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Swiss Army Knife gets a built-in MP3 player


February 6, 2006

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February 7, 2006 The Swiss Army Knife has been one of the most sought-after gadgets by technophiles for 115 years, and it’s pleasing to see that Victorinox is still updating and innovating. Not long ago it added USB memory to one of the variants and has now gone one step further. The new s.beat digital audio player is an all-in-one 4GB digital audio player and USB storage device incorporated into a full-metal Swiss Army Knife. Built with the same level of precision the Swiss are renowned for, the knife and MP3 comes with a lifetime warranty. Now go try to peel an apple with your MP3 player!

Available in 1GB, 2GB and 4GB models, the s.beat can store data and music files and plays back MP3, WMA, WAV and OGG Vorbis digital audio files. Providing up to eight hours of playback with a rechargeable lithium polymer battery, the s.beat also has a built-in FM radio with 15 preset channels, the ability to record FM radio onto the device and a voice recorder. The s.beat also provides drag-and-drop functionality, meaning users can plug the device into any USB port and transfer files without the need for special software or a specific device driver.

The s.beat comes with a highly sensitive remote control that includes two earphone connections for parallel listening, high-quality earphones, adjustable rubber arm strap and has a high-contrast backlight LCD. The s.beat is available with the Swiss Army knife tools, including scissors, nail file/screwdriver and blade/knife or an airline-friendly flight version that does not have the tools.

The enabling technology behind the new design is the SigmaTel STMP3550 audio System-on-Chip (SoC). Through patented semiconductor solutions and software, SigmaTel's high level of integration and support allow its manufacturing customers to develop devices offering longest battery life, smallest form factors and lowest system design costs in the market.

SigmaTel's family of portable multimedia SoC solutions provide high-quality audio playback for portable devices such as MP3 players, portable media players, language learners, and jukeboxes. The company's solutions offer market-leading benefits, including as much as a 30% lower bill of material costs, Hi-Speed USB 2.0, up to 70 hours of battery life on a single AA battery and incredibly small form factor designs. With flexible software support and upgrade options, SigmaTel solutions offer support for MP3, WMA, ACC, WAV and OGG Vorbis audio format algorithms as well as support for Microsoft PlaysForSure version 1.2 based upon Microsoft Digital Rights Management (DRM) 10. Additionally, SigmaTel SoCs support the widest range of NAND Flash solutions on the market, including large block SLC and large block MLC Flash.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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