[bct] IFP899 quick start guide.

  • From: "jeff" <j1armstrong@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "blind cool tech mail list" <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2005 22:52:15 -0600

Hi everyone,

Please find below my quick start guide for the IFP 899. It has been written tonight based on my experiences thus far with the recorder/player. When combined with the podcasts Larry made on the subject and a little sighted help to customize a few settings, you should be able to access the recorders full range of functionality. If you have any questions or corrections, email me at: j1armstrong@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Iriver IFP 899

1. Basic layout.

The IFP 899 is laid out as follows;

Although the standard position for sighted access to the 899 is to view the screen so that the joystick is on the right and the rubber covered USB port and 3 buttons are at the top of the screen, I think we will turn it 90 degrees so that the joystick is at the bottom of the screen and the USB port and 3 buttons are on the right. This is the way it sits when clipped onto your belt. In this orientation the top side of the unit contains the headphone jack which is a 1/8 inch stereo mini jack which accommodates a standard set of portable headphones.

The Left side has the Line in/external microphone jack near the top and it is also a 1/8 inch stereo jack. Below this, still on the left side, we have the slide switch to lock the unit so that it will not take input from the buttons on the player/recorder. When slid down the unit is locked and when slid up the unit is unlocked. This is referred to as the "hold" switch.

Switching now to the right side. At the top we have a rubber covered mini-USB port. This port allows for communication to the computer through it's USB ports, using the supplied cable. The IFP 899 has a USB 2.0 capability. Below the USB port are three buttons. The top button is the Power on/off/play button. The middle button is the A/B/memory button and the bottom button is the Record/mode button.The screen itself is a backlit LCD screen with 4 lines of information below this is the joystick style controller switch. It has 4 directions and a press in or enter function. Near the top of the screen you will feel a hole or depression in the smooth surface of the screen, this is the built-in microphone or internal microphone.

2. Basic operation.

To power on the unit simply press the top or power on/off button and hold it for 1 second. To turn it off press and hold this button for 2 seconds or so.

The IFP 899 has 4 possible operating modes, 1. MP3, 2. FM Radio, 3. Internal Microphone recordings, and 4. External microphone/line-in/Radio recordings. To switch between these modes, press the bottom button of the three, or record/mode button for 2 seconds or so. This turns on the ability to switch between modes which you do by pressing up or down on the joystick controller. The modes are in the order described above but there is no stop at the bottom or top of the list of modes and if you were on number 4. external mic/radio recording mode and pressed down again you would cycle around to 1. MP3 again. When you get to the mode you want, press in on the joystick quickly or press the top or power/play button. Either method will work. This may sound daunting but will become second nature with a little practice.

MP3 Mode.

In the MP3 mode you will use the up and down function of the joystick to move between MP3 files. Again, there is
no stop at the bottom or top of the list of MP3 files
and you will cycle around from the last to the first and
from the first to the last if going up the list. During
playback the left and right functions of the joystick
are volume down and volume up respectively. When in MP3 mode you will hear an audible beep when moving between files and if you practice, the beep is slightly
different in tone when you pass the top or bottom of the list of files. Use the Power/Play button to start and
stop playback of your MP3 files.

FM Radio Mode.

In FM Radio mode you can listen to broadcast FM stations in your local area. When you first switch to FM mode there may be a brief second of silence before the sound comes on. In this mode you have 2 ways to navigate your FM dial. 1. Preset tuning, and 2. manual tuning of the FM dial. Again. there is no stop at the lower or higher end of the FM band and the player will move from one end to the other when you pass that end of the dial. You switch between the 2 tuning settings by pressing in on the joystick very quickly. There are 20 memory
locations for preset stations. You can tell which
tuning setting you have turned on by moving the joystick up and down. If you press the joystick down, for
example, and hold it in the down position for a second
or two, it will do one of 2 things, switch rapidly from preset to preset with no interruption (preset tuning), or you will hear a brief silence and this indicates that you are in the manual tuning. To program your stations you
need to make sure that you are in the manual tuning setting. Once you are sure that you are in the manual tuning setting, you press and hold the joystick in the
down or up direction, you will put the radio into seek mode. it will look for the next station it finds with a decent signal strength as soon as you let go of the joystick. You will get used to the sounds you will hear
in your headphones when using seek mode. Optionally,
you can just continually tap the down or up function of
the joystick to move to larger or smaller numbers on the
FM dial respectively. In either case, when you have a
station tuned in and want it to be your next preset,
just press the middle button of the three buttons on the
right twice quickly much like a double-click on a mouse.
This will set this station into the next available
memory preset location. Just repeat these steps until
you have all your local stations programmed into preset
or you fill up all 20 presets, whichever comes first.
If you continue to set stations into memory past 20, you
will overwrite your earlier preset locations. When you
are finished and want to go into preset tuning you
simply press in quickly on the joystick and now your up
and down functions of the joystick will move you through
your preset stations. If you did not fill all 20
presets, you will hear the noise or whatever is stored
in the ones you did not fill and if you keep going in
one direction you will flip around to the other end of
your list again. This is the easiest way to use the
radio in your local area. As with the MP3 mode the left
and right functions of the joystick are your down and up
volume controls respectively. While in the FM radio
mode, you can record a broadcast program by quickly
pressing and releasing the bottom button of the three or
Record/mode button. This starts the recording and you
can press it again to pause the recording. You can
press the Power/Play button to stop the recording. You
will access the recordings made from the radio in the
External microphone/line-in/radio recordings mode.

Internal Recording Mode.

In the Internal Recordings mode you can listen to any
previously recorded files which already exist on the
recorder.  To create a recording simply press in on the
bottom or record/mode button of the three on the right
side of the unit.  You only need a very quick press on
the button to start and pause recordings, the longer
press will put you back into the mode switching feature.
The Power/play button is your stop recording button as
well as your playback button.  The left and right
functions of the joystick serve as your down and up
volume controls respectively.  Your down and up
functions of the joystick serve to move you from
recording to recording.  Again there is no stop point at
the bottom or top of the list of recordings.  You can
only use the internal or built-in microphone to record,
the external microphone, if connected, or line in source
will not record in this mode.

External Microphone/Line-in/Radio Recording Mode.

In the External microphone/line-in/Radio Recordings mode you can record using the line-in jack. It's usage is determined
by a menu setting which controls whether the recorder
expects a line-in (pre-amp) signal or an external
microphone signal. You can listen to your recordings
made with this jack or from the FM tuner. In this mode
you start recording by pressing the bottom or
Record/mode button of the three side buttons. You pause by quickly pressing this button again and you stop a
recording by pressing the Power/Play button. You can
listen to your recordings by using the up and down
functions of the joystick to select a recording and the
Power/Play button to start and stop playback. The left
and right functions of the joystick serve as the volume
down and volume up controls respectively. Any
recordings made while in FM Tuner mode will appear in
this mode as well.


In the External microphone/line-in/Radio recordings mode
you will record only silence if nothing is connected to
the external microphone/line-in jack.

Menus are accessed by pressing in on the joystick for 2
seconds or so.  It is recommended to adjust these settings
with sighted assistance.  The recorder will work
properly without using the menus but will not always
achieve the performance desired without some

This recorder compresses it's recordings "on the fly"
and records in MP3 file format only.
There are two types of firmware available for use on
this device, one which works with the supplied software
called "Iriver music Manager" and another which sets
your recorder to appear as a drive on your Windows
system.  Consult the Iriver web site to determine which
will best meet your needs.  The "ums" type of firmware
which lets the unit show up as a drive is easy to use in
Windows Explorer to copy and paste files to and from the
device.  Recordings made with the recorder will show up
in the "voice" and "recordings" sub-folders of the IFP 899.

The IFP series of recorders varies model number based on release date as well as memory capacity. For Example, the IFP 890 895 and 899 have the same operating options but vary only by having 256mb, 512mb, and 1gb respectively. My wife owns a model 895 and I can fill the 512mb of memory reasonably fast by copying over about 2 work days of listening material.

The internal microphone is fine for monaural recordings
and will produce a nice recording assuming it is not
touched during recording. The internal microphone will
pick up any sounds created by your hands or fingers
pressing buttons or any clothing which touches the unit
while clipped to your clothes. I have clipped the 899
to my coat collar and made very good sounding recordings but they were in mono.

Use this description and set of instructions at your own
risk, I am a human and prone to mistakes, though I hope
it helps to get you started.

Jeff Armstrong

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