In the iRiver…

New in circulation on my iRiver iFP-799:

If you’re like me, you’ll like all these albums.

I’ve been quite happy with my iRiver MP3 player (which I’ve taken to calling “my iPod” which tends to confuse people). It’s tiny, holds 1G of music, and plays ogg files. I only yesterday discovered its great flaw: you can’t move files off of the device. According to the FAQ:

Why can’t I upload my MP3 / WMA files from my iFP player?

A. Due to copyright protection laws that apply towards our technology, media files (MP3 / WMA files) cannot be uploaded from an iFP player to a PC. All other non-media files (documents, images, etc.) can be uploaded to a PC from the iFP player.

This restriction is in the firmware, so there is no trivial workaround. Apparently one workaround is to rename your files so they don’t have a music extension before moving them off the device, but that didn’t work for me, and is also terribly inconvenient.

I suppose iRiver implemented this control to avoid liability for contributory infringement, but it just seems damn silly to me. My Neuros Audio Player had no such restriction, and my impression is most portable music players let you move music on and off as desired. There is also apparently an alternative firmware that turns the device into a simple USB storage drive (while still functioning as a music player) that eliminates the restriction.

My biggest fear is that, by implementing this sort of unnecessary and unhelpful copy protection technology, hardware makers who fail to implement such controls will be accused of contributory infringement because they didn’t meet “industry standards.”


  1. random planet.debian reader Jan 28

    I’ve got a V@MP Iops flash player, which only holds 256MB memory (although you can get them with 1 gig.) They play ogg vorbis (which is why I bought it) and you can move files onto and off of the device at your own free will.

  2. Jamie Jan 28

    The iPod also doesn’t let you copy songs from the device into iTunes but the workaround is so easy it’s a joke. The files are readily accessible on the device since it just comes up as a hard drive, and many folks have written programs that list all your songs and allow you to copy them onto your computer.

  3. Joe Wreschnig Jan 28

    The USB MS firmware, while it lets you get stuff off the drive, is missing some of the other useful features (or used to be; iRiver’s firmware updates are hard to track, since none of them make it to the US site).

    I’m surprised that renaming files on the device doesn’t work. I encourage you to ask on the ifp-driver list and see if anyone has suggestions.

  4. Dane Jan 28

    I have a Samsung YP-MT6Z, which holds 1GB, plays Ogg, and works as a mass storage device. So, I can transfer stuff to and from it. I love it.

  5. Simon Jan 28

    I have an IFP-890, and with that I can move .oggs both on and off the device, at least with the firmware in non-managed mode. It was possible to upgrade the firmware using ifp-line from Debian as well.

  6. Frodo Jan 28

    I found a small crack on my iRiver iFP-795. If I restart the iRver Music Manager enough times, then about 1 time in 10 restarts it allows uploading of any file type. For reference I’m running IMM 3.16 and Firmware 1.24.

  7. oops Jan 28

    accidentally stumbled on this.. but it’s worked on my comp and on my friend’s. delete iriver music manager and windows media player from your computer. reboot. download and open winamp. allow it to run while you reinstall iriver music manager. then just drag and drop. you should have no problem transferring mp3s from your player to your pc. no idea why it works. just does. enjoy.

  8. xyz Jan 28

    Frodo’s “small crack” works also with fw 1.29 US and IMM 3.17.

  9. Cobra Jan 28

    It sounds strange but what “oops” did say its true…but you do not need to remove windows media player…just change every songs to standard player for winamp…then it work

  10. emadgreek Jan 28

    Yup just keep restarting music manager, and 1-10 it will let you upload your files. No need to uninstall, Nice catch frodo i got an ifp 799 and it worked !!!

  11. lecturetaper Jan 28

    dude, (frodo)
    if you were a girl I’d kiss you. Recorded priceless lectures on my 790. found out I couldnt get them off, untill i tried your mini crack. Saved my bacon. you get the well done extraordinary award. i’m in your debt!!

    My way of saying thanks for the tip. It helped a lot.

  12. Chipexxx Jan 28

    how the hell can i upload wma or mp3 files to my computer….
    there is any restriction about ogg files to upload or download?

  13. j Jan 28

    ragarding not being able to get voice recordings off. didnt the iriver software let you convert them and transfer dem to ur pc?

  14. jj Jan 28

    Can some one help me please my river 790 does not work with media player 10. When I try to change the compression settings media player justs crashers. but thankfully real player recognisers it. but I would prefer media player thou.

  15. garysgirl Jan 28

    I have an IFP 795 – was working fine, now when we launch iriver MM, the player shows up as disconnected inthe manager window – have spent hours reinstalling program and drivers, tried uploading firmware but that is greyed out in MM and get can’t the downloaded firmware to install. Help!

  16. rob Jan 28

    I have an IFP 390 and frodos crack worked for me as well

    Thanks heaps man

  17. xanthippe Jan 28

    thanks frodo! that worked great!

  18. rocknish Jan 28


    Keep the iriver MM software OPEN and then after that connect the iriver to your USB port & then turn on the player. That’s what worked for me.

  19. flykoo Jan 28

    I see for the first time such device, which doesn’t allow you to upload files on your PC! Who has invented that!?

  20. JJ Jan 28

    Yes, if you restart music manager (on my 4th re-opening) I was able to copy the files (mp3) to my hard drive. Sweet, thanks for the tip.

  21. iriverbeatsthepod Feb 3

    The winamp patch sorta works. What version of windows, and what service pack? What version of winamp? It seems that this has something to do with file associations. At one time I had this thing permanently unlocked, but I cannot figure out what I did to make it happen.

  22. Mr Choeif Mar 25

    All hail Frodo. It worked on about the 8th/9th try, but it worked nonetheless.

  23. flash guy May 21

    3rd time was a charm, Thanks Frodo. IFP899 -3.16,1.24. I love my iriver even more now.

  24. Jack_Hammer_187 Aug 16

    Frodo is da Man!

  25. Paolo Sep 2

    Frodo The Great!
    (It worked at the 5th time)

  26. fireman rick Apr 11

    Frodo is great. i was about to give up after restarting music manager about 15 times with no luck, then on number 16 it allowed me to transfer my music. firmware 1.15 music manager 3.16. Thanks again!!!!!

  27. Rich A. Nov 4

    Holy crap, I wouldn’t have believed it if i didn’t see it work myself, but after 10-15 restarts of the iRiver Music Manager, it finally let me upload all my MP3s from my iFP890 to my computer. That’s gotta be an intentional back door. iRiver, you rock!

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