[bct] Iriver IFP 899 info.

  • From: "jeff" <j1armstrong@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "blind cool tech mail list" <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2005 11:30:25 -0600

Hello again all,

Below please find a corrected and updated quick reference to the operation of the Iriver IFP 899 player/recorder. I will continue to update the information in this document and expand it to include other features like menus as I can get to it. There are button usage corrections included in this update. Please let me know about any corrections you find necessary. In the end, we will have a nice set of instructions. I'll work on the written format as time passes.

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/play/pause" 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/play/pause" 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  mode.
2. FM Radio mode.
3.   Internal Microphone recordings mode.
4. External microphone/line-in/Radio recordings mode.

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 mode, again. When you get to the mode you want,
press in on the joystick quickly or press the top or "power/play/pause" 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 or
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/pause" 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 into presets 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 to 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, or "a/b/memory" 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
the preset memory locations or you fill up all 20 preset memory locations, 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, "Record/mode" button. This starts the recording and you can press it again to stop the recording. You can
press the Power/Play button to pause the recording.

You will access the recordings made from the radio in the
External microphone/line-in/radio recordings mode.
While in the Fm Radio mode, the "play" button can be
used to toggle between Stereo and Mono listening, assuming you are not currently recording.

 Internal Recording Mode.

In the Internal Recordings mode you can listen to any
recordings you have made, previously, using the
internal microphone. To create a recording simply press
in on the bottom button of the three on the right side of the unit, "Record/Mode" button. You only need a very quick press on
the button to start and stop recordings, the longer
press will put you back into the mode switching
feature. The Power/play button is your pause 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 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 the "Play/Power/Pause" button. You stop a recording by pressing the "Record/Mode" button again.

You can
listen to your recordings by using the up and down
functions of the joystick to select a recording and
the "Power/Play/pause" 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 are always in mono. The recorder seems to record some noise from it's own operation when used in a very quiet location.

 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,
Secretary, OMC,

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