Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

MP3 Player

The US$4000+ Gresso 1GB MP3 player

February 19, 2007 In November we wrote about the newest of the elite mobile phone manufacturers, Gresso, which makes phones from 200 year-old African Blackwood and Gold. Now Gresso is to diversify and has announced a collection of ultra-exclusive Mp3 players, to be called Symphonia, and the idea to create an Mp3 player that is dedicated to create a device for those customers who demand the ultimate craftsmanship and exceptional design. Four Symphonia models will be released in Q2, 2007, being made from Blackwood and White Gold, Blackwood and Pink Gold, White Gold and Pink Gold respectively, with the same ancient blackwood and 18 carat gold in each case, with prices ranging from EUR 3000 (US$4000) to EUR 5000 (US$6500).  Read More

World's largest capacity flash MP3 player - 8 GB Sansa e280

August 22, 2006 Competition improves the breed, and in the hot-hot-hot world of MP3 players, the 8 GB SanDisk Sansa e280 is the best of breed this week. Unveiled yesterday as the world's largest capacity flash-based MP3 player, the e280 has a suggested price of US$250, audio, photo viewing and video clip playback capabilities and a microSD expansion slot allowing expansion to 10GB of music with a 2GB microSD card. The player features an open digital rights management system that allows users to purchase songs or access subscription download services from numerous sources. In keeping with the ever-improving bang-per-buck trend, SanDisk has lowered its prices on the entire Sansa e200 line of products, including the existing 2 GB (US$140), 4 GB (US$180) and 6 GB (US$220) models.  Read More

Ainol's 1GB US$70 Mp3 player

August 14, 2006 We just can’t get over how hot MP3 players are at present. From being non-existent just a handful of years ago, portable audio player sales last year hit US$5 billion in the United States, which comes into perspective when you find out that the combined home and automotive market for fixed audio systems was US$5.11 billion. Whatsmore, the MP3 market is expected to more than double again by 2009. Then consider that the market leader (Apple’s iPod) has 75% of the market, despite offering no functional advantage beyond the user interface and charges a significant premium for its products. It seems logical then that the contenders are lining up with killer pricing strategies. We’ve already reported on the world’s cheapest MP3 player, but expect that with the price of flash memory continuing to fall, we’re going to see some outrageous bargains over the next few years and here’s another to start you thinking. The Chinese 1GB Ainol V3 is half an inch thick, supports all major formats, has a 1.3-inch 160 x 129 screen, FM radio, USB 2.0, miniSD slot and retails for US$69 in China (US$50 for the 512MB version).  Read More

The rise of the MP3 player – BBC plans digital radio add-on

August 13, 2006 With MP3 player sales booming and threatening to become a disruptive media technology, the BBC is planning to develop a “plug-in gadget that turns MP3 players into digital radios.” Plans are in the early stages and no functionality spec or firm details have been released, nor has a cost or availability details, but a BBC spokesman was reported as saying, “it's important for to us to make sure that people can listen to digital radio on their own terms" according to the BBC web site. The BBC spokesman said the BBC was conducting feasibility studies for the design, manufacuring and marketing of the device. The plug-in gadget would not be limited to playing the BBC digital radio stations and versions might also be available for mobile phones and cars. The BBC initiative comes just after the release of a study by global market research firm Ipsos which indicates that as many as one in five Americans over the age of 12 now own portable MP3 Players and one in 20 own more than one.  Read More

The number one contender for the iPod crown - the iriver clix

July 20, 2006 When it all boils down, as much as we love the iPod, it doesn’t seem fair that Apple should do as well as it has on the strength of what’s basically a good MP3 player because there are plenty of other good MP3 players out there without the charisma of a Steve Jobs and the cleverness of Apple’s marketing team at their disposal – like the US$200 iriver clix f’rinstance. The clix has a very intuitive interface, 2GB memory capacity, a large colour display, digital FM tuner, enhanced photo viewing, video playback, and FlashLite game support. Seen as the most likely to successfully tackle the iPod, iriver has cosied up to Microsoft and offers immediate Windows Media Player 11 compatibility with the clix, has already spawned a bunch of accessories from the leading accessory manufacturers and has developed a close relationship with MTV Networks' new URGE digital music service in the hope of matching the iPod/iTunes team. There’s a really good interview with iriver America President Jonathan Sasse discussing all this ...  Read More

H2O Audio Waterproof Housing for Apple iPod nano (and any other MP3 player)

May 3, 2006 We’ve mentioned this capability before but we’re still so tickled about it, the shipping release of H2O Audio iPod nano waterproof housing gave us the ideal excuse. Anyone who swims knows the solitude of the water and the semi meditative state that can be achieved. There are those among us though, who crave the rhythm offered by music and this ingenious waterproof housing/headset combo enables one to listen to most mp3 players underwater. The H2O housing also offers safe sanctuary to your MP3 player during adventure sport activities such as surfing, wakeboarding, water skiing, snowboarding and probably anything else you can think of other than perhaps diving and the diminutive iPod nano design ensures users it can be strapped on and simply won’t get in the way. With the nano housing, absolute waterproof protection is not at the expense of access to Apple’s interface – the casing has a unique full-function Commander scroll-wheel assembly that provides users with ready access to all of the iPod nano's proprietary click wheel functions even when fully submerged in water. will be able to take their playlist with them regardless of outdoor conditions or recreational environment. Excellent action piccies with the housing being tested to the extreme!!  Read More

The world’s cheapest MP3 player

April 15, 2006 If you’re in any doubt about how ubiquitous the MP3 player will become, think about this. Japanese company Evergreen has released the DN-2000 onto the Japanese market. The DN-2000 has no internal memory and no display, but takes SD cards up to 1GB and like most MP3 players, doesn’t need a display because the standard interface of buttons is entirely adequate. We’re not going to put the price in the heading or first paragraph so you can decide for yourself just how cheap it might be possible to sell such an MP3 player for … with earphones, after design, manufacture and marketing.  Read More

The World's Most Expensive MP3 Player - US$20,000

April 5, 2006 German audio and storage company TrekStor, has received an order from Russian-Canadian billionaire and owner of the Midland Formula 1 team, Alex Shnaider, to develop the world's most expensive MP3 player. This luxurious piece of jewelry, valued at approx. US$20,000, is cast in 750 gold and adorned with numerous diamonds and a valuable chain. The idea to develop the world's most expensive MP3 player came to Shnaider while negotiating a sponsorship deal with TrekStor CEO, Daniel Szmigiel. Shnaider was so fascinated by the i.Beat organix – a handy, 40g player with full-bodied sound and winner of eleven accolades – that he placed a special order for the unique, custom-made device on the spot.  Read More

The mobile phone quickly becoming the MP3 player

March 10, 2006 Desire for mobile music is growing at a considerable rate with new products such as mobile music phones, iPod and other music players driving consumer demand. One third of the 945 million phones expected to be sold worldwide in 2006 will have digital music playback functionality. By 2008, it is estimated this will rise to almost 70% of the billion phones sold globally. With this in mind, Jabra used the CeBIT opening to announce the launch six new products for music lovers, giving consumers a comprehensive range of products for use with the mobile phone, MP3 players and the PC. The products launched at CeBIT include the Jabra BT325s Bluetooth headset with stereo headphones, Jabra C820s high-performance noise cancelling stereo headphones and two music adaptors including the Jabra A125s iPod Bluetooth adaptor and the Jabra A120s Bluetooth adaptor for standard music players. In addition, the recently announced Jabra BT620s Bluetooth stereo headset and the Jabra A320s Bluetooth stereo USB adaptor are also part of the new Jabra music line up.  Read More

Swiss Army Knife gets a built-in MP3 player

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!  Read More

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