Time was, getting your cell phone of MP3 player "iced out" with jewels, rhinestones, and all manner of extra flash was custom work reserved for fashion-consumed folks with money to throw away and a strong desire not to be seen with off-the-shelf personal electronics. Now, Mediaready wants to bring style to the masses with its new Blingplayer line of jewel-encrusted flash-based portable media players.
"Mediaready believes portable media technology is now entering a stage of differentiation and personalization and the launch of our Mediaready Blingplayer will bring a whole new level of style to market," said Jeffrey Harrell, Mediareader CEO. "Watch the Scene. Be seen."
As a media player, the Blingplayer’s "whole new level" doesn’t break any new ground: the player will be available in 1 and 2 GB capacities, offers a 1.8-inch color LCD display, and supports MP3, WMA, WMV, and ASF media, although the Blingplayer does integrate an FM tuner (with a 30 channel memory and recording faeture), a voice recorder, an address book, and an EQ with seven preset options. Users load up the Blingplayer via USB 2.0, and Mediaready says it works with both Mac and Windows (although we love the system requirement "Mac OS1o" listed on the spec sheet). The units weigh 1.33 ounces and are 2.85 inches long, 1.5 inches across, and three-eighths of an inch deep, making the whole thing slightly smaller than the familiar iPod nano.
But really, no one is buying this for the specs. Instead, they’re purchasing their choice of "dogtag" or "skull’n’bones" jeweled out designs. The units will ship with stereo earphones, AC character, and USB cable in April; Mediaready’s suggested pricing for the 2 GB model is a pretty-pricey $199; no word on the 1 GB version.