This player really is packed with features. It combines a new technology called FIF with the most intelligent LCD screen of the range and 8MB of ESP memory is just phenomenal for an MP3 player.
The FIF (Fields in Filename) file format overcomes the hurdle of ID3 ("Title/Artist") tags on CD Players that play MP3 CDs. ID3 information is stored as the last few bytes at the end of an MP3 file. This isn't much use if you put a new CD in and want to see what's on it - the player has to read through every file to find all the information. As the name suggests FIF puts all the ID3 tags in the filename allowing the player to scan the whole CD and grab all the relevant information quickly. The compatible formats for FIF are:
The player can also play MP3s stored in Directories/Sub directories - so you can organize your collection into directories and just play particular albums if you want. The Exonion is the first to offer FIF and it's an absolute godsend when you have 150+ mixed songs on a CD and want to find a particular song/artist or album.
The next best feature on this player would have to be its 8mb ESP memory. Basically this means that under standard conditions walking, running or other jarring movements won't make it skip. The player's memory is phenomenal and is also probably beneficial to the player's battery life. It actually buffers whole songs into its memory and then stops the CD spinning. The most power consuming part in your average portable CD unit would be the motor and the Exonion only restarts it when the next track is coming up or when it needs some additional data when the song is larger than the buffer.
The LCD is a generous size with plenty of screen real estate. It displays the current FIF Play mode ( ie. Title/Arist/Genre Mode), Repeat Mode(standard Repeat One/Repeat All), Equalizer Setting, Bass Boost Setting (on/off), ESP Status, Battery Indication. ...and this is just the top 1/4 of the display! The next line displays the track title whilst the following line displays the artist. The last line displays the genre if you're using ID3 mode or simply "FIF" if the player is using FIF mode. In addition to this it displays current track number and total playlist size followed by sampling frequency, current bitrate, a cute little spectrum analyzer animation and track time.
The remote is a pretty standard wired model but it's quite small measuring only 7.5cm (2.9") long and 3cm (1.8") wide at its widest point.
The player itself has 9 buttons on its front face and a "Hold" slider switch on the left side. The left and right arrows allow you to skip tracks whilst the up/down arrows allow you to increase/decrease volume. This player does have a FF/RW feature if you hold down the arrows but this only seems to work when you're listening to CD audio. The play/pause and stop buttons are exactly as on the remote. When held down the play button doubles as "On" on stop is "Off".
This really is a next generation MP3 player - gone are the days of buggy firmware, substandard audio playback and frequent skipping. The audio playback is not the absolute best we've ever heard but delivers an admirable performance which combined with its advanced features makes it one of the best MP3 CD players we've seen to date. The inclusion of an LCD screen, FIF support, remote and 8mb ESP really show how far MP3 technology has come and puts some of the competitors to shame.