Brits offered wireless-stereo PMP
No PC? No problem
UK retailer Advanced MP3 Players has launched what it reckons is a portable media player capable of "taking on the big boys" - a wireless PMP that never needs to be connected to a host computer and can show movies for eight hours solid.
The iubi Blue stores content on a 30GB hard drive and shows it on a 4.3in, 480 x 272 LCD. Connect the unit to a TV, set-top box or DVD player and it can encode video in MPEG 4 format at 640 x 480 at 30fps. It'll record audio too. It supports USB-on-the-Go so you can hook up a range of USB devices, like cameras and USB Flash drives, without having to link everything through a host PC.
The Blue's list of supported audio and video formats is as long as your arm: all the MPEGs are included, along with WMV 9, H.264, QuickTime, Real, an array of DivX versions, plus MP3, WAV, WMA and Ogg.
The machine has twin 12mW speakers fed through Wolfson 3D audio enhancement circuitry, but it comes into its own with headphones thanks to the built-in Bluetooth transceiver and A2DP support to drive wireless stereo audio out of the box, though a suitable headset is extra.
The Blue has its own rechargeable battery that's good for eight hours of video playback or 15 hours' music play, so it's well up for long-haul flights and the like.
Available immediately, the Blue costs £249 including VAT and next-day UK deliver. ®
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