Samsung Electronics is looking to release a portable MP3 music player in the US before Christmas, even though rival Diamond Multimedia has had its own product blocked.
The US recording industry is currently pursuing legal action against Diamond, which markets the Rio PMP300, a Walkman-style MP3 player similar to the one Samsung has waiting in the wings.
Last week, a US District Court in Los Angeles issued a 10-day restraining order that prevents Diamond from releasing any further Rio players. A second trial is scheduled for 26 October, when the court will look at both arguments in depth.
Online music distributor MP3.com has welcomed news of Samsung?s speculated move.
?It is important because Samsung is a big brand name with mass market manufacturing facilities at its disposal,? commented a spokesperson for MP3.com, which claims that four million songs have been legally downloaded from its site so far.
Like Diamond?s Rio, Samsung?s device will support the popular MP3 format for downloading music tracks from the Internet and will be a playback only device - it will not record.
Only a couple of years ago, downloading a music track from the Internet could take half an hour. With MP3?s MPEG-1 Layer 3 data compression format it can now take around five minutes and the quality is high.
Samsung?s player is expected to retail at around $159, while Rio is priced at $199. Samsung said it does not comment on unannounced product.
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