The launch of two next-generation portable MP3 players this week is expected to give the compression format more clout in the battle for a digital standard for downloading music from the Internet.
Diamond Multimedia has just released its Special Edition MP3 player, the Rio PMP300, whose ?cool transparent teal case? owes a great deal to the consumer appeal of the Apple iMac.
The Rio PMP300 comes with 64Mb of onboard flash memory, which equals one hour of continuous play, or around ten hours of voice quality playback. It is priced at $250.
At the same time Creative Labs has been showing off the first release of its Momad MP3 player, which also offers 64Mb of memory. It has also launched a site for digital downloads called Nomad World.
Current MP3 players have 32Mb of memory, which only holds half an hour of music. Although they have had a good take up amongst consumers, lack of storage has until now been a limiting feature as they have not had the space to hold a whole album.
The music industry, however, still has its guns out against the MP3 format which it claims is open to piracy. Diamond is amongst several companies being sued by the Record Industry Association of America for developing MP3 devices.
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