 PM

thanks for the answers, really appreciate that. really leaning towards the 60 GB gigabeat S now. Just 2 last questions that came up during someone’s review.1. Is this device plug & play? If I go to any computer with Windows XP & SP1 or later do I need to install any installation whatsoever or is it plug & play like any USb drive you would use.2. Would you rather watch video in the gigabeats landscape format or the zens portrait format?

Rich on June 14, 2006 4:01 PM

I am considering buying the S 30, one of the main things that caught my eye was its ability to download images from your digital camera, but someones post on cnet mentioned the reserve size was only 2GB max for this purpose, has anyone found a way around this? Is there a way to copy the images to some other directory on the device?Thanks.

Dave on June 14, 2006 11:37 PM

You can always transfer pictures to the device while you are on the computer. I think the reserve is there as a backup for your pictures when you are nowhere near a computer and need to free space on the cameras memory card as quick as possible. I think thats what the USB host cable is for that comes with the gigabeat. I doubt that you would be taking way more than 2 GB’s of pics before you get to a computer though unless you have some a 30 MP camera or something lol.

Tony P on June 15, 2006 4:03 PM

Dave, I believe it’s straight up Plug and Play. My friend has one and I don’t remember him saying anything about an installation CD, and it’s not pictured in the picture of the package’s contents.

HateThisPlayer on June 16, 2006 10:22 AM

Do not buy this player. Its all hype. You will hate it. there are virtually no options, only mp3 and wmv and wmv capable. Battery life sucks. Interfacing with WMP is ANNOYING and buggy (if you even get it to work at all). But most importantly, the audio quality is horrible. I have a pair Shure earphones and the music quality still sucks.so if you are Joe average and no NOTHING about audio quality (and are the type of user that will use the included earphones instead of using actually good earphones) you are the perfect sucker for this piece of crap player.You have been warned.

Rich on June 16, 2006 11:27 AM

Is this the only player out there that has the ability to suck photos/files off of a digital camera/UMS device?

Martin on June 19, 2006 5:35 PM

Does anyone have any idea when this player will be avaliable in the UK or if it is possible to import one? I’m looking to buy 30gb dap at the end of july and really want to get this one….thanks for anyones help x

Deano on June 20, 2006 6:02 AM

I’ve got the S60 and like it a lot although a blind test with the Creative Vision:M gave better sound results with the latter. I found the definition better and a warmer sound overall.However, I do really like the interface on the Gigabeat. It’s really easy to use and looks great, although more customisation would be nice. It does feel like a Microsoft operating system, i.e. totally generic.Finally, one thing that is a really serious flaw is gaps that I’m occasionally getting in the playback of audio. It seems to happen only at the beginning of a track and manifests itself as a series of pauses in the first 5 seconds or so of a song. Hopefully Toshiba are going to fix this soon.

janky on June 20, 2006 12:44 PM

I was interested in buying the S60, primarily for transfering Media Center recorded TV files (MS-DVR) to watch during the morning commute…however, I’ve been turned off by the reviewer’s experience doing this. Has anyone had similar (or better) experience doing this? I was hoping to transfer videos recorded overnight to the S60 while doing the morning routine (shower, breakfast, etc.).

Jay on June 21, 2006 10:00 AM

I have had an S60 for a few weeks now. The interface is great, and there are some glaring mistakes on it (no clock!?) and some other things that just bug me…But after using DVRMSToolbox to convert DVR-MS to MPEG, and then Videora Ipod Converter to convert these TV files to MPEG4 for the Ipod with Video… I can totally recommend this player to you for sync of TV shows recorded in MCE. I setup an autoplaylist, so my device auto syncs the latest Daily Show and Colbert Report. As the series limit is reached on the PC, those files fall off and are automatically removed from the S60 when you sync.It all works well — the quality is as good as the video files I’ve purchased through iTunes. While that purchase/download model works great for the iPod, I can’t be spending that much on TV shows that I watch once, and already have a cable subscription that I’m paying for.So although there are compromises in each media area, it handles my music collection well enough, and same with TV shows and videos and pictures. It’s a lot easier than manual encoding everything, too, even if the transcode sync takes a while (overnight).Where is the TV download subscription service for this device? Buying TV shows seems silly, and the subscription model seems to fit even better for TV than music, where there are a ton of options for MTP devices. That’s my only complaint.

corcor on June 23, 2006 2:42 AM

hate this player….. you are a sucker, its not mp3 only compatible, it may conver to mp3 but it will convert many file types, same with video. I have this player and love it, sure its not the best sounding out there, could be with a better equilizer. hint hint, but if you convert losless then it sounds pretty sweet. Sounds like someone is still on the sinking Ipod ship

Bob Jones on June 24, 2006 10:25 AM

Does this unit encript audio files that are transfered to it. I read somewhere (maybe it was for an older model) that once the files are transfered to the gigabeat they are encripted and you can’t send them back to the pc or give the file to a friend. I am talking about non drm type files.

ACB on June 24, 2006 3:15 PM

The S seried does not encrypt files. The older F series does.

David G on June 25, 2006 2:12 PM

Can this player record off of the FM radio (and convert it to MP3 for example) ?? Also, is their a voice recorder?? Also, can you playback video files on a TV when it is connected to an Xbox 360 ??Thanks !!

JcTonetti9 on June 25, 2006 11:41 PM

Does the FM tuner man it can play through a stereo?

James on June 27, 2006 7:41 PM

this looks like a good player to me, although sound quality and battery life are important to me. What other options are there for a 60GB player? (NOT THE IPOD, PLEASE!) please let me knowThanks!

James on June 27, 2006 7:42 PM

Does any one know if it is possible to buy a longer lasting battery to reaplce the stock battery? thanks!

Taylor on June 28, 2006 4:54 PM

Can you organize your videos into folders? That is what I hate about portable media centers. Instead of folders, there is just one long list of videos. Someone please let me know!

cameron on June 29, 2006 12:28 PM

great reveiw. gives the player a fair shake. very helpful in my consideration of purchasing it

eli on June 30, 2006 4:24 PM

is this player good with small movement and shock. i am always scared to buy hard drive mp3 players for that reason. also what is the landscape screen size all i hear is 2.4″ portrait screen.i also hear about how the audio quality sucks but how much worse is it than the vision m

ipod hater on July 2, 2006 1:35 PM

I have waited over a year to buy the new Toshbia Gigabeat S-30 GB,and it was worth it. Meanwhile I have bought the 30 GB Video iPOD with all the hype on tv and amoung friends; I became disappointed because I had to convert all of my Audio CD’S from my Windows XP Desktop in order for Ipod to play it and it did’nt show the album cover. So I sold it to a co-worker. This new Toshiba Gigabeat S-30 GB I will be please no matter what anyone says, I buy this to play all of my Window Media 10 Audio Files and I will see the picture as well, because it is compatible with windows software. Lots of people buy it for the video and then some. I will have my new mp3 in my hands on Monday 3 July 06. just in time for the Holiday,and last if some MP3 Portable geek creater finailly makes a portable mp3 player that crossfades all MIX CD’S and it is compatible to Windows XP…I’d buy it too.

tmterrill on July 4, 2006 2:25 PM

Does anyone know where to buy a 60gig version and what are the differencee, in weight and price, battery life?

eru on July 4, 2006 5:10 PM

I have the S60 and have been experiencing popping and crackling sounds when switching between tracks. The crackling lasts for about 3 seconds and then goes away. It’s really audible and happens after every song change. Really annoying.Kind of a deal breaker for me at this point. Returning mine today.Someone on engadget had the same problem and I was wondering if anyone here has been experiencing that as well.

chasechad on July 7, 2006 8:57 AM

i got a japanese s30 (black) and i dont have that crackling song.A lot of US buyers got this problem.

ross james on July 8, 2006 2:31 AM

You said that pictures are resized to 640×480 but it will support jpegs up to 9000×6000. Is this just to show them on the screen? If I save pictures from my digital camera and later copy them to my computer will they be the original size or will they be resized?Thanks for the review!

Ryan on July 16, 2006 2:47 PM

is anyone have serious battery problems? i get a few hours of continuous play, definately not great at all, and if i don’t use it for a day or 2 it drains completely. this is a joke! i don’t want to be charging it every day!

wintern on July 23, 2006 2:27 PM

Has anyone found an easy way to transfer music onto the gigbeat. I have about 30Gb of music that is already separated into artist, album, and genre; but for some reason when I use WMP11 it goes on the internet and changes all my album info around. Other problems I have is the album art, i paste the art on then if i navigate somewhere else in WMP11 and go back the album art is gone; and i can’t change more than one song at a time, so i cant just select an artist and put everyone of there songs in one genre. please email me if you have any good alternatives. natthecat2004@gmail.com.

Jon on July 25, 2006 8:56 AM

I’m really looking forward to getting this player. The battery life seems a bit on the low side, but how hard is it to charge it for a few hours in the office or overnight? Previously had Toshiba F40 and was more than happy (other than the gigabeat software which was painful at best) with it until I manged to break it!!Unfortunately I havent found anywhere that mentions a UK release date, and Toshiba don’t seem to want to let me know either. However there are a few places on the net that will import them to the UK, I’m no expert but the best one i’ve seen so far is geekstuff4u.com. Its more expensive than most other sites but like i say most wont import them. The s60 works out about the same price as a 60 gig ipod, (Looking at about £270) but to be fair us Brits are used to being ripped off compared with other counrties, and this player looks well worth the money

stefani on July 30, 2006 11:41 PM

it places the songs with same album titles to different categories, anyone knows how to solve this problem?

Quick Question on August 1, 2006 7:22 PM

Is the battery off/on “switch” supposed to be a tiny hole? I could’ve sworn you could switch it on and off on the go, rather than pulling out a safety pin and pressing it… Is it just mine, or is everyone else’s like that?

boinks on August 4, 2006 11:57 PM

the old Gigabeat F series could be switched with a finger, but the S series requires a pin.

cristian Dudas on August 8, 2006 4:02 AM

i have videos in .mpeg, .mpg, .m2v, .asf ect. is there any way of installing the codec on the S60?? or any other way of geting around this problem?

J Hill on August 11, 2006 8:31 AM

Yes that’s the battery switch Idea is you turn it on when you buy it and simply charge it I guess.I too seem to have a battery problem, I used it for a couple of days when I first got it then a day or so I went to use it and the battery is completly flat and I have had it on the charger for about 2 hrs now and no change hope it’s not stuffed.

Thomas on August 17, 2006 12:00 PM

I have bought the S60 and I am totally disappointed. The device is nice and works fine but the way you have to sync the music using MediaPlayer 10 is not working for ripped CD’s that do not have Tags. I have audio books that I did place in the Music folder using the FileManager. The S60 attempts to sort them by Artist, Song, Genres, etc. but does not give you a folder view as the F60 did or as any other MP3 player I owned did. This makes this player useless for anyone that likes to listen to audio books and music that was riped from a CD. I liked this device because of size bothy physically and storage but this flaw made me decide to put it on Ebay and get rid of it. It is unfortunate that such a flaw is produced by Toshiba. I even called the customer service and they told me to simply add tags to all my 7000 songs and audio books, Yeah right!!!My recommendation is do not buy this device until the patched this mistake in the interface design.

Chris on August 19, 2006 7:25 PM

Thomas, I don’t know what software you used to rip your CD’s but if it was worth its salt it should have filled in the tags as you ripped them. I have used both MusicMatch and Media Player and they applied the tag data. I just started using Media Monkey and I think it does the same thing. I can’t address the audio books issue you have.ABI, nice review. I ended up purchasing the S60 to replace my Dell DJ20, as it’s full of music.

Mike on August 21, 2006 4:49 PM

This review mentions:”However getting DivX, XviD, and Windows’ very own Media Center recorded TV files (MS-DVR) required toying with codec installations and various settings. Finally, after getting them both to work I found that converting them is painfully slow”I am having problems getting ms-dvr files to transfer. What needed to be “tweaked”?

haha on August 22, 2006 3:16 AM

how come there are 2 gigabeats in the pictures? one is smaller than the other. and does anyone have a photo of the thickness of the gigabeat compared to the creative ZVM?

Tim on August 22, 2006 5:01 PM

Just got my S60, so far I like it although I thought this unit was suppose to play wav files. I want to use this to play uncompressed audio files. I’m I missing something here. It seems to want to convert wav files to wma. Someone help me out. Thanks

Vicky on August 24, 2006 7:13 PM

This is my first Gigabeat and I did a lot of comparison shopping. I’m extremely happy with my new player after a week. I consider that this equipment has the right relation price/quality.Anyone have the japanese version toshiba S60V? I got my japanese verion from warehouse123.com. The sound quality is better than my cousin’s US version. Anyone have both version for comparison.

BZ on August 27, 2006 3:17 AM

Many people (including reviewer) here do NOT know how to compare apple with apple. And their head can not accept new thing.You should NOT conclude it’s worse than ipod because it could scratch any way, does not give you dock, not support native format, video software not good, FM not good, USB host not compatible with some camera (it’s Sony’s bad, Sony make their product incompatible), etc. Do a little research please…..Does Ipod do better, or give these for free, or have this capability at all ???This product definitly gives lots more values, features and unique design than ipod video at the same price level. Do not whinning this and that just because it’s different than so called ipod “standard”.

Frank on August 28, 2006 10:34 AM

I’d like to connect this player to my Hifi-Home-Sound System.So the comments about the “horrible” sound quality of the S30 make me unsure.Is the quality to bad to use it with Hifi Speakers or is this just iPod Propaganda ;-) Do you think that the Sound qualtity will/can be improoved with firmware updates or is this a matter of hardware?Someone said, that the japanese Version sounds better than the US version – is that true?

JLR on September 29, 2006 4:15 PM

I’m on my second S30. I dig the GUI and the scroll bar functionality. Also, the processor seems very quick to me, esp compared to my older Rio Carbon and Zen Micro, and esp with DRM music from Yahoo!. Unfortunately, the first unit I purchased had a faulty battery. It held its first charge OK (8 hours, maybe) then failed to hold a charge for more than a 3 or 4 hours.I returned that unit, had a new replacement shipped, and I am suffering from the same battery problem. Unbelievable. I’ll probably ship this one back and settle for the Vision:M.Why do I say settle? The M is a full-featured product, absolutely, and it has an amaizing screen. But, for me, its form function is just not that attractive. It doesn’t have the same feel in the hand as the S30. Also, I know there’s a love/hate situation with that touchpad scrollbar, but I can’t stand the thing. It’s just not accurate enough. I prefer to go up and down exactly as far as I need, and not a single track further!I’m sure I’ll get along fine with the Creative unit (I had a Zen Micro that had the faulty earphone jack so I’m not that hot on Creative anyway) but this Gigabeat had every opportunity to be my player of choice.

Sam on October 3, 2006 9:03 PM

Do MS-DVR need to be converted or can they be dumped on the player via Autosync playlists (w/o conversion).Trying to find a player that I can use to sync daily recorded shows w/o having to wait 3 hours for it to be transferred (usually only a few minutes before going to work).

Greg on October 4, 2006 11:01 AM

I have been an Ipod user for years, never upgraded to the video just always had the same one since about 2002. Finally yesterday it broke, so now I’m trying to decide whether to get this or the new 30 Gig Video Ipod. My question is what happens to songs I have ripped and purchased using Itunes, can they be converted? How easily does this interface with my Tivo?Thanks.

MrCHUPON on October 12, 2006 5:58 PM

For anyone interested… Updated experience:Currently I’m using the latest beta of Windows Media Player 11 and a T2300 Intel Dual Core laptop processor – it runs at 1.6GHz. This laptop sports about 1GB of RAM. WMP11 runs like a champ (none of the resource-hogging behavior mentioned in this review, which is expected since we’re sitting here almost 3 months later), and I encoded a 91 minute DivX file in a little less than an hour.That said, this file ran very oddly and was unwatchable (think random jitters between 2 frames a second and – if you’re lucky – 5 frames). This may be due to the fact that I let WMP automatically choose my conversion settings, so I am trying it again on high quality 800kbps compression. More results soon.Hopefully when Windows Media Player 11 is out of beta and officially released, any problems experienced will evaporate. So far, I’ve experienced none with Version 11, but Version 10 crashed on me overnight.Greg, you can convert songs you purchased using iTunes by burning them onto a CD and then ripping them as MP3s. It’s a hassle only seriously dedicated users would want to bother with, so if you don’t want to spend the time, try Googling something that converts M4A files to MP3 files.

MrCHUPON on October 12, 2006 6:00 PM

Also, Greg, in regards to any songs you already ripped yourself, I’m hoping you already ripped them in MP3 format as opposed to Apple’s format… if not, though, again – Google “M4A to MP3 converter”. If that yields nothing, “AAC to MP3″.

brandon on October 30, 2007 5:10 PM

i haven’t had alot of the problems that this review says is wrong with the gigabeat. When watching videos my battery generally lasts 4-5 hours and audio only it runs around 18-20 hours. the menu noises never bothered me because the music was just loud enough to overpower it. and even if it was a problem one could just turn the effects off. it works with my Windows XP SP2 and i never had any trouble with slow file transfers. i dont even have a dual core processer and it works fine for me. my ipod sits in a box somewhere in my room and i haven’t seen it in about a year because i’m very satisfied with my gigabeat. for anyone looking to purchase a new portable media player, this one should be put high up on the list of devices to consider.

LambdaCalculus379 on April 11, 2008 2:24 PM

The Rockbox project (http://www.rockbox.org) has a work in progress port for the Toshiba Gigabeat S in the works. There’s no sound or USB stack, and definitely no easy way of getting custom code onto the device. But having Rockbox will truly bring this Gigabeat model up to speed with the F and X series.

trisha on February 3, 2010 3:55 AM

i have s30 and it was not working anymore it says that connect to pc and contact manufacturer.who can help me with this problem?please email me the cd of this one.so that i can use it.please thanks. said to me email @ petitegirlph@yahoo.com

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