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Gateway readies own-brand music, photo player

Even offers AAC support, apparently

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US PC company Gateway will finally ship its long-awaited own-brand digital music player on 15 November, more than a year after its first move on the market was planned to debut.

Gateway MP3 Photo PlayerThe Gateway MP3 Photo Jukebox incorporates a 4GB hard drive and a 1.6in, 128 x 128 TFT colour display in its compact 96.4g, 9.6 x 5.9 x 1.7cm shell.

Despite its name, the device is pitched at Microsoft Windows Media 10-based music services - one month's access to Napster's Napster To Go offering is included. However, in addition to WMA and MP3, the unit also supports ACC, for which we think gateway means AAC, the format chosen by Apple for the iPod, though Gateway notes that its machine doesn't support iTunes Music Store downloads.

Picture support is limited to JPEG and BMP files, and can grab photos straight from a digital camera, via its USB 2.0 port.

The MP3 Photo Player includes enough RAM - 32MB - for 16 minutes' anti-skip playback and provides up to eight hours' continuous music play thanks to an 820mAh battery.

Gateway announced its first own-brand MP3 player back in November 2003, a 20GB hard drive-based model, the DMP-X20, pitched at the standard iPod. Originally, due to ship later that month, it never did. Gateway has since offered a range of music players, most of them Creative products, but nothing under its own name.

Until now. The MP3 Photo Player is set to ship on 15 November for $250. ®

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