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Diamond Multimedia's newly launched Rio PMP300 portable music player will be marketed with licensed content from the MP3.com Web site. Diamond will bundled 100 songs from MP3.com with the new product. Under the terms of the deal, each organisation will provide the other with “aggressive” promotion and advertising. Ken Wirt, Diamond Multimedia VP, said the package was aimed at educated, looking for a cheap playback device. He suggested the CD would attract those already hunting music on the Internet. The Rio device will drive music into a new digital era, Michael Robertson, president and CEO of MP3.com, said. "The market expansion enabled by portable devices and Internet content will be far greater than what we've seen in the past. Users want to be able to sample music, have exposure to a wide array of [unsigned] artists, and purchase only the tracks they like." The Rio PMP300 can store up to an hour of digital quality music and up to 12 hours of voice quality audio from the Internet or a CD, using MP3 compression. It is smaller than an audio cassette and runs on a AA alkaline battery. Rio PMP300 starts shipping in the states this October for about $199.95. Dates for a UK release have still to be confirmed.®

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