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Product: HipZip
Manufacturer: Iomega
Estimated Street Price: $299.95
Review By: Julien Jay


Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Features & Sound
3: Play/transfer & Advanced Features

4: Conclusion

    Once you’ve replaced your headphones with high quality ones, you’ll enjoy a clear, bright music quality that doesn’t fade in comparison to a MiniDisc: there’s no breath, cracks, etc. The sound is just perfect and you can perfectly plug the HipZip using a jack-RCA connector to any HiFi system. Note that you can also use the HipZip in your car using a jack-jack connector or a tape adapter. Iomega has included into the HipZip a customizable equalixer so you can adjust bass and treble levels manually or use the predefined modes like Rock, Jazz, Classic, etc. Playing MP3 files is a breeze once you’ve inserted the PocketZIP disk since you have to turn the unit on by pushing the play touch and push it once more time to start playing songs. The track name and the artist name will scroll on the large HipZip screen (only if the MP3 file contains this information) while a playing timer indicated how many minutes from each song have been played. To our deepest regret the HipZip like most actual MP3 players doesn’t display accents on European characters so they’re replaced by a blank space. Several play modes are offered by the HipZip so you can play songs by the order they’re stored on the disk, play them randomly, or use the intro-scan mode to hear the first seconds of each title: great to know what is on your PocketZIP. There’s also a repeat feature that can repeat all, track, or even repeat randomly. The Playlist feature lets you easily define which songs you want to play in the order you want using a user-friendly interface. Since the latest firmware update has been released you can even access a specific song from the play list and play it right away without the need to push several times the forward touch to access it like before. One of the major features that were missing when the HipZip was released was the –resume- capability. The mistake is now fixed and you can perfectly shutdown the HipZip in the middle of a song, and turn it on later so it’ll start playing the song exactly where you stopped it.


    The Iomega HipZip unit is versatile so when you plug it to your computer using the nice transparent USB cable, it’s recognized as a removable disk drive. If you install the IomegaWare set of drivers, the unit is shown in the ‘my computer’ window and in the Explorer as a PocketZIP drive with a nice PocketZip icon. That means you can use indifferently HipZip to store MP3 files as well as photos, programs, etc. Transferring MP3 or WMA files on the HipZip is a child’s game since you can do it in two different manners:

  • First you can copy files and paste them on the HipZip current Pocket ZIP disk using the Windows Explorer,

  • Since Microsoft has made Windows Media Player 7 compatible with Iomega removable drives, you can use it to manage your Pocket ZIP disks. The Windows Media Player 7 is great to do so: you select MP3 tracks from the library, you click ‘copy music’ and files will be transferred instantly on the unit. During the process the accomplished task percentage will be shown and you’ll see on a small gauge how many space is left on the disk.

Another good point of the HipZip is its fastness in saving files! You won’t waste time recording MP3 on it.


HipZip appears in 'My Computer' as a PocketZip 40 (click to enlarge)


Microsoft Windows Media Player 7 can ease MP3 transfers on the HipZip (click to enlarge)


Advanced Features

The main screen is back lighted ensuring you can read what’s written on it even in the dark: very useful to listen music in the night. To avoid any unwanted push of HipZip’s buttons, a small lock slider is present on the left side of the unit. However the button is too soft and can move itself to lock mode. Each time you start the unit once the animated Iomega logo has been displayed a status screen will tell you how much space is available on the current inserted Pocket Zip disk. For each disk, you can display detailed information about it to learn how many tracks it contains. When the HipZip plays a song you can choose to display information about the current song to learn, the name of the file, the used codec, the duration of it, the number of channels (stereo or not), the sampling frequency and finally the bitrate. Thanks to the high quality carrying case provided you can clip the HipZip on your belt and use it on the road. Iomega provides the HipZip with two Pocket ZIP disks pre loaded with some music samples and with the essential software to make your own MP3 right away. Iomega got the very good idea to bundle the HipZip with MP3 software so you can start using the unit right away without the need to worry about finding a MP3 software. They chose what I consider to be one of the best MP3 oriented software named MusicMatch JukeBox. With this full functionality software (provided with lifetime upgrades!) you’ll be able to rip CD tracks into MP3 25% faster than before, play them, create play lists, customize the equalizer, change application skins and much more! You’ll also be able to burn your favourites MP3 on CDs, and even create CD covers. The software obviously manages CD-Text so you can view the titles of CDA tracks and it lets you retrieve on the net the track titles of the current inserted CD.


The OutStanding MusicMatch JukeBox (click to enlarge)


<-- Features & Sound

Conclusion -->


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