updated 07:45 am EDT, Mon August 11, 2003
today introduced seven MP3 players featuring "radical new designs that create the smallest MP3 players on the market, deliver over 15 hours of play time, and allow for easy transfer of music from almost any music source." From hard disk to flash memory-based players, the Rio Karma, Rio Nitrus, Rio Cali, Rio Chiba and Rio Fuse MP3 players offer a complete new product line-up. [site not updated]
The Rio Nitrus ($300) is a cross between a hard disk and flash-based player, providing a new option for the MP3 consumer. The rugged, stylish 1.5GB player offers "never before seen industrial design and arguably delivers the highest sound quality and longest battery life on the market." The Rio Nitrus, smaller in overall size than a deck of playing cards, can playback over 375 songs (25 hours of music). It also features a built-in 16-hour LiON rechargeable battery, includes a five-band parametric equalizer, and sports a USB 2.0 interface.
The Rio Karma ($400) is a USB 2.0-based traditional hard disk player (20GB) that can hold over 5,000 MP3 songs and has a unique ergonomic industrial design that allows for comfort while in a shirt pocket, or in the comfort of a right or left hand. It features a built-in 15-hour LiON rechargeable battery and and ships with a docking station that serves as an on-board battery charger. The Karma docking station also provides a direct connection to an Ethernet port (for networking the drive) and it also has a five-band parametric equalizer as well as Rio DJ software for quick radio-style crossfade between tracks.
Easy-to-Use Flash-based Players
In the traditional flash-based MP3 player category, Rio introduced Rio
Chiba and Rio Fuse. These two new MP3 players bring "awe-inspiring industrial
designs" to the flash-based player market, with large, easy-to-read backlit
LCDs, increased onboard memory, and industry leading battery life -- more than
18 hours of continuous playback. In addition, the Rio Chiba offers an FM tuner, five-band adjustable equalizer with presets, and a carrying case and
armband. The Rio Chiba is available with 128MB ($170) or 256MB ($200) onboard (expandable to 768MB).
The Rio Fuse ($130) is a 128MB MP3 player with a one-piece design that plugs directly into a USB port without cables. The Fuse comes with a backlit LCD display, and adjustable equalizer with presets.
Rio also introduced Rio Cali, a newly designed sport MP3 player that
builds on the company's most popular selling flash player, the Rio S30S. it includes an easy-to-read four-line backlit LCD, increased onboard memory, and 18 hours of battery life. In addition, Rio Cali offers an FM tuner, five-band adjustable equalizer with presets, and ships with Rio Music Manager 2.0. It is available in both 128MB ($170) and 256MB ($200) capacities.
The Rio Nitrus, Karma, Cali, Chiba, and Fuse players will begin shipping later this month.