To add songs to your player, you can just drag and drop the files to the Lyra. You can also install and download the MusicMatch program that is included. I personally prefer the drag and drop method as it can work through Windows Explorer. The Lyra is displayed as an additional removable drive.
When you have the USB 2.0 cable connected, the Lyra goes into transfer mode.
You will need to install the Lyra Jukebox software from the cdrom. This will let you profile and sync up your player with your PC. You can bypass the MusicMatch install if you choose to.
Everytime you move a file over to the Lyra, you need to profile your player so it knows that the new file is there. This is done by using the Lyra Jukebox software that sits in your system tray. You can also profile through the Lyra's menu, but it is extremely slow. Your best bet would be to do it on the computer right after you finish transferring you files over.
The Jukebox software lets you sync up your files as well as show your dislikes that you have selected.
The sync feature of the Lyra is one of my favorite. It will automatically sync up new files from your PC using the specified directories you choose. This is a great tool when you create or download new music files and you want to move them over to your player. Instead of copying everything over again, it will only copy the ones that are new. This saves a great deal of time when you are managing your files. You will need to specifiy which source and target directories you are syncing, select if you want the PC to overwrite the Lyras files and hit synchronize.
Once you have your files organized, you can start playing your files. I personally prefer to go through the All Files option and then select my individual directories I created. If you download a lot of songs, the ID3 tags may not be entered correctly. These files will then not show the name and other information during playback.
When you hit the play button on a specific file, it displays the files information on the screen.
The title of the file scrolls along the top, followed by the artist, then the album and then the genre. The bitrate is on the left as well as the runtime of the file. If you are playing from within a directory, it will show the file number out of the total in a X / Y format. A progress bar shows how far along the file has been playing as well. There is also a bar at the bottom which shows the volume.
This playback screen allows you to choose your Likes or Dislikes using the toggle buttons. Unfortunately, this feature just did not seem to cooperate for my model.
Overall, the RCA Lyra is an amazing deal at less than $200.00. It offers easy file transferring and playback through it's Lyra Jukebox software. The sync'ing feature is a great touch. The included earphones are more than adequate for the average listener.
There are only a few small annoyances like the functionality of the toggle buttons and the lack of bass/treble control. There is also a low whining noise when the player is booting up. If you can live with that, you should definitely pick this one up.
Thanks to CompGeeks for sending us this sample!