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Toshiba to release MP3 player on Xmas Day

DiGo only to be sold via Net

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Toshiba will ship its diGo MM300 portable digital music player on Christmas Day when it will become the company's first product to be sold only via the Internet. The Y29,800 ($290) diGo measures 54mm x 86mm x 10mm and weighs 52g, including the battery. It's compatible with both Windows PCs and Macs, suggesting it hooks up to a host computer using a USB connection. Downloaded songs are stored on a SmartMedia card, and encoded using a format called SolidAudio, developed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) and others. SolidAudio essentially integrates SmartMedia storage with a compression scheme called TwinVQ and a copyright protection mechanism called InfoBind. The Nikkei newswire story announcing Toshiba's player also talks about "the availability of MP3" in relation to SolidAudio, so presumably the player also supports this popular but controversial digital music format. Already-shipping portable audio players from Fujifilm Axia, Hitachi Maxell and Hagiwara Sys-Com also support SolidAudio. It's not clear as yet whether the technology conforms to the Secure Digital Music Initiative's specification. ® Related Stories BMG to launch MP3 sales site in January Sony to sell digital music online before Christmas

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