Frontier Labs NEX IA Reviews

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  • Features

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Frontier Labs NEX IA
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Frontier Labs NEX IA
Frontier Labs NEX IA
Frontier Labs NEX IA
Frontier Labs NEX IA
Frontier Labs NEX IA
Frontier Labs NEX IA

Specification for Frontier Labs NEX IA

Main Features
Memory 1 - 5

Features:
  • Uses Removable Compact Flash or Microdrive Memory Cards
  • FM Tuner with 5-Band Equalizer
  • Voice Recorder
  • Drag-and-Drop File Transfer
  • Remote Control for Easy Access and Control
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    Latest Reviews

    ★★★★☆
    Frontier Labs NEX IA

    “I was searching for YEARS for an MP3 player which...”

    Written on: 11/07/2005 by crimson69666 (1 review written)

    I was searching for YEARS for an MP3 player which would be seen as a Storage Device by Windows (no stupid control program needed, as is the case for the majority of players out there). I wanted a player with an upgradable firmware. A player which would support Vorbis. And finally, I didn't want a player with a proprietary battery pack.
    I found the Nex IA, which fulfilled my wish list. The player is very interesting. The problem is, that the company doesn't seem to be serious about… Read Full Review

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    ★★☆☆☆
    Frontier Labs NEX IA

    “As were many others I was drawn to this by some...”

    Written on: 13/02/2005 by scottg105 (3 reviews written)

    As were many others I was drawn to this by some relatively good reviews, and its apparently good value for money. But I have had no end of trouble with it since. The cumbersome 2*AA batteries make it very heavy and bulky, the strange whining noise it emits, (which Frontier Labs claims is unintrusive) is quite the reverse and is very noticeable. The lack of any sort of functions such as searching by artist, genre, album, etc makes the product very basic and hard to use. The flimsy outer case is… Read Full Review

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    ★★☆☆☆
    Frontier Labs NEX IA

    “Keep away from this Frontier Labs NEX ia Portable MP3...”

    Written on: 23/03/2004 by daotd (1 review written)

    Keep away from this Frontier Labs NEX ia Portable MP3 Player. It is a joke. I was lurred in by the 'excellent' reviews. The ability to use external CF cards is not worth buying it even a little bit.

    - cheap plastic look
    - on/off switch hard to move, again cheap plastic
    - have to switch off/on after auto power off. SO if you keep it in the pouch then you have to remove from the pouch everytime you need to turn it on
    - after turning on you have to select which mode to play instead of start… Read Full Review

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    Philyi's Response to 148854_daotd's Review

    Written on: 29/09/2004

    I totally agree with the review 113703 for (Frontier Labs NEX ia).

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    ★★★★★
    Frontier Labs NEX IA

    “Being experienced with the entire variety of MP3...”

    Written on: 29/12/2003 by supergeek (1 review written)

    Being experienced with the entire variety of MP3 players (Flash, Hard drive, MP3/CD), I had seen the good and bad with every style of player. Frontier Labs has put together a player which has (in my opinion) the most positive and least negative aspects of any player out there.

    One point to note is that you should avoid using a microdrive with this player if you use batteries. The reason is that this player does not come with internal memory to buffer the song like hard drive players do. This… Read Full Review

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    ★★★★★
    Frontier Labs NEX IA

    “What a neat and tidy piece of equipment THE Frontier...”

    Written on: 09/10/2003 by sbaillie (1 review written)

    What a neat and tidy piece of equipment THE Frontier Labs NEX ia is. With a capacity of up to 1 gig memory plus its multifunctions in which it is an FM radio, External Hard Drive, Voice recorder, Record from radio as well as an MP3 player, I can't fault it for value and quality.

    Add to that a built in graphic equaliser with presets and user configuration and I've got a super all rounder which is no bigger than a pack of cards and does all this on two AA batteries.

    It deserves to be bought… Read Full Review

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    Billjetpilot's Response to sbaillie's Review

    Written on: 05/11/2003

    I agree. At last someone talks about the all the good features. I just upgraded the firmware to v1.1 and it is a nice improvement. Keep up the good work Frontier Labs.

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    ★★★★☆
    Frontier Labs NEX IA

    “The software works but hopefully an upgrade could...”

    Written on: 13/09/2003 by jedmerino (1 review written)

    The software works but hopefully an upgrade could improve on the strong points. I found the text readable and with the backlight even in a totally dark environment. The earphones that came with it, I could live without as I use Sony's noise cancelling earphones -- which enhances the good sound quality of this product. Works with Lame VBR (16-320KBPS) Joint Stereo encoded MP3 files (some mp3 players have problems with this type of encoding) which I found to create the best sounding MP3 file… Read Full Review

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    ★★★★☆
    Frontier Labs NEX IA

    “I have had the NEX IIe for 2 years and I liked it very...”

    Written on: 13/09/2003 by tedbundy (3 reviews written)

    I have had the NEX IIe for 2 years and I liked it very much. Now the NEX IA came up, I went and bought one to see how it compares with the NEX IIe. Both the NEX IIe and NEX IA use the removable compact flash type memory cards as storage medium. As far as I cam concerned, CF is the best storage medium around. They are cheap and are very large capacity. And both the NEX IIe and NEX IA are the only type of MP3 players that use the removable memories. Unlike other players, they have no in… Read Full Review

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    ★★★☆☆
    Frontier Labs NEX IA

    “This Frontier Labs NEX ia MP3 player is a perfect...”

    Written on: 08/06/2003 by DrSmile. (1 review written)

    This Frontier Labs NEX ia MP3 player is a perfect example of someone coming up with a great design concept followed by poor production. Examples:

    1) Awesome backlit screen but you can only leave it on all the time or 5 seconds, the 5 seconds option is really about 2 seconds (or until you press another button!) which is annoyingly brief , and the all the time option sucks the batteries dry.

    2) NO shuffle option for a single directory. Do any of the sofware engineers actually use the… Read Full Review

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    107149_Anham.'s Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 14/06/2003

    Agree with the reviewer on all points. However, overall this is a great player because it delivers where it counts:
    <br>
    <br>1. Sound quality
    <br>2. Cheap storage medium
    <br>3. Good battery life with CF cards
    <br>
    <br>I'm 100% shure that most issues will be addressed with firmware upgrades exactly as they have been for Nex II & IIe.
    <br>
    <br>

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    Neongelb's Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 14/11/2003

    You can jump down a track at a time with the NEX IA. What do you mean with scrolling a screen at a time? I've never had any problems with my ia.
    <br>I can't find the bit on Frontier Labs' website where they claim the player can play ogg files. Where did you see this? They say that it is possible through firmware updates but from what I've heard, they're still developing it and we're gonna have to wait a bit longer before we can listen to Ogg-Vorbis.

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    Kellysgreen's Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 12/11/2003

    Anyone have issues w/ scrolling though long lists of MP3 files? I'm borrowing an iA from a friend to compare against my NEX II. In the NEX II you can jump down a screen at a time in the file list by holding the scroll wheel. Doesn't seem to work that way w/ the iA.
    <br>
    <br>And someone mentioned not playing OGG or WAV files... I haven't tried this yet but according to frontier's site it does play those formats (or at least OGG) -- anyone tried this?

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    Neongelb's Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 05/11/2003

    I've just downloaded firmware 1.1 for my NEX IA from the Frontier Labs Website. With this firmware you can now sort files by track as well as by ID3-Tag which is great for audiobook fans. The backlight config. has also been updated so you can choose between 5, 10, 20 seconds, always on or always off. And the player boots up more quickly. A general bug fix of the smaller issues has also been included which seems to make a difference.
    <br>I contacted Frontier Labs a while ago about the dodgy CF card cover and they assured me that the newer NEX IAs no longer have this problem. They even sent me a new cover for free and since then I've had no more problems with a flapping cover.
    <br>Satisfied customer!

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    Jackma's Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 15/09/2003

    I just got my NEX IA and I have to disagree with the comments made by the first reviewer. Yes, its true that the firmware of NEX IA needs some improving, but in no way does this make the NEX IA a "bad" device. In fact, after a few days of using it, I find the NEX IA to be a very well thought out, manufactured and flexible player.
    <br>
    <br>I got the player directly from Frontier Labs's own online store. I ordered it on Monday and I received it by Thursday. Service was prompt and they answered all my emails within one day.
    <br>
    <br>The player came in a carton box. It came with a clip style earphone (not too comfortable), a carrying case, CD-ROM, USB cable, and manual. No batteries though.
    <br>
    <br>Because I already have a few CF cards lying around, that is one of the reason why I chose the NEX IA. I can swap my memories around with my digital camera. The operation of the player is very easy and self-intuitive. There is a 5-way jog on the front of the player. You can basically control the entire player with this jog (play, forward, rewind, volume and pause). This same jog is also on the remote. When you turn it on, you see the main menu. You can select Player, Radio and Format. When you select Player, the player will boot up and you can see the song list. To play a song, all you need to do is use the jog to select the song and press to play. The play screen contains most of the information you need (song name, counter, a duration bar, battery indicator and etc). The sound is very rich and deep, exactly what I expected.
    <br>
    <br>You can also scroll to the menu while the song is playing to access the equalizer, play mode and other setups of the player.
    <br>
    <br>While it may not be as fancy as some other players, NEX IA delivers what it counts the most, a versatile player that is affordable with good sound.
    <br>
    <br>It also uses the compact flash memories and I have plenty of those around. I think CF memories are by far the cheapest memory cards around. Because NEX IA has no internal memory, another good point of the player is that it is expandable. I am now planning to get the 512MB CF.
    <br>
    <br>On the negative side of the player, I do agree, the firmware can be improved such as longer backlight time, shuffle within folder, no automatic sorting of songs and perhaps allow you to select your own logo at the start of the player. But I don't think that these factors should render the player as bad as what the other reviewers said about it.
    <br>
    <br>In my opinion, NEX IA is a very good player. Go get one.

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    Sleeman's Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 09/09/2003

    Another big annoyance:
    <br>
    <br>Sorting audio tracks by ID3 tag title, and not by track number.
    <br>
    <br>Sucks big time for audio books.
    <br>
    <br>I looked long and hard at MP3 players and chose the NEX iA after seeing some good comments on tech support response. Unfortunately, the firmware updates are virtually non-existent.
    <br>
    <br>I do believe if Frontier Labs got their act together and fixed the bugs mentioned here, or even just fixed a few of them, they'd get a lot more respect. Not taking care of their existing customer base is gonna kill them.
    <br>
    <br>So come on Frontier! Get it together. Even if you're only fixing a few bugs at a time, you gotta get new firmware available - at least once every 3 months until you've got it right!

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    Mjkrebill's Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 12/08/2003

    I am hoping the Frontier Labs is reading this. I thought I would comment on this unit as I am an electronics engineer. I just got this unit last month. It looks and sounds good and is constructed ok (except for the flimsy CF door). What is up with that? I think everyones Nex IA has this CF door problem. The headphones are adequate for it's price and sound OK. The USB cable is a must for those who don't have a reader albeit a reader is a heck of alot faster. A 3 volt common interface would be dangerous and I think the engineers planned this one right. If you were to use a car adapter with the voltage setting too high you could blow the circuitry.
    <br>
    <br>The firmware is not a BIT buggy but ALOT buggy. Here is what I noticed when using the player as far as the firmware is concerned. These are just problems I have noticed that actually affect the music in someway. Other minor quibbles about FM and battery life are hardware issues and your useage with these features will vary.
    <br>
    <br>1) Processing of click delays for the buttons is too fast. You can actually at times just nudge the buttons without clicking them and the player will switch something on you.
    <br>
    <br>2) A few typos as previously noted although they don't deal with actual player functionality.
    <br>
    <br>3) Weird fast forward and reverse. The player actually has a glitch sometimes and wants to go to the previous song or next song if I hold down the FF or RW buttons. It should FF and RW and not skip to the next song. Although this doesn't happen all the time, it is a timing issue within the firmware that needs attention.
    <br>
    <br>4)Player exhibits random lockups as previously noted where the music repeats a 1/2 second sample infinitely. This happens unpredictably with various WMA's and MP3's.
    <br>
    <br>5)No WAV or OGG support. For a purist, it is essential no matter how big the CF card is. I have a 2GB CF card and it makes sense at times to use WAV files. I would also like to see OGG supported. It is a legitimate and open source alternative to Microsofts WMA compressed audio.
    <br>
    <br>6)Battery indicator is...well, non-functional.
    <br>
    <br>7)Player cannot be operated with the case on. There are no cutouts for the power or STOP and REC. Player must be removed from case to do these essential things.
    <br>
    <br>As the original reviewer said, "These are 90% firmware issues". I would agree with that. I wonder if the Frontier Labs people ever used this player before putting it out to the market? In a highly competitive market these issues cannot be left unattended nor ignored. I just don't understand.
    <br>
    <br>I cannot give the Nex IA "4 thumbs up" in any event. More like "2-1/2 thumbs up". The player is just too buggy. Maybe if Frontier Labs revises the firmware or rewrites it and fixes these issues then I might consider their products for another go. If the firmware is fixed then I might reconsider.
    <br>
    <br>
    <br>** HIDDEN DIAGNOSTICS **
    <br>To access the diagnostics for this player:
    <br>
    <br>1) Turn it off.
    <br>2) Hold down the STOP button on the right side and simultaneously turn the unit on with your left hand and release button.
    <br>3) To test the FM radio do the same except hold down the REC button.

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    Billjetpilot.'s Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 28/07/2003

    Here are my findings after one weeks use:
    <br>
    <br>My CF card door stays closed. Using the included carrying case would also help keep the door closed. Battery did go dead at 1/2 still left on the indicator. I estimate that I got 8 hours of playback on one set of batteries. I tend to listen in 20 minute chunks, so I am turning the unit off and on alot. FM reception is fine for a small portable devise. (Better than my Sony Walkman.) Unit locked up once on a rewind, but reset fine. Make sure that you stop (not pause)the current song before turning the unit off, or else when the unit is turned back on it attemp to play the song where you stopped but with out sound. Carrying case is well made but covers all the buttons. You have to "feel" for the power switch to turn the unit on without taking off the case. Controls on the unit and on the remote are outstanding and easy to use even while running. Display is great. Backlight is also outstanding but is usually not necessary. User manual and software are well done. Overall, I give the Nex ai a 7.5 out of 10. I hope they have a firmware upgrade to "fix" the minor problems. Still an outstanding unit and a great buy.

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    118315_Ian.'s Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 24/07/2003

    Don't be misled by falltime re: FM reception.
    <br>
    <br><P>FM reception is awful. I compared the NEX ia to an iRiver IFP-190T in the same location, using the same headphones. The iRiver had excellent reception. The NEX had awful reception. It was only tolerable if I kept completely still. This is unacceptable for a mobile device!
    <br>
    <br><P>Note: I am on the whole satisfied with my NEX ia, although I completely agree with the other comments about the rough edges on the software.
    <br>

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    116677_Logan.'s Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 18/07/2003

    Great review. Short yet succinct. I agree that the door is flimsy and the software needs help. Also the fast forward title typos and rewind feature bug the heck out of me. This could be a great player if all the bugs are worked out (Frontier Labs needs to kick their Texas Instruments DSP programmer in the but). So far I have noticed the following:
    <br>
    <br>1) Good Sound Quality
    <br>2) Fairly rugged construction
    <br>3) Unstable fast forward and reverse
    <br>4) Too fast of a backlight when set to "normal".
    <br>5) Flimsey CF door. It looks like it's molded wrong on one side. Not wide enough.
    <br>6) Buttons stick at times.
    <br>7) Silly FM radio. Poor reception.
    <br>8) Battery indicator is useless. Player stops at 1/2 capacity.
    <br>9) Various player loops and stalls when some combinations of buttons are pressed.
    <br>10) Displays "foreign" or coded characters if a song is over 99minutes in length.
    <br>
    <br>Mainly though I would agree that the software needs to be rewritten and "actually" tested on the street before I will be happy with it. I thought I was happy until I actually tried to "use" the player as it's intended. Frontier Labs needs to get their programming straightened out.
    <br>

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    Proteos.'s Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 17/07/2003

    for folder shuffle, just wait for firmware upgrade. in the meantime, keep bugging frontierlab about it ;)

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    111112_Falltime.'s Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 27/06/2003

    The only really valid complaint is no shuffle w/in folders.
    <br>
    <br>Battery Life is great w/ CF cards - no device has good battery life w/ micro-drive. B/C the DRIVE eats batteries
    <br>
    <br>FM reception is adequate and on par w/ most similarly sized devices - and most players dont have FM radio anyway
    <br>
    <br>Backlight is unnecessary in all but lowest light conditions b/c of a GREAT display.
    <br>
    <br>All in all THE BEST flash media player available - wish they'd add a 'folder shuffle' Then id be perfect.

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    Bluwduch.'s Response to 105228_DrSmile.'s Review

    Written on: 24/06/2003

    I've had a NEX II for 2 years now - In that time I haven't seen a single useful firmware upgrade. Looks like it has he same problems I'm looking to replace my NEX II to fix... Guess it won't be with a Ia.

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