Rio introduces seven new MP3 players

This is kind of old news as they were released in August, but we never recieved an official press release, so here it is now….better late than never.

Rio Audio introduced seven MP3 players featuring radical new designs that create the smallest MP3 players on the market, deliver over 15 hours of play time, and allow for easy transfer of music from almost any music source. From hard disk to flash based players, the Rio Karma, Rio Nitrus, Rio Cali, Rio Chiba and Rio Fuse MP3 players offer a complete line-up to suit the needs of any and all MP3 consumers.

“As the original innovator in the MP3 category, we felt there were market segments not being addressed, so we tapped into our digital music heritage to create a line-up of sleek and stylish new players that will provide a variety of options for the consumer,” said Jeff Hastings, president of Rio Audio. “We wanted this product introduction to set a new standard and make a lasting impression on the overall industry.”

Market-Making MP3 Player

The Rio Nitrus is the MP3 market’s first cross between a hard disk and flash-based player, providing a new option for the MP3 consumer. Tough enough to handle the most rigorous workout, yet sleek and stylish enough to impress friends, this 1.5 GB player offers never before seen industrial design and arguably delivers the highest sound quality and longest battery life on the market. The Rio Nitrus, smaller in overall size than a deck of playing cards, can playback over 375 songs (25 hours of music) on a built-in 16-hour LiON rechargeable battery, and includes a five-band parametric equalizer. The Rio Nitrus supports USB 2.0, allowing for lightning fast transfers of content between multiple PCs.

“This device is a pioneer in an important new MP3 player category,” said Susan Kevorkian, senior analyst with IDC. “Now, consumers don’t need to choose between ultra-portable size and competitive capacity, but can have both in one innovative package.”

20 GB Hard Disk Player

The Rio Karma, a 20 GB, USB 2.0, traditional hard disk player can hold over 5,000 MP3 songs and has a unique ergonomic industrial design that allows for comfort while in a shirt pocket, or in the comfort of a right or left hand. With a built-in 15-hour LiON rechargeable battery, and shipping with a docking station that serves as an on-board battery charger, running out of batteries is now a thing of the past. The Karma docking station also provides a direct connection to an Ethernet port, allowing users to easily take advantage of the networking capabilities. This robust hard disk MP3 player appeals to all levels of MP3 consumers, from novice to power users, and also provides Ogg Vorbis support.

Karma comes loaded with a newly enhanced version of the award-winning Rio DJ. Karma users will be able to find and pick tracks to suit any mood with a single button press. For the more advanced user, the Rio Karma features a five-band parametric equalizer, offering an unheard-of level of precision and control over audio output, and the ability for dynamic playlist generation. Additionally, Rio Karma features a quick radio-style crossfade between tracks, perfect for creating a continuous mix of music for extended playback.

Easy-to-Use Flash-based Players

In the traditional flash-based MP3 player category, Rio introduced Rio Chiba and Rio Fuse. These two new MP3 players bring awe-inspiring industrial designs to the flash-based player market, with large, easy-to-read backlit LCDs, increased onboard memory, and industry leading battery life – more than 18 hours of continuous playback using an Energizer™ AAA battery.

In addition, the Rio Chiba offers an FM tuner, five-band adjustable equalizer with presets, Rio Music Manager 2.0, and a carrying case and armband. The Rio Chiba is available with 128 MB or 256 MB onboard, with an expandable option to 768 MB. The Rio Fuse is a 128MB MP3 player with a one-piece design that plugs directly into a USB port without cables. The Fuse comes with a backlit LCD display, adjustable equalizer with presets, and supports convenient ‘drag and drop’ capabilities on Windows XP.

Rio also introduced Rio Cali, a newly designed sport MP3 player that builds on the company’s most popular selling flash player, the Rio S30S. Built on existing award-winning technology, Rio Cali includes an easy-to-read four-line backlit LCD, increased onboard memory, 128 MB and 256 MB, with an expandable option to 768 MB, and an industry-leading 18 hours of battery life. In addition, Rio Cali offers an FM tuner, five-band adjustable equalizer with presets, and ships with Rio Music Manager 2.0.

Availability and Pricing

The Rio Nitrus, Karma, Cali, Chiba, and Fuse players will begin shipping in the month of August. The products will be available through Amazon.com, www.rioaudio.com, Best Buy, Circuit City, and at a variety of retail outlets in the U.S.

Estimated U.S. street prices are as follows:
 
Rio Karma $399
Rio Nitrus $299
Rio Cali (Sport) with 128 MB of memory $169
Rio Cali (Sport) with 256 MB of memory $199
Rio Chiba with 128 MB of memory $169
Rio Chiba with 256 MB of memory $199
Rio Fuse $129

Forum discussion is here:
http://forums.designtechnica.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2975

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