A $79 MP3 player has just been announced by MPuls3, a second in their series of products to support popular digital music formats.
The device uses compact flash memory and can write compact flash I and II modules from 4 MB to 340 MB (IBM Micro Drive compatible). There is no memory on board but users are able to purchase the capacity of their choice and exchange memory modules with others. Product with modules of 32 MB and 64 MB are available in kits. Transfer of files from PCs are routed through the parallel port. The kit includes headphones, batteries and a carrying case and strap.
The MP3 file format uses compression of the audio track to provide approx. 1 minute of music for 1 MB of music. Thus a 32 MB flash card will play 32 minutes of music. Compact Flash (CF) Memory is used in many digital cameras, PDAs and Internet Audio Devices. CF memory can be exchanged with these other devices and are available in a range of prices and capacities
This first generation player will play all popular MP3 formats. It is expected that a version with SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) compliance will follow in the fourth-quarter of 2000. This will allow the user to download and playback popular music from premier artists. Other player versions with USB transfer capability ($99) and a new MP3CD player (Oct. 2000) are also available.