Singapore-based Creative Technologies is leading the charge towards mass consumer adoption of MP3 as a broadly-embraced audio compression standard after spending its formative years as a PC-based sound file technology.
Locally distributor, Creative Pacific announced this week that early next month it will start shipping two versions of its Nomad digital audio player and voice recorder. One with 32MB of onboard flash memory and another which offers 64MB by including an additional 32MB flash memory card.
Smaller than a deck of cards, in its 64MB guise, the Nomad is capable of storing up to two hours of CD quality music and recording up to four hours of voice quality audio.
The Nomad comes complete with a docking station which serves as the power source for the rechargeable batteries as well as the interface transferring MP3 files from the PC to the portable player. All the software and connections needed to locate, manage, and edit MP3 files - (assuming you already have a Web browser and an Internet connection), are included with the Nomad package.
In the future, there will be accessories for the product such as attachable speakers and in-car connectors.
Though not the first to market with a portable MP3 player, Creative's Nomad seems to have delivered the most feature rich option yet.
The ease with which consumers can source, store and customise music under the open MP3 standard means later generations of this sort of product looms as a huge monkey on the back of the recorded music industry.
While the recording industry leaders and leading players in sound file compression are encouraging the creation of a new standard which allows for copyright protection, the sheer popularity of MP3 means that it will always be in demand. There will always be people who want to make and convert files using MP3 and then pass them around.
The technology is still in its early stages of mainstream acceptance with potential markets at this stage restricted to those who are computer savvy.
Creative Pacific has tagged the 32MB version with a $429 RRP and the 64MB version at $529 RRP. Orders are being taken now and stock will start to ship early in June.