It's a Camera. It's an MP3 Player. It's Both!

By Robert Menta 8/25/00

Due to ship the beginning of September, the Fuji Finepix 40i Digital Camera strikes new territory by being the first to meld a digital camera and an MP3 player together in a single unit.

If this seems like a stretch to some people, it's a natural to many. The technology that most digital cameras use to store their pictures, flash memory cards, are the same cards that MP3 players adopted to store the music they play.

The Fuji Finepix 40i can be pre-ordered from Amazon for $699.

As flash card technology increases in capacity, a single card will easiliy be able to hold numerous photographs plus a CD or two worth of music. After shooting pix of the Grand Canyon, a vacationer can jump on the tour bus and listen to a favorite album on the way to the next hotel. As flash memory prices drop, several cards containing a whole library of music can conveniently follow the traveler in a pocketbook without the need for a separate MP3 portable to take up space.

And that is the true promise of digital music technology, the ability to hold vast quantities of music without taking any more physical space, ideal for portable uses. That's why cell phones and PDA's have already adopted MP3 player capabilities and why non-electronic portable items like briefcases and purses may eventually add this capability.

The 40i is no slouch as a straight camera we might add, with multi-million pixel image resolution. The camera/player uses Smart Media type flash cards which presently max out at 64MB of capacity but are soon due to break the 100MB limit. The Finepix downloads files via its USB port.

All MP3 controls (play/stop, forward/back, volume) are on a tethered remote into which the FinePix 40i’s provided headphones - or the user’s own - can be inserted for private listening. As an added bonus, the remote control can be used with the camera to take and then view captured pictures, along with controlling the camera’s digital zoom.

The camera is housed in a silver, magnesium alloy body and runs on two high-powered, nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. A battery charger, Adobe ActiveShare® photo editing software and RealJukebox® digital audio software are bundled with the unit which will retail for $699.

Creative's 6GB NOMAD Jukebox MP3 Portable can be pre-ordered from Amazon for $499. Available in Blue and Silver.

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