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Diamond Rio Selling Well 54

Tramm Hudson writes "In this Reuters article, Diamond Multimedia states that they are making 10,000 units a week and are still behind demand. Otherwise a fairly standard news report -- "Users love MP3, industry hates it". " I've found that they skip terribly at 128kbits, but less then that and they are tolerable. The first portable mp3 player than can store 5+ hours of music at 128kbits and not skip will do well. Until then, the Rio is a beta test for the real revolution. When the real deal is here though, the Rio will have made sure that we have lots of MP3s to choose from.
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Diamond Rio Selling Well

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  • I had no idea that the Rio skipped at all.. I figured they'd give the things enough processor power to handle, oh, probably 256 kbit without trouble.. Of course, maybe it's just Rob ;-)
  • by Kyt ( 903 )
    I love the irony inherent in the antique phonograph being used as the icon for all things MP3-related. Well done. :)
  • What bugs me a bit about the Rio and MPMan is that they make such a big deal out of the teeny-tiny size of the beasties... if they were bigger (say, the size of a regular Walkman-type portable), they'd have room for *way* more storage... more tunes = more time = bigger market. Unfortunately, it would probably also = higher price.

    Still, it's a thought.
  • My Rio never skips, unless you use the equalizer button (annoying, but I just don't use it while playing music.) I've played all manner of 128kbps mp3s and none have given me problems.
  • I wonder how those rios would be with a nice 340 meg ibm microdrive compact flash? *drool*

    asinus sum et eo superbio

  • ouch? a wee bit expensive for a toy :)
    i would guess the power requirement for a full size drive would be a bit much for something like a portable mp3 player.

    asinus sum et eo superbio

  • I own a Rio. I have had ZERO problems with all of the MP3s I have thrown at it--even ones with variable bit rate! (Although it is funny watching the timer when playing those VBRs.)

    Encoding things at 256 kbps seems like a waste to me. My ears cannot tell the difference between a 160-kbps MP3 and the original CD. Personally, I prefer to use 96 kbps with joint-stereo encoding; it sounds just fine in the kinds of environments a portable player is designed for (walking, driving, etc.).

  • I have had problems with some MP3's under OS/2. There's a utility (for OS/2) called UNCOOK that fixed the problem. I suspect some incoding software puts bogus info in the MP3 file and UNCOOK takes it out.

    I tracked down a few versions:

    OS/2 []

    Unix/Linux []

    DOS []

    winblows []

  • Actually, the first portable mp3 player I'll consider buying will be the gadget that reads from compact disks or from flash memory cards. Maybe a combo audio cd/pc cd super discman?

    Too bad I'm all thumbs at hardware. At least we're getting there on the processor side. Remember the smallest webserver [] that was mentioned on slashdot [] last month?

  • MP4 misses one of the key points of the MP3 revolution: that the music industry has repeatedly ignored the call for massive reductions in the price of music over the past 10 years despite the dramatic drop in the cost of electronic replication, so now music listeners are taking matters into their own hands and reducing the communal cost of buying CDs at the current extortionate prices. It's not happening as an organized protest or revolution, but the effect is the same. MP4 is a controlled format and so cannot fill the same niche as an instrument of "people-power".

    If the industry wants to stop the "unauthorized" MP3 scene (as opposed to the one) they could do so at a stroke by reducing the price of CDs to a dollar apiece. They would still make a fortune because people would buy massively more CDs than they do now, but no, there's no chance of that happening because they're basically dinosaurs with a peanut for a brain.

    This is a free market in action, with new technology constantly changing the rules. If the industry doesn't want to compete with the new lost-cost possibilities brought about by technology then it deserves to die, and with it those musicians who insist on playing the old game at the old prices instead of adapting to the new environment.

    That's not the only driving force of course, but it's a strong one.
  • Just use a Netwinder instead :) Yeah, it's a little bulky, but it'll do much more than MP3s :) Somebody on the Netwinder devel list actually does this (w/ 2 laptop lead-acid batteries... he takes the thing on the subway to work and listens to mp3s on the way).
  • by sykt ( 6887 )
    If your MP3s are "skipping" it has to do with poor ENCODING on your computer, not the Rio! I bet if you play the suspect mp3s on your computer they will have the same "skipping" problem. Download a decent mp3 to your rio and it should play fine.
  • I'll buy when when they get more storage space.
  • Just thought I'd write in to say that mine doesn't skip at all either. I think Rob must have a lemon or something else is wrong. I only wish he would have tried others before he badmouthed the rio. He does have a point about needing more space though, 32 megs doesn't cut it and I don't feel like spending $80 on 32 more.
  • If your unit skips, it's faulty - or the MP3s are screwed, possibly by a dud CD drive.

    The Rio does not skip - please remove that comment from the front page.


  • Bought the MPman a few months ago and while it
    isn't as flashy in appearance as the Rio, it DID
    cost me less and perform quite well.

    I've also noticed that the MPman doesn't skip and
    will handle MP3's up to 256kbps as opposed to
    Rio's 128.

    Just two cents.

    - Wing
    - Reap the fires of the soul.
    - Harvest the passion of life.
  • The MPman is sold online at a variety of places.
    Info on the MPman and product support.
    Search for "mpman"
    Search for "mpman"
    Info on the device and other misc.
    Places to buy the MPman.

    Hope that helps. :)

    - Wing
    - Reap the fires of the soul.
    - Harvest the passion of life.
  • Maybe you want to check your mp3? I've played stuff at 160kbps, and it did just fine.
  • Uhhh... What's that about skipping? I've had a RIO since October and haven't had a single problem with skippage even at 256kbps. In fact, my complaints are few and will be fixed if and when RIO 2.0 is available. I want USB support and more memory. Other than that, RIO rockz hardcore mucho very a lot and a bag of SIMMs.

  • Since there isn't exactly 32 * 1024 * 1024 bytes of free space on a blank Rio, I'm assuming that extra little bit of used space is the program that decodes the MP3s and handles UI. Has anyone figured out how to download it? What microprocessor's in there? Disassembly? Hacks?

    Also, is it possible for two parallel port devices to speak directly to each other? I'd like to hack my Rio so it can send songs to other Rios with a suitable cord connecting them. If it's possible in the hardware, then it's possible in the firmware. That would be one cool hack.
  • The article suggested that sites that have MP3s for download often have previews of what various MP3 players look like so you can decide which one to use before downloading. How idiotic. Selling software on form instead of function. "You know, I'd love a beowulf cluster, but it is kinda ugly..."

    Jason Dufair
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell
  • Is anyone coming up with a player that will support multiple codecs (perhaps through plugin modules/pcmcia slots)? This and the lack of storage are the reasons I haven't bought a rio, etc....
  • If you have a Rio, and it skips, take it back!

    If you don't have a Rio and are just relaying rumors, stop relying on rumors and try one out! I use mine EVERY day and have never even had a spot that "slowed down" because it was too busy processing. The only time I've had it skip is when rip songs from scratched CD's and that isn't the Rio's fault.

    The Rio RULES, don't let anyone B.S. you...

  • I have owned two Rio's (First one had a defective casing and wanted to come apart), and neither one has skipped at all with me at 128 or higher.
    Perhaps something was wrong with the mp3 or that particular unit.....

    AFAIC, the only thing that beats the Rio is my MiniDisc portable recorder/player for expandability reasons. That being said, the Rio is a fine product which has the advantage of fast uploading of songs (Minidisc has to be recorded realtime) and the disadvantages of high media prices (flash memory), and inability to record on its own.

    Overall, I almost regret purchasing the Rio due to the price and partly to the fact that I already have MiniDisc equipment.... but then I remember how often I must replace/recharge the batteries in my MD compared to the Rio...

    I would like to hear more from anyone who has/had a Rio which skips on 128k songs....
  • I originally had the skip problem. However, it is not related to the RIO. I pursued the issue and checked out the Music Match Jukebox website and they mention that the problem is probably the CD-ROM. Not all CD-ROMs have the circuitry (Don't ask, I don't have a clue as to what ciruitry) to handle the high MP3 sample rates.

    I was using WinAmp to play the MP3Z from and they would skip and speed up without end.

    Well, as a test, I tried to record some CDs I own from my HP 7110i CD-RW and low and behold, perfect!

    WinAmp AND my RIO play them flawlessly at 128.

    Hope this helps

    "HHHhhoowwwwllll Babe!"
  • I'd love it if:

    A. It had more storage space
    B. It was priced for what you actually get.

    Still, it's good that diamond came out with this. It opens the market to other similar (i.e. better) items.
  • ...and it never skips at 128 kbits. Every MP3 I copy over is 128 kbits (yes, reducing the advertised play time by half) and I've never had a problem.
  • I've had my rio since christmas and it never skips, even when I'm using 256kb mp3's and the equalizer. As for it being brittle, anything will break if you bash it hard enough. Take care of your rio and it will take care of you.

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.