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Tenth Anniversary of First Commercial MP3 Player 166

Posted by Zonk
from the now-they're-implanted-at-birth dept.
Pickens writes "The first commercially released personal music player capable of handling MP3 files was launched in March 1998 — the MPMan F10, manufactured by Korea's Saehan Information Systems with 32MB of Flash storage, enough for a handful of songs encoded at 128Kb/s. In the US, local supplier Eiger Labs wanted $250 for the F10, though the price fell to $200 the following year prompted by the release of the Diamond Multimedia Rio PMP300. The Rio was released in September 1998, but by 8 October had become the subject of a lawsuit from the RIAA which claimed the player violated the 1992 US Home Recordings Act. It was later ruled that the Rio had not infringed the Act because it was not responsible for the actions of its customers. Thanks to its lesser known name, the F10 avoided such legal entanglements, but at the cost of all the free publicity its rival gained from the lawsuit."
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Tenth Anniversary of First Commercial MP3 Player

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  • Lame (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kesch (943326) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:20PM (#22710796)
    No Wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame.
  • by aleph42 (1082389) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:21PM (#22710810)
    At about 10,000$ of damages per song, 32MB doesn't seems that small!

    In fact, it should be "engough for everybody" ;)
    • If I remember correctly, the first portable mp3 players were portable CD players that could play CDs and mp3-encoded CD-ROMs. I am not sure which company first came out with them, but I remember purchasing the first brand named player (Phillips Expanium) in 1998. I still have it today. It works fine. I use my Archos 404 now, but still keep the old gal around, just in case. http://www99.epinions.com/content_6881185412 [epinions.com]
      • This player was not a CD/MP3 player. The F10 [wikipedia.org] had 32 Megs of memory which was not expandible. The next verion (the one that I have!) the F20 [xbitlabs.com] had an expandible memory slot for SmartMeida cards (those thin memory cards, remember?). You could expand it to a whooping 64M of total memory. I tried inserting a 128M card but it wouldn't play. Also the interface for uploading songs was conected to the _parallel_ (LPT) port of the comp. It was pretty unstable. The filesystem was also not FAT12/16/32 based so it was a
        • Also the interface for uploading songs was conected to the _parallel_ (LPT) port of the comp. It was pretty unstable. The filesystem was also not FAT12/16/32 based so it was a hassle to get the songs on the player a few yeras after when it was hard coming by Win98 (for which the software was written).

          This is the major reason why I held-off buying an mp3 player in the dark ages of portable players. The idea of spending hundreds on a device with a proprietary dongle cable that used a slow bus (parallel or s
        • by slantyyz (196624)
          I had the original F10. I paid something like $300 Canadian during a vacation in Taiwan.

          It was such a huge hassle getting any decent amount of music on it. I remember re-encoding my MP3s to radio quality to get the equivalent of 2 CDs or so on it.

          Even more annoying than the small capacity was that it used those flat-style rechargeable AA batteries that were expensive and hard to find in North America. Once the original battery I had died, I was left with a brick, that is still gathering dust in my basement.
      • by ncc74656 (45571) *

        If I remember correctly, the first portable mp3 players were portable CD players that could play CDs and mp3-encoded CD-ROMs.

        Not all of them, though my first one was: a Rio Volt SP90 [amazon.com]. It doesn't see much use anymore, but it came in handy last summer providing background music for a convention booth...rather than risk getting my iPod swiped, I threw a few hours' worth of music on a CD-RW and played it on a boombox through a tape adapter.

  • And to think.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TFer_Atvar (857303) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:25PM (#22710842) Homepage
    What if the RIAA had won that lawsuit? Where would we be with music today?
    • by samkass (174571)
      Music companies wouldn't have lost those billions to those commie pirates, CDs would be flying off the shelves, and those poor record companies would have the money to pay the artists everything they deserve every time! Right? Right?

    • Re:And to think.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Arguendo (931986) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:42PM (#22711360)
      Actually, the case (RIA v. Diamond Multimedia [cornell.edu]) was surprisingly limited and there's still a lot of debate about what it meant. Which is why we're still debating this stuff today. The Ninth Circuit simply held that MP3 players were not "digital audio recording devices" because they didn't actually make the digital copies (computers did). There wasn't much discussion of copyright issues.

      However, the Court did reason that its ultimate holding was consistent with the purpose of the Audio Home Recording Act, which supposedly was to "ensure the right of consumers to make analog or digital audio recordings of copyrighted music for their private, noncommercial use." 180 F.3d at 1079 (citing S. Rep. 102-294). And then the Court said the following:

      The Rio merely makes copies in order to render portable, or "space-shift," those files that already reside on a user's hard drive. . . . Such copying is paradigmatic noncommercial personal use entirely consistent with the purposes of the Act.
      And then the company that made the Rio went into bankruptcy and Apple made a gazillion dollars. Sometimes it's good to be second to market.
      • If you read TFS, you would know that Rio was second to market. They just happened to be the first popular one.
      • by courtarro (786894)

        And then the company that made the Rio went into bankruptcy and Apple made a gazillion dollars. Sometimes it's good to be second to market.
        Sometimes it's good to have the name recognition, design aesthetic, and ergonomics of Apple.
  • RaveMP (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:27PM (#22710862) Homepage Journal
    In the obsolete technology museum otherwise known as my house, I have two RaveMPs, one of the first MP3 players... and they both have the expansion chip to expand the memory to a full 128 meg! Almost enough for an entire CD! And the expansion chips only cost me like $150 each! (I got a good deal.)
  • I do believe it was the Diamond Rio PMP300 was first. I remember my order being on hold because of the lawsuit. I can't get to wikipedia. Anyone have insight?
    • Re:huh? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Selfbain (624722) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:36PM (#22710940)

      The Rio PMP300 was the second portable consumer MP3 digital audio player (portable digital audio player), and was produced by Diamond Multimedia. It shipped in 1998.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_PMP300 [wikipedia.org]
      • by v1 (525388)
        Well, it has never been successfully tested.

        MOST tests are successful. Not so many of them produce a desirable outcome however.

      • Apparently the "I can't get to wikipedia." sentence confused you. Fortunately, I can remote into my work machine and see it from there, but there seems to be something wrong with my ISP's DNS resolution for wikipedia (yes, OpenDNS, blah blah blah, no there isn't any malware, diggity diggity).
    • Another device that comes to mind -- although I can't remember firmly enough exactly when it came out to argue that it was "first" -- was the Pontis MPlayer3. It was definitely one of the first ones that I remember seeing, and from the archived press releases [findarticles.com] I can find, I think it came out in the Summer (Jul-Aug, maybe a bit earlier) of 1998. The German company that produced it limped along for a long time afterwards, producing some Linux-based devices in fact, although they now seem to have been subsume
      • by DeadChobi (740395)
        My first MP3 player was a Rio Chiba with the thumbstick. I even put a 512MB SD card in there so that I could have 768 megabytes of music. It still works, even after more than 5 years.
    • by hedwards (940851)
      I owned one, and if I were to look around, it's probably still around here somewhere.

      It was in some ways a strange player because it connect via parallel port and really required an extra memory card to be of much use. The only reason I stopped using it when I did was that I broke the dongle and chose to upgrade to the PMP500 rather than to buy a new dongle.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:30PM (#22710886)
    It was an innocent time on the internet, when you could download mp3s from the web, and nobody cared if you didn't upload.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by phreakincool (975248)
      Leech!!!
    • That's because there was a lot of prestige in being an uploader. A friend of mine was one of the first in the city to get an experimental ADSL connection -- they weren't selling them to regular customers yet, and I don't think it was even heard of in the US yet. The first thing he did was to set up a massive MP3 server and max out his upstream bandwidth 24/7.

      His other hobby was hacking his grey-market satellite receiver.

    • I guess you don't remember the ftp ratio servers. Yes, back in the early age I did a little downloading. I've since legally purchased all that I downloaded.
  • I got my MPMan... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by greg_barton (5551) * <<moc.oohay> <ta> <notrab_gerg>> on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:30PM (#22710888) Homepage Journal
    ...about the same time I signed up for my slashdot account. :) I couldn't wait to buy the thing, but I eventually got an MP3 CD player to replace it. Couldn't beat 650MB of MP3's at your fingertips.
  • How many of you still own a PMP300?

    (I won't ask about that first player... "who?")
    • by TobyWong (168498)
      I have a 500 which was the successor to the 300 and has a whopping 64 megs of memory. I have fond memories of my rio. Good looking, nice form factor, 1xAA battery = win.
      • by jrockway (229604)
        Ah, memories. I remember wanting a 500 for christmas (since it had Linux support, and I didn't have anything else), but ended up getting a 600 instead. I had to reinstall Mac OS 8 just to sync over some mp3s.

        It's nice that this isn't a problem anymore. Mass storage has made every mp3 player the same to the computer, which is an idea I wish they had when they releasted the 600 :)
    • My first player was the Nomad Jukebox 3. I believe the Jukebox was the first hard-drive player, and the jukebox 3 was the first one to make me go OMG i need this! Bought in late 2001 or 2002, it had 20 GB and USB connectivity, and I still used it until only a year ago when it finally gave up the ghost.

      I remember explaining to people why my discman was so thick, and then having to go into what made it better. Most people were pretty impressed, though it seemed too techy for the average joe (until Apple made
      • Personal Jukebox (Score:3, Informative)

        by absurdist (758409)
        From Wikipedia:

        The Personal Jukebox (also known as PJB-100 or Music Compressor) was the first commercially sold hard disk digital audio player. Introduced late in 1999, it preceded the Apple iPod and similar players. The original design was developed by Compaq Research (SRC and PAAD groups) starting in May 1998. Compaq did not release the player themselves, but licensed the design to HanGo Electronics Co., Ltd. of South Korea.

        • Interesting. Hadn't even heard of it. Those crazy asians! I just checked, and the first Nomad Jukebox came out in 2000 with a 6GB hard drive.
          • by RulerOf (975607)

            Those crazy asians! I just checked, and the first Nomad Jukebox came out in 2000 with a 6GB hard drive.

            I had one of those! The interface on it was fantastic. Sound quality was too. It was completely button based, if I recall, and you would browse by artist or album and queue up songs to a playlist, which you could save if you so desired. It also used soft buttons, similar to many cell phones today.

            That very playlist driven design is one of the reasons I don't have an iPod. Every iPod I've ever seen does allow you to create an "On-the-go" playlist, but it takes large amounts of time, and queuing up a

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mrbooze (49713)
          I had two PJBoxes way back when. I'm pretty sure I got the first one in early 2000. I lost the first one when my car was broken into and it was stolen on a night when I had coincidentally forgot that I left it in the glovebox.

          Ironically, the reason I *got* the PJBox was because after having my car broken into and stereo stolen yet again, I decided to never again buy a nice stereo for my car. From now on I would just use the stock/cheap stereo and listen to my music from the mp3 player. Something I still
    • Right here -- though something broke on it a looong time ago. I must have stopped using it by that time because I never tried very hard to see what was wrong with it. I got mine while I worked at an Office Depot in high school... and let's just say it was... heavily discounted ;)
    • I've got two. A brand new one (barely used) that works, and another with no shell that only works because I resoldered it.

      (That battery latch was horrible. A 200$ device that dies easily because they couldn't be arsed to spend more than half a cent on a connector)
    • Technically, my first "MP3 player" wasn't actually a MP3 player. I had gotten a Sony (ducks) MZ-R500 MiniDisc (ducks again) player for my birthday in 8th grade, right around when Apple introduced their "lame" iPod. I loved it. It ran off a single AA for over a day (continuous, before I realized what the "hold" switch was for), held at least a full CD of music, and was more pocketable than most other options at the time. And rubbing the whole "$3 a disc for another 80 minutes of music" in my Rio-owning f
  • Liars (Score:5, Funny)

    by martinX (672498) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:31PM (#22710896)
    The iPod hasn't been out for 10 years. Stop trying to rewrite history.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by quantaman (517394)

      The iPod hasn't been out for 10 years. Stop trying to rewrite history.

      Surely the Apple name and Steve Jobs reality distortion field helped the portable players gain popular acceptance faster than they would have otherwise, but the technology was already on the market and improving, and the blatant advantage over cd players and tape decks would have become well known fairly quickly.

      I wonder what the industry would look like today if Apple hadn't come on the scene, would the mp3 player industry still be as big?

      • by courtarro (786894)

        My bet is one thing that was holding the MP3 player industry back was the very long time commitment required simply to get music onto the player, even in the first days of the iPod when it was not yet ubiquitous. Users either had to wait for a 1x audio rip of their CD, or a buggy digital rip, then wait a very long time for their computer to encode the MP3 file itself. The alternative, of course, was to download the MP3 at dialup speeds, which wasn't a whole lot better.

        Of course, at that point you basicall

  • by nebaz (453974) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:32PM (#22710902)
    Does that mean it is established that it is unlawful to rip MP3's yourself?
    • by matt21811 (830841)
      In Australia it was illegal until last year. Considering that the iTunes store didnt open there until 2005 leaving almost no way to use them legally , and around 200,000 had been sold by then, a large number of the population were basically criminals.
      • by DeadChobi (740395)
        Hey, wasn't it true that Australia was originally a prison colony? So it shouldn't matter that a large number of the population were basically criminals. I mean, that's true of us here in the US too.
  • I was a proud owner of the Rio500, and pumped that sucker up to 128mb with a SmartMedia card- total cost: $280. That was a lot for a poor high school student, but in return I was showered with first-adopter nerd envy. At that time, the idea of bringing 3 Cd's worth of music to school with me in 1/4 the space of a CD player was just awesome.

    I can just see the internet comments now:
    "Put 512mb on a player and I'll buy it right now- 32mb is just too small."
  • Yeah, it was a few years after the first MP3 player, but more than anything the iPod launch was the real catalyst. I was one of the naysayers who thought "What the hell is Apple thinking?!?!?!" when the iPod came out. Guess the joke is on me, because I'm now an owner of that market dominating family of MP3 players.

    The 6th birthday of the Personal Video Player is coming up in June. This is interesting, because legal video content is still a developing market. Apple is getting their feet wet with TV Shows
    • by KefabiMe (730997)
      I had one of those 32MB flash Rios the day it came out. Two things:
      • The thing was light as hell. No motor, no tape, most of the weight was from the AA batteries. Because it was so light, it seemed flimsy compared to CD players or Walkmans.
      • When I first carried the thing around, people thought it was a pager. When I told them it played music, they thought it was an AM/FM radio. We aught to thank Apple for spending the time (and money) educating everyone about MP3s!!!
      • I get the opposite: I carry around a cheap Palm V from way back when, mostly for ebook reading. The screen is remarkably usable, and it's practically the cheapest "ebook reader" available. Screw a $400 Kindle. People ask me whether it's a phone, at which point I have to remind them that there was a time when not everything and its mother was a phone; I tend to say "It's like a Blackberry... from the 90s."
  • by Papabryd (592535)
    I remember my cousin waiting at the door for the delivery of his Eiger F10. He tore through the packaging and out slid a matte black device no bigger than a pack of cigarettes with a few silver buttons and a 3 digit LCD display like you'd find on the cheapest CD players.

    If I recall the device had 32 megabytes of memory but accepted MMC type cards. The best part had to be the parallel port connection. A connection that (unbeknowenst to him) had to be reconfigured in the BIOS. After almost an hour of manual
    • Ah yes, parallel port file transfer. I had a device that did that too - The I-Jam IJ-100 [antiqueradio.com]. The thing was, it had no internal memory whatsoever. It was soley driven by the Secure Digital card slot. The link I point to refers to 32MB of memory - that was the size of the card that shipped. The reader/writer that connected to the PC was parallel only. USB really was just catching on when it was released and unless you had a built in card reader there really wasn't any other way to use it. I remember askin
  • wow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ILuvRamen (1026668)
    And to think I actually, seriously just bought my first non-optical MP3 player (as in CD-less) 3 days ago. I got the m250 that was on sale at newegg for $30. That was finally low enough for me. I'm so cheap (and poor). It's really good too if you're looking for one.
    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      I think you will find that those are great little players(I have the m240).What I love is the battery life,and the fact that it runs on a triple a battery.I get anywhere from 17-20 hours on a battery and if it goes dead while I'm out I can simply pop into any store and be back up and running in minutes.After trying an mp3 player with the lithium ion battery there is no way I would ever go back.I always seem to run the battery dead right when I want to listen to it.Now I just keep a couple of triple a's in t
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:41PM (#22710984)
    for under $200!
    http://www.pricewatch.com/flash_card_memory/usb_32gb.htm [pricewatch.com]

    An increase of capacity at around roughly 1000x in a decade. I don't know if the trend will continue.... but if it does we'll be at 32TB in another decade.

    I guess even those who don't use music players can be thankful for those devices as they, along with digital cameras, were really were the commercial products on the market that really sold and pushed the flash envelope. Sure there were PDAs/GPS units and other stuff, but in comparison they really niche markets that were happy with 256MB or whatever in most cases. Now things like the airbook (and all the SSD notebooks to follow, yes there were earlier ones I know), iPhone and the convergence of devices will further drive the market for more space.
    • by matt21811 (830841) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:54PM (#22711068) Homepage
      Yes, the price improvement of flash is awesome.
      I've been studying this and if the price improvement rate of flash stays about the same as it has for the last 5 years (and hard disk does the same) it will only be 4 years before every laptop has a flash drive.

      Charts and data here: http://www.mattscomputertrends.com/flashdiskcomparo.html [mattscomputertrends.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by sectionboy (930605)
      Just another testimony to the astonishing accuracy of Moore's Law.

      "The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year ... Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase. Over the longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, although there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly constant for at least 10 years. That means by 1975, the number of components per integrated circuit for minimum cost
      • by mochan_s (536939)

        Just another testimony to the astonishing accuracy of Moore's Law.

        Of course it's accurate when you apply it only the patterns it fits. What about Moore's law on power utilization and batteries, or the power of the chip inside the MP3 player itself? Or even the MP3 algorithm itself?

    • Yeah, it's almost like a law of nature that capacity doubles every year or so. We should give it a name. A name for a law about how we get more space for data. I know: "Mores Law"!
  • by szyzyg (7313) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:51PM (#22711044)
    I always was under the impression that it had been the first portable mp3 player (well I guess technically my laptop was portable ad it could manage to play mp3, but you know what I mean) I read this article today and suddely felt a little less forgiving to my old player and the hoops I had to go through to get music from my linux box onto the player. Oh well

    I remember it was one of the perks given to early employees at a dotcom called myplay which let users store their music collections online and access it from anywhere in the world, as long as you had an internet connection, it was of course another portable media player - the iPod which let people take their music collection (or at least a decent part of it) anywhere, regardless of interet connectivity.

    Funnily enough I now work at imeem which lets users upload their music collections and share them with other users, the more things change, the more things stay the same.
  • by Ransak (548582) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:52PM (#22711056) Homepage Journal
    Through a friend I was able to get my grubby mitts on a Diamond Rio 300, which I still have (and it still works). I paid close to $300 for it for one singular reason: lawsuits. At the time Sony and a few other of the RIAA mafia were trying their hand at court proceedings to stop the manufacture of MP3 players (while, all the while developing their own behind closed doors).

    Of course they lost [virtualrecordings.com], but if they had won, it would have been an 'illegal' item, which would have brought me no end of satisfaction.

    What's that old adage, when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns? It wouldn't have been much different.

  • Crippleware (Score:2, Interesting)

    $250 to carry around half an album. Genius! You really had to be a gimmick fan to be an early adopter for mp3 players.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ZiakII (829432)
      $250 to carry around half an album. Genius! You really had to be a gimmick fan to be an early adopter for mp3 players.

      Hey I had one and to be honest I loved it, running with a mp3 player versus running with a CD player, which would you choose?
      • Re:Crippleware (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:15PM (#22711166) Homepage
        At that stage - neither, I'd have chosen the cassette player :)
        • by Khyber (864651)
          I wouldn't have chosen the cassette player. I had several, and when rollerblading, every bump or sudden spin altered the sound of the music because of the strain put on the tape drive motor. Moving parts = plenty of room for failure and alteration of sound.
    • Re:Crippleware (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mechanik (104328) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:09PM (#22711138) Homepage
      $250 to carry around half an album. Genius! You really had to be a gimmick fan to be an early adopter for mp3 players.

      Or a jogger.

      I remember at the time most CD players (and MP3 CD players eventually) had a bad problem with skipping if you ran with one strapped to your belt. There was so called "anti-skip" technology (just a buffer that in theory would get you through the period you skipped the disc), but it didn't work very well. Vigorous joggers (or rope jumpers, etc.) would find that their players still skipped. I had a few friends that were early adopters of flash based players because flash just didn't skip. It was better to listen to half an album than it was to have a full CD and be constantly annoyed by the audio cutting out.
    • by glwtta (532858)
      $250 to carry around half an album. Genius! You really had to be a gimmick fan to be an early adopter for mp3 players.

      This has got to be new - laughing at early adopters a decade later, when the technology has proven insanely popular.
  • by siddesu (698447) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:18PM (#22711194)
    to study foreign languages. I had (from the ages before the internets) lots of language tapes, which I compressed about the time I got the thing. Since they sound a lot like bad phone anyway, compressing them to a low bitrate doesn't relly matter much. So, don't look down on 10 year old technology. Even in this age it can be put to good use ;)
    • Seconded (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rincebrain (776480)
      I'm enjoying my MPMan (well, actually, an F20V, not the F10, to be accurate) - I've had a Zen, an iPod, and a few other things, but I keep coming back to the F20V like an old friend.

      Even though it only takes data transfer over proprietary parallel.

      Even though it doesn't support VBR MP3s because it apparently doesn't support some bitrates.

      Because it hasn't broken in almost a decade of use.
  • by CSMatt (1175471)
    I remember that much of my high school populace didn't upgrade from portable CD players to MP3 players until early 2006. Shows just how poor they really were. I remember my school banning them along with cell phones because OMG YOU CAN RECORD TEST ANSWERS AND BURN THEM TO A CD!!!1
  • Sometime in 1998, I got one of the very first CD players (discman style) that played discs burned with MP3s. Wonder how much that cost me at the time? Of course, I didn't have a CD burner, but my office did. Blanks were expensive, but you got a whole lot on one. Still skippable and non-pocket-sized, though.

    My $30 player with an SD chip slot (and FM tuner) is quite nice enough for me. Also have an in-dash player in the car with an SD slot.
  • If you look up this bill at the Library of Congress, you'll find that it makes reference to a specific mechanism or process known as "Serial Copy Management." If these devices had no such management, and I doubt they did (or do for that matter), then every MP3-player known to geek is against the law.
  • I had one of those Eigerman MP3 players; in fact, I still have it laying around somewhere. It came with 32mb, not 64mb. However, far more important was the fact that it had a SmartMedia slot which meant I could easily swap music, it wasn't like the cards at the time had much storage space anyway.

    This was the F20 model, however, because the F10 model described in the article came with 32mb and apparently so slot. Consumers could send the device to the company and have it upgraded to 64mb for a fee.

    I did find
  • I've got a Diamond Rio 300. Right next to my TRS-80.
  • by Telecommando (513768) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:29AM (#22714350)
    By personal player I assume they mean portable player. I bought my first mp3 player in 1996 or `97 from Corporate Systems Center. (Copyright on the manual says 1996.)

    It's a desktop unit with hard drive and CD player called the MP3 CD Blast It! It has a 4x40 backlit LCD display, built in amp and speakers, plays both CDs and MP3 disks. I still have it on my desk at work and it still works great. Hard drive is a little small (80M or less, I think), but I mostly listen to mp3s from the cd player anyway.
  • Rio presented two of the absolute best non-video MP3 players so far...the Rio Carbon and the Rio Karma.

    I still have a Carbon that I bought at launch that works perfectly after repeated drops, getting stepped on, and even getting run over once. My Karma still works, although I did end up having to replace the hard drive in it a year ago (everything else works perfectly though...screen, scroll wheel, etc.)

    To this day I have yet to find an MP3 player that had a better interface or that was easier to use with
  • I'm the proud owner of a Diamond Rio PMP 300.
    Works fine with Fedora 8 using rio107 open Source
    project. If it wasn't by Open Source my trusty 64M
    mp3 player would have suffer the fate of much good
    hardware. My thanks to the rio107 developers:

    Acknowledgments
    ===============
    The following people especially contributed to version 1.07 of the Rio utilities,
    many thanks to them and all others who contributed.
    Rio 64M SE (Special Edition) Support
  • Started with a Rio 300 right when the lawsuits started. I paid cash thinking "mwahaha they'll never take it from me!" Later on I got a Rio 500 and was astonished at all the music I could fit on it. Then I discovered minidiscs and had a Sony MZ-R500 and another weird Japanese model player. Eventually, I got a real MP3 player again in college, an Archos Multimedia Jukebox 20 that someone had junked. Total iPod killer, way ahead of its time. Ah, the good old days.

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