IZ*ONE – COLOR*IZ Kihno Version Review

The Kihno players have pictures of the album art enclosed with a hard plastic with grooves on the sides. From what I could see, there looks to be a board connected with a bit of memory that has a 3.5 mm aux jack attached and extending outside of the casing. The bottom right of the enclosure has a bit open for possibly hanging on a keychain or lanyard. It comes a 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” or 6cm by 6cm.

Of course, the aux jack was going to be a hurdle as most of my devices as well as my friends smartphones no longer has aux jack. I did try plugging in to my computer but I couldn’t get the desktop app to run, so I couldn’t experience that part. After finding a 3.5 mm adapter to plug the Kihno player and after downloading the Kihno app, I was able to record my walkthrough and experience the features first hand.

So when you first plug in the device, it downloads the contents to the app which ends up being around 272 MB. I’m sure it includes the graphics, the actual song files, the pictures and some of in app recording software. The video covers what anyone would experience going through the app.

At any point, you can unplug the actual Kihno kit and still be able to play music and mess around as long as you stay within the app. If you exit and try to go back into the app, you will have to reconnect the Kihno kit to authenticate you back into the music player. This is an absolute inconvenience.

Highlights

  • Has all the photos found in the PB including liner notes from the CD.
  • You can screenshot any of the pics. They make great wallpapers for your mobile device.
  • The videos all seem to be YouTube links to their actual MVs that Off The Record and Stone Music has uploaded.
  • There is a social media network kind of like Instagram or twitter where you can post pics or videos of your recordings. It’s just not as active or intuitive for anyone to use as much as IG or Twitter.
  • You can record yourself singing karaoke to any of the songs. You can couple your recording over the main tracks and even record a video of you singing. It’s just not intuitive or attractive for anyone to actually spend time doing any of that. Plus you can only post it in the Kihno social media and not to anything else like IG or Facebook.
  • It is the only place where you can listen to the IZ*ONE version of Nekkoya digitally other than the actual CD as you cannot find that version on any streaming services like Apple Music or Spotify. 

The marketing behind Kihno kits is that they are collectibles with digital media. The truth is that it is proprietary DRM media for niche collectors in a highly popular hobby in medium. As for it becoming the main way you listen to your music, it’s more of a hinderance. If you already subscribe to a steaming service like Apple Music, YouTube Music or Spotify, IZ*ONE’s album is already at your fingertips ready to play instantly way before the Kihno app is ready after plugging it in and letting the app load up. As for sharing the device, if I gave this to one of my friends, they would immediately be put off by the fact they have to plug it in and download an app to play music.

It’s so much easier to send a link to your favorite single or artist over text message now, that’s the ultimate way of sharing you favorite music. The ironic thing about Kihno is that even though it is digital, the analog CD is packed in with it, something that people use even less! But even with the janky app powering the digital media, i was more empowered to pulling out the CD and popping it in my Blu-Ray/DVD player and play it easy with no problem. Old school playing of actual discs, what a strange feeling! 

I can see this being more of a collectors item for the hardcore collector market as it does give you photo cards inside the box. Kihno seems to be running with this as a lot of K-Pop artists seem to have a deal with releasing new albums with a Kihno version for example with EXO and Red Velvet’s last minis. If you can spare the extra $3-$4 for a piece of plastic and if you feel like its worth having the photocards on an already pricey import or purchase, then by all means go for it.

As for me, I see this as just a weird gimmick that I just cannot get behind. I do enjoy the card set, but I don’t think it’s worth the extra money. I do love the photo books and the random CD covers and photo cards, so I think from here on I will just stick to the standard editions. 

  • Allen

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