By Robert Menta- 10/11/01
When Panasonic announced their new digital music portable, the SV-SD80, and called it the "World's Smallest" I pulled out a tape measure and our old I-Jam MP3 player to make the comparison.
To date, the I-Jam and the slightly larger RCA K@zoo had been the smallest players we have encountered. Not anymore as the specs show. The Panasonic SV-SD80 is almost exactly half the size of the I-Jam, with roughly the same width and thickness (less actually) and half the height.
That makes the diminutive player the new industry benchmark for small portable devices. The size of the earbuds next to the unit in the photo above gives a good perspective of how small this MP3 player is.
This further illustrates the power of the digital music format to transcend limitations on the size and shape of the device that plays it. 1's and 0's don't possess a physical shape like CD's and cassettes and this greater freedom of form is one of digital music's biggest competitive advantages. Of course, the size of the memory card or chip used for file storage still effect player size, which is where Panasonic's use of the tiny SD (Secure Digital) media cards excel.
The Panasonic SV-SD80 comes with 64MB of memory stored on these cards (units this small usually don't contain onboard memory) and a USB SD reader/writer to transfer files. The unit comes with a rechargeable AAA battery and comes with both an armband and a neck strap.
The Panasonic SV-SD80 supports the MP3, WMA, and AAC formats. Panasonic has made the case water resistant, great for the gym set who need to repel perspiration while listening to tunes during long workouts. The unit comes packaged with RealJukebox to facilitate file transfers to the card reader.
The retail price for the SV-SD80 is $329.95. Panasonic Public Relations Manager Martha Whiteley said that the player should be out in a few weeks, which will bring it to store shelves in plenty of time for the lucrative Christmas season.
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