By Richard Menta- 12/15/01
Lets call this portable the second smallest MP3 player on the market. Digital Global Network's new MPIO-DMK Keychain portable is bested by Panasonic's SV-SD80 by a few sixteenths of an inch and weighs 29 ounces versus the SV-SD80's 26.1 ounces. Despite just missing the title of World's Smallest, the MPIO-DMK does better the Panasonic in one area. It has double the memory.
Available with 128MB of memory on-board memory, the MPIO-DMK jumps into a higher league occupied right now by just a few flash memory players. One of them, the excellent Intel Pocket Concert, was recently discontinued, a victim of Intel's decision to close its entire consumer electronics division. The other is the fine Rio 800. The MPIO-DMK bests them both size-wise by a significant margin.
"The MPIO- DMK MP3 Player is truly one of the smallest MP3 players that have yet to be introduced to the market," said Joseph Lee, President of DGN. "With the incredible small size and large memory capacity, this player offers the best of both worlds for consumers."
Lee is not off the mark here. There is something very attractive about capturing three CD's worth of 128 kbit music in a player the size of a lipstick or a pen knife. A few years from now, keychain MP3 players may become a common sight and quite possibly the dominant style of portable on the market.
Of course the smaller the unit, the smaller the controls and the less room for handy options. Tiny players tend to be basic strip down affairs and they have less room for memory. Still, for many the convenience of small size outweighs the limitations.
The MPIO-DMK transfers files via a USB connection and is both Mac and PC compatible. Running off of a single AAA battery, the player has a backlit LCD that can display track information in English, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and French.
The MPIO-DMK retails for a very reasonable $209 for the 128MB version of the player. A 64MB version is available for $179, but like the Intel Pocket Concert this player doesn't take external memory cards so spending the extra $30 for the 128MB makes sense.
The Nike PSA[Play 120 is designed for the gym set, comes with 64MB of memory and is available for purchase on Amazon
Archos Jukebox Multimedia - MP3 & Movie Player/Recorder
Three Lawsuits and a Funeral
Review: The Nike MP3 Portable
Review: the Rio Volt SP250 MP3/CD player
Will retailers continue to support copy-protected CDs?