The Karma interface is a bit different then the empeg. It has all the artist/album/genre slayout that most other players have. Funny thing though, the Rio sync software doesn't support hierarchical playlists, but the Karma does. If you use jemplode to talk to the Karma, it can create them, and even sync over the LAN between an empeg and Karma.
Interface features I like about the Karma over the iPod:
-Karma is better suited for one handed operation. Left or right handed.
-The Karma has the alphabet along the left hand side of the artist/album screens. You can quickly scroll down to the letter, click in thr wheel, then scroll to the exact album. It's also smart enough to know to put "The Beatles" under B and T.
- Now and Next exists on the Karma, and is even better then the empeg. It allows reordering of songs, and allows any reordering you do there to be saved as a playlist.
Honestly if you liked the empeg even a minor bit, your enjoy the Karma. The lockup issues were narrowed down to some issues with bad hard drives. Seems some of them were getting the heads stuck to the platter. I haven't seen that issue on mine though, and one friend saw it only once. He's been using his Karma daily since practicially when the things came out, so one lockup needing a reset isn't bad out of all that time.
Oh, and the Karma does talk to Macs, or any platform with ethernet and java. In the future when the MSC firmware comes out, it should in theory talk to iTunes as well, just like the other MSC players like the Carbon.