Insignia™ - Pilot 8GB* Video MP3 Player with Bluetooth Technology - Black
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- Product NamePilot 8GB* Video MP3 Player with Bluetooth Technology
- Model NumberNS-8V24
- Color CategoryBlack
- Manufacturer's Warranty - Parts1 year
- Manufacturer's Warranty - Labor1 year
- Product Width0.4 inches
- Product Height1.6 inches
- Product Weight0.13125 pounds
- Product Length3.3 inches
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 81 reviews(81 Reviews)
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Great DevicePosted .I would recommend this to a friend
Well, I have to start off by stating what I was looking for so that this review is in context. Also, please not this is not intended to be a full review, but rather just some key information that I could have only discovered by purchasing the device and using. My wife and son both have iPODs and I cannot stand them - the iPODs, of course. While this seems to be fairly easy for them to use, being relatively non-computer people, the fact that I could not navigate through my own extensive directory structure of music drove me crazy. I have many years worth of MP3s and WMAs that represent my entire CD/DVD/Tape/LP collection. I spent a lot of time organizing it into my own folder structures and even wrote small VBS scripts to auto-create playlists based on that structure. A critical part of any MP3 player for me is being able to use that structure. Devices like the iPOD and Zune just don't allow you to do that, as anyone who has used those devices will tell you. You browse your music by metadata embedded in the music files. Much of my music ends up being "unknown" on these devices, and I have no plans to walk through thousands of files and populate the MusicID tag info. So, if you are shopping for a device that allows you to just plug into your computer, have the device show up as a drive letter, copy files the way you want, and then browse them and play them the way you want, read on. So, my first big leap into MP3 players was the Cowen iAudio x5 60GB. I absolutely loved it. Great sound, decent battery life, and best of all I could copy and play songs the way I wanted to. Unfortunately, that one was stolen and by the time I got around to looking for another one, Cowen stopped making them. You can still find them on eBay, but the cost is about the same as they were originally retail. My next one, and the primary multipurpose device I carry with me today is the Archos 504 160GB. This is very nice, video playback is incredible, it is very easy to use, etc. etc. The only drawback is that as a laptop-size hard-disk based device, it is huge and heavy compared to anything else. I use this as a portable hard drive as well as a means to bring all my music and many movies with me. However, this just doesn't cut it for running, biking, or even on vacations in very hot weather. That leads me to the search for something more portable and durable under conditions where a hard disk just might not hold up. After searching many devices, I came accross a device from Dane-Elec, called the Meizu. I almost got it, but then decided to check Best Buy to see what they had because I had a gift certificate. Boy am I glad I did. The primary issue with searching for an MP3 play with the features I'm looking for is that most of the info on the web sites for these products don't advertise such features, so you have to rely on reviews - like this one. I can tell you that the Pilot does everything I wanted it to do. The interface is relatively easy to use. Yes, it is a littel quirky, but most MP3 players, in their effort to be both cool and intuitive, end up being quirky. Let me give you some advice as well as info about this device as I describe some of the features. Yes, you can copy files to your system by simply drag-n-drop (copy/paste) to a removeable media drive letter. It doesn't work that way be default, though. In the Settings menu on the device, if you go to USB Mode, Connection Type is set to Automatic. This allows the device to show up in Explorer as a Media Device where you can drag and drop, but not modify the folder structure or sync with Media Player. By changing the Connection Type to File & Folder, it then works just like any USB memory device. SD Expansion Slot: Yes, this slot is SDHC compatible. I bought two 8GB SD chips and they work great! I got two 8GB instead of one 16GB due to the price points. 8GB Transcend SDHC card was $50, 16GB was $150. You can insert the SD card on-the-fly while connected to a PC and it shows up as a drive letter. You can also remove it as needed. One word of warning, though. If you have music on it, when you disconnect from the PC, or turn the device on with the new card installed, it will rebuild the music library, which can take quite a long time if you have a lot of music on the card. Playing music by tag information or All Music: The device indexes all music, regardless of where it is stored. This means you cannot bypass the automatic categories by hiding music in a separate folder or on an SD card. It also means that when you play all music, which is the default when you turn the thing on, it includes ALL MUSIC. Playing by browsing folders. Yes! You can do this. There is a Folder Browser that allows you to navigate folders both internally and on the SD card separately. I have only one issue with they way this is accomplished. You cannot play a folder by itself. You have to navigate to a sing in the folder, and then the Now Playing becomes the content of that folder - note that this does not include subfolders. Initially, I had another issue where it seemed that if you wanted to stop playing the current song and back out of the folder structure, you couldn't do that. Hitting the menu button brought you back to the original menu, instead of backing out, and the rotating button didn't help either. Later, I discovered that holding down the Menu button for 2-3 seconds allows you to browse the current folder and then you can back out. Controls: Try holding down every control for 3 seconds in addition to pressing it once. Do this from every menu system or context. You'll find there is a lot more you can do that doesn't seem obvious right away. Personally, I don't like using the rotary control unless I have to breeze through a huge list. Thankfully, you can just press down in any direction and that usually does the same thing as rotating the wheel. Main menu: The 3D effect is rather anoying to navigate - at least for me. Change the Menu Style under Display to Matrix Style and it is much easier to navigate. Gripes: -Library rebuild on card insertion. I mentioned this above, but wanted to mention it again. When you insert a card, the library gets rebuilt, which can take a while. Since I don't browse by using the typical library, I don't care and don't want to wait. Not too big of a deal, though. -Now Playing resets on card insertion. Since the library gets rebuilt at card insertion, whatever you are playing is forgotten and you start off with Play All. Again, not a big deal if you consider that you are probably putting a card in so that you can play something different anyway. -Does not support .m3u style playlists. I rely on these play lists quite a bit, and as mentioned before I wrote scripts that create these automatically. I standardized on that format because everything "standard" seems to support that format. Unfortunately, this device doesn't. If you have them in your folders, they appear in the Playlists menu item under Music Library, but they are all out of relation to the folder, so end up being invalid. Haven't figured out a useful way to leveage playlists on this device yet, but this is a minor feature flaw for this device. -No wall charger. OK, so that is a very very minor gripe. Nobody seems to ship their MP3 players with a wall charger anymore. Well, it is standard miniUSB, so pick yourself up a USB-to-AC charging adapter for $20. In fact, pick up one for the car and you are all set. The Best Buy I went to actually uses the iPOD wall adapter to power this device on display, so it does work. Buy the sleeve. There is a tight-fit rubber sleeve case you can get for this device. Buy it. Though it the device seems to be well-built, the finish rubs off pretty easily with just the natural oils in the human hand. Also, since the device is so small and somewhat light, it is a good idea to protect it against minor falls. Bluetooth: Sorry, I haven't tried this feature yet and frankly didn't buy it for that feature, but I hear it actually does work. Overview: Great device. Even with the very minor flaws, given that there are very few devices on the market that do what this device does, I still gave it 5 stars. I am very happy! I can copy files my way, store them in my folder structures, and play them my way. The sound might not be as good as the Cowen, but on par with most other MP3 players out there. The real kicker feature is the SDHC-compatible expansion slot! My 8GB flash-based player for $150 is now a 24GB flash-based player for $250. You have to go to hard disk based players for that kind of storage currently. I normally never would have considered a Best Buy brand, but I'm glad I took a chance this time. Next stop is to the Carribbean to see how it hold up in the heat.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Most versatile and great sounding playerPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
This is perhaps the best value for money in the digital audio player (DAP) market today. It is unfortunate that Best Buy does not advertise it more aggressively. Pros: - Great sound quality - much better than iPods. However not upto the level of Cowon players. - Excellent Codec support - supports all codecs including ogg vorbis and flac. - MTP/MSC mode - gives you flexibility to synchronize the player using software like Windows Media Player or use it as a disk and drag and drop files to it. - SDHC Slot - extra storage - I added 8GB SDHC card to it and now my player is 16GB :) - Replaceable battery - very easy to replace battery. spare batteries available from best buy. - Good battery life - comparable to players in its class - Solid Build - screen is almost scratch proof, overall build looks solid. Cons: - minor problems with m3u playlists - the click wheel dots are a bit sharp - no external volume control button - if you put the player on Hold, all the buttons are deactivated. So, pausing or changing volume in this mode is difficult - Front is fingerprint magnet - Cheesy packaging - but it keeps cost down, so not an issue As you see most of the cons are either minor or can easily be fixed by future firmware updates. Dollar for dollar, this is the best sounding, best value player in the market today. I tried Sansa players too, but they were not as good sounding as this one (except Sansa clip). In addition the additional codec support and easy navigation beats other player.. I would highly recommend this player to anyone.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Excellent alternative to iPodPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I researched several devices before finally deciding on this one. I am happy with my purchase. The Bluetooth is really why I wanted this device and it is very easy to set up and works beautifully! The sound quality is just great too, especially for this price-range. The EQ works marginally well, but the nice part is they include a custom EQ option so you can adjust the levels yourself instead of being tied to presets only. The volum is loud enough and the shuffle and repeate functions are all there as they would be on any decent player. The device shows song information, album covers and also allows for audio books, etc. The device also supports a wide range of audio formats, which is another reason I wanted this unit. No need for special conversion software, just drag and drop whatever you like to the device (just like a hard drive). The controls are basic and no manual is required to figure this device out. Very easy to use. It's also nice that there is an SD card slot, which means you can expand your device even more, or take the card right out of your digital camera and look at JPG photos right away with no special conversion required. The screen display is amazing for such an affordable device! Very bright (and adjustable)! Videos and pictures show great color and contrast. The one minor drawback is with the video function. Videos sometimes stutter a bit and the audio gets out of sync with the video, but it's not overwhelmingly annoying and the screen size, color quality and sound help detract from these drawbacks. I did not buy the unit for video watching, but for MP3 playing, so I am just fine with the video quality, despite its minor flaws. FM radio is not something I listen to much, but I did test it. It works nicely. Very good quality (and nice to see presets, auto channel scanning, and display of song information), but the radio is only admirable when you have wired headphones plugged in (because the cord serves as the antennae). If you like your Bluetooth headphones (like I do), you're not going to have much luck with the FM radio... but who buys an MP3 player for FM radio anyway? ;) This unit shines where it's supposed to; playing audio files. That along with great Bluetooth (and some nice bonus features) at a great price makes this device a worthwile purchase in my opinion. Even iPod doesn't have a Bluetooth option at this time and, as mentioned previously, you don't have to do any special conversion to add your music or photos. Video must be WMV or AVI (MPEG4), but it includes software to convert and compress your various video files to fit the Insignia's required format. I wish the device came with a protective case and a better charging kit, but the included USB option is adequate and standard for devices like this. I wish it came with the A/V cable but that is also a separate item. At least it comes with a fair set of earphones, good software and is even partially charged right out of the box, which means you can start playing with it right away. It takes about 3 hours or less for a full charge, but the battery life is awesome!!! This amazes me too, considering how much the backlit screen is on. My cell phone dies in no time if I'm using the screen too much. The Insignia doesn't seem to have any such problem. Very impressive! Despite some minor drawbacks, I love the unit and would recommend it to anyone. It works as advertised, sounds great, looks cool, and comes at a fair price! Most of all, it has Bluetooth!!! GET IT!!! :)
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Excellent productPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I purchased this product as I was in the market for an mp3 player but did not want to spend a ton of money. I have purchased other Insignia product in the past and have not had any major issues with them as a "generic" product line. I have been extremely satisfied with the product overall. The ability to transfer directly from Windows Media Player was huge. My kids have ipods and the units themselves and the software have been more of an infection on my computer than anything else. Also having to convert the files over to the Ipod format takes up twice the space on my hard drive. Both bad. I have had some of the problems with my unit freezing up but usually its when I have disrupted something like removing the cable while it was still syncing or turning off a bluetooth device while it was connecting to it. I have figured out that you can easily reset the device by unplugging the battery for about 20 seconds. I simply removed the screw from the back and left it out. Aside from the freezing up (happened about three times so far) I have had absolutely no issues at all. It has been able to play my "protected" music that I paid for on Napster which has been a problem in the past, I have put some videos on it using the inculded media conversion software and been happy with the display, and I currently have about 1000 songs on it with about 2 gigs still left. The blue tooth is very easy to use and I have bought three devices to expand my use of it. 1. Bluetooth headphones - I purchased the insignia brand headphones first but detected a slight noise in the back ground of my music that I just couldn't not hear once I identified it. I since upgraded to a set of Motorola T9 headphones that have worked great and sound even better. 2. A stereo bluetooth adapter - this little unit was on clearance at Best Buy. I simply wired it into my surround sound system and have been able to broadcast my music wirelessly to my home stereo. This is a huge plus as I can walk almost anywhere in my house with the unit on me and be able to skip through my songs completely wirelessly. 3. A blue tooth ipod adapter - this little beauty was on clearance as well and plugs into any Ipod ready device and recieves a bluetooth signal. Now I can use any ipod dock system only it is better than using an actual ipod due to the wireless aspect. I have recommended this to two of my friends and will continue to do so. I was a little concerned about the durability after reading some of the reviews but it is my opinon that it has proven to be no more or less durable than any other small portable device. I purchased the silicone skin for it as added protection but have not had any issues there either. The only reason this item is not a 5 star item is due to the few freezes which I anticipate will be fixed with a firmware uptate that will be upcoming. Do yourself a favor and seriously consider this product as opposed to an Ipod. I could go on for hours on the many ways it is a better, more user friendly product.
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Excellent player, excellent valuePosted .I would recommend this to a friend
Background (skip to next paragraph for review proper): back when I was first getting into digital music, I (perhaps foolishly) converted all my music from CD to Ogg Vorbis (which my old HD player at the time supported). Now, I'm not smearing Ogg in any way, it's a great codec, but you're fooling yourself if you think it doesn't limit your options when it comes to choosing a digital music player. I moved across the country, leaving my CDs in storage at home, and brought my Ogg files with me on my computer. Well, as you may have guessed, the HD player died on me, leaving me with a quest for a new player. I decided that Flash memory was the way to go, and I looked at several options including offerings from iAudio (good quality, but expensive and often using less than intuitive UI) and other Korean based manufacturers (generally the ones to include Ogg support for some reason). Then, to my surprise I stumbled upon the Cnet review for this player and ran out and bought it the very next day. I'm glad I did, and here is why: First off, the most obvious factor- VALUE. For 8 Gb, the only company to compare in terms of sheer memory/$$ value offering in a flash player is Sandisk (a memory manufacturer!) and their player is larger, with fewer features and far fewer codecs supported. Second, features. There are many surprising things this player does, and does well, that are missing from the "big gun" players. Even simple things that you *could* buy umpteen peripherals and do with brand X, are just little niceties built into this player. Why bother with a cord splitter- you've got two headphone jacks built right in. You could actually have 3 people listening in on this thing if you include a bluetooth headset. Speaking of which, I have the Cardo S2 headest and the bluetooth works great! Who else is even including bluetooth in their players? Expandable memory should be a no-brainer, as it truly increases value and usability, yet very few offer it- this one does and for SD HC at that- you can cheaply double the included 8 gigs and get into PMP territiory. How bought a user-replaceable battery? Yup, and it's one of an ever-dwindling list of players offer one. Call me old fashioned. I also like to listen to FM radio (NPR) and the reception works flawlessly (with corded headphones of course). Lastly, ease of use. In general, all aspects of this player are conceived with the user experience in mind, down to the simple click-wheel UI system (yeah, it's ripped from a certain white market-dominator, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it- its actually a bit better IMO because of the inclusion of the menu button). I have to give some kudos to the included PDF user's manual. Rarely have I seen such a thorough and yet easy to read and navigate manual, for virtually any product, not to mention a "budget" brand music player. Everything you need is there. I haven't tried the software, so I won't comment. Drag and drop works flawlessly. The display is large and clear and the info I'm looking for is always easy to find. Things I would like to see in the next edition: Here's the part of the review in which I hope the designers read these things, because there a few minor quibbles (by no means deal breakers) that I'll mention. As another reviewer mentioned, I'm putting music I like on this device, so lose the "rating" toggle. Interesting idea, but I'm not going to use it, and it takes up space, projects out of the player a bit, and its one more thing that could break or get hit accidentally. As opposed to a total redesign, I'd love to see that spot replaced with a small mic hole for voice recording as seen on many other players. The pilot has such a laundry list of features, that I figured this would be obvious, but there isn't a built in mic. Sure, you could connect a mic via line-in, but that takes the convenient portable-voice-record feature out of it. I personally don't have an issue with the size- its slim enough, yet I won't constantly lose it either. That said, I would like to be able to change the screen orientation to vertical- it just feels more natural when controlling the player with one hand. Sure, it would be more like the ipods, zunes, etc., but if it aint broke... Lastly, got to mention it, sound quality. To me the player sounds pretty good. I'm not an audiophile and I'm pretty sure I've heard some other players that sound better, but this one sounds far from bad. Really, I want to see this player sound even better less for myself, but more so that all the real audiophiles could quit whining and see this product for all of its strengths above the competition. I rarely write reviews about products, but this one did enough things right that the competition wasn't doing that I thought it deserved it. I look forward to buying the next version some time down the road which will be at least 16 Gb for under $200 with a built in mic and slightly better sound quality, but otherwise exactly the same :). ps. I didn't buy any proprietary case for this player- I found that the mid-size Case Logic Pocket is perfect in that the screen is protected (the bottom half of the player is tucked in), the controls can be accessed, and the whole set-up can be clipped to a belt loop.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Nice so far...Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
So far, I have been very happy with this unit. However Customer Service is another matter. - The unit has an SD card slot. Another reviewer notes it will work with the SDHC cards. Nothing in the supplied information says this is so. I gave customer service a call using the number on the back of the box. After a lengthy wait, I am told to call the "special" mp3 tech line. So, another wait, a long wait. Finally, someone to help me. The person tells me it will only take micro SD. As I have the unit in my hand, I tell him "that his information is incorrect" So another wait. He is back with new info and now am now told it will not take the SDHC cards, only the standard. I thank him for his time and hang up. - So, I am looking at the unit (in strong light) and what do I see? On the card slot cover in tiny letters SD HC, so I have my answer. - Back to the unit... Mostly I have been navagating from the Folder Browser as it easier to find what I am looking for. I really wish you could make this the default , or possibly the Music Library / Artist menu, as an alphnumeric listing of more than about 100 songs, is of little use. - ALL my music includes the track number but only about 300 out of 1548 songs made the transfer with the track number intact. Will try again later With the USB Mode set to File & Folder and see what happens. Drag and drop may be the way to go. - I like the radio and quick record function. - I have not tried the line in or any video / photo functions. - The supplie software and I do not think alike. I have many compilation / various artist CDs. For instance, Stone Free, A tribute to Himi Hendrix. After transfer to the supplied software, the CD title was lost and the songs were split up and arranged by the various artists. There were other issues as well. It is now un-installed. - Overall, I like. Only time will tell how long the honeymoon lasts...
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Excellent MP3 PlayerPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I bought this 8Gig player for my wife. She had been using a one AAA battery powered 1 Gig MP3 player that would die at the most inopportune times. This Insignia 8Gig Player worked right out of the box. I didn't even use the included software. I am using Media Monkey and the files transferred flawlessly. Once the wife saw how much free space she had, I spent the next week Ripping all of our Original CD's about 175 of them. The wife like to save her Knitting PodCasts onto a 2 Gig SD memory card and listen to them on the Insignia. After about 3 weeks, the unit began to have random lockups, most usually when the Mini USB cable from the computer was plugged into it. These lockups could be cleared if the on off switch would be held in the off position for about 2 minutes. Once, the unit locked up while in a PodCast and nothing would clear it. After just sitting for about an hour, the unit appeared to clear itself. After this final lockup, I took the unit back to the Best Buy store and exchanged it for a new unit. There is no clear documentation with the unit regarding what size of a SD card the unit will accept. Email support is lame. I emailed the Insignia Company and after 4 days, I received an email, asking me to call the 800 # for Insignia Technical support and ask them the question. DAH ! All in all, my wife loves this Insignia 8Gig MP3 player. I am chalking up the lockups to a defective unit.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Great Sound, reliable performancePosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I've owned this Pilot NS 8v24 for approx. four months now and I have to admit it's really has grown on me. I decided not to get an Ipod because I'm a Mac owner and Mac system requirements are very specific about upgrading the Operating System to the latest version in order for a lot of hardware and software (including the Ipods) to function. When I first bought the Insignia Pilot, I had a lot of trouble getting the player to sync with ITunes properly but after getting on the phone w/Tech Support (very helpful) I was able to iron out most initial issues in a few sessions - I'm not IT intuitive. There is a more extensive owners manual which comes on the disc in PDF format included with the package. It took about a month for me to learn what I was doing wrong (make sure you always back up your music files and for Mac owners don't disconnect the usb plug before your machine powers off). Other than that I really enjoy using the second audio line in jack which connects directly to audio receiver outputs which enables you to convert Old school vinyl directly to wma files and the sound from my analogue source is terrific. This unit has an FM radio and a built in equalizer that has pre sets and also a custom setting for you to adjust the way you want something to sound. You can store jpeg photos, I haven't been able to successfully import any video clips, the unit is supposed to accept mpegs and AVIs, but I purchased this primarily as a music player. I would recommend getting a pair of secondary headsets as the one from the manufacturer sound terrible and are uncomfortable (Sony's MDR-E829V are inexpensive earbuds that work fine for me). If you're like the rest of the world and own a PC there's even more features that you can explore, like downloading from Rhapsody and it has a remote player - I'm not sure how that works. My fiance has Windows XP and the player is more user friendly in that environment, and it's easy to toggle back ad forth and synch up between both machines. I'd recommend this unit for anyone who likes to listen to a lot of music and is discerning about the audio quality.
Asked by Anonymous.
- A:Answer Insignia's Pilot 8GB Video MP3 Player uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
Answered by AaronGS