RealTime IT News

Sonicblue Aims to Make Noise with New Road Player

Sonicblue seriously wants audiophiles to ditch their CDs.

Aiming to capitalize on consumers' desire to bring their extensive MP3 collections on the road, SONICblue Inc.'s Rio division Monday birthed a new in-dash digital audio player with on-board storage that boasts as much as 1000 hours of playing time.

In fact, Sonicblue asserts that the easily-programmable Rio Car can house enough music files that consumers could drive roundtrip from Los Angeles to New York City more than 10 times without ever listening to the same song twice.

Featuring ease-of-use with the wireless remote or ergonomic buttons on the unit's faceplate, Rio Car integrates with existing tape decks, AM/FM radios, CD players and amplifiers using additional in and out ports. It's also flexible (as well as antitheft-devised), as it slides out of a standard car stereo slot and can be attached to a home stereo system via standard RCA connectors.

And of course, consumers can put together their favorite files on the PC and transfer them to the player using the included software; or they can sort through the music by title, artist, genre, album and year on the player itself.

Just as eight-track's gave way to tapes, which in turn took the backseat to the more current and popular format of compact discs, Rio is touting Rio Car as a technology with the potential of making CDs go the way of the dodo bird. Music fans can now listen to their favorite music without the hassle of CDs or tapes.

Noting the frustration of some consumers who bring scads of jewel boxes in their cars, Rio President Jim Cady said music lovers no longer have to "sift through their music."

Rio Car comes courtesy of technology provided by Empeg, which Sonicblue bought last year.

Available in four models according to the gigabyte capacity, Rio Car is available now at the Rio e-store, riohome.com, for $1,199 to $1,999 (10 to 60 GBs). Rio Car comes with a mounting tray, software, AC adapter, USB cable, serial cable, 9-to-25 way serial adapter and wireless remote control.

Sonicblue last made waves Feb. 1 when it bought software maker ReplayTV and product provider Sensory Science for about $50 million in stock.