By Richard Menta 9/21/04
Is digital music finally going mainstream? According to market research firm IDC, the MP3 portable market will boom over the next five years into a $58 billion industry.
The biggest growth according to IDC will come from a rebound in portable flash players. Presently larger hard drive based players like the iPod lead the market, but significant drops in the price of flash memory will make lighter, high memory flash portables more affordable. 12.5 million flash players were sold in 2003. IDC predicts that number will jump four-fold to 50 million units in 2008.
The 20GB Zen Touch is the latest iPod challenger and is available on Amazon
IDC makes other predictions:
IDC did not make any comment on the aging cassette format, which the growing digital music market is expected to replace. The holdover that sustains cassettes comes from the fact it is the dominant format in automobiles. Digital music is only slowly making its way into new cars - lead mostly by satellite radio at this point - but soon more hard drive based car stereos are expected to appear.
The Archos AV320 digital audio/video recorder is available on Amazon
Other MP3 stories:
File-share Ruling Delights P2P Ops
1950s Europe Copyrights End
MobiNote Introduces Video/MP3 Player With 7" Screen