|On the Go With Music and Now, Video|
Published: June 23, 2005
Cowon Systems has long been making portable music players that include features like built-in voice recorders and radios. The Cowon iAudio X5 adds the ability to show videos.
Just as songs must be compressed into space-saving formats like MP3, videos played on the iAudio X5 involve some technical compromise. Before downloading, videos must be converted into compressed MPEG-4 files using software supplied by Cowon. To further conserve the iAudio's hard-drive space, the software converts its visual entertainment to 15-frames-a-second playback, half the standard rate in North America.
Youngseok Lee, Cowon America's technical marketing manager, said early buyers were nonetheless pleased with the video quality. That may be partly because at 1.8 inches diagonally, the X5's display is hardly of VistaVision scale.
Cowon offers some exceptionally long battery-life claims for the players, available at onlinestore.cowonamerica.com and at retailers.