By Richard Menta 4/13/05
Nike has announced the latest of its sport MP3 portables, a nich of digital music devices designed for the go they have produced since 2000. What makes the Nike PSA-610 unique is that it is Nike's first attempt at a unit using a hard drive rather than flash memory.
It was Nike who first developed a line of players for active, sweaty athletes. Realizing that they were an ideal niche, particularly for the more mundane training aspects of sports, their first players were co-designed by Rio. As SonicBlue, Rio's then parent, ran into financial difficulty Nike switched over to Philips to co-design and manufacture the line.
Running at a healthy $300 the Nike PSA-610 utilizes a 4GB Microdrive to store the music. Hard drive based units are usually not the best when it comes to activity beyond a brisk walk, especially since they are more prone to dropping and damage. To prevent the pounding of running feet from jarring the drive Nike has introduced a shock protection system called "ShockLock" to protect it. Nike players strap to the bicep rather that the hip, allowing the body to further absorb any shock eminating from continual thrust by the legs.
Another feature of note is the addition of GPS-auto tracking. I guess this is good for reviewing the run later or finding a collapsed mountain biker who ran into trouble deep in the woods. The Nike PSA-610 also adds an FM tuner and a stopwatch to measure performance.
The Nike handles the basic MP3 and WMA formats. No mention of the Microsoft's Janus technology, which would allow the PSA-610 to go portable with music from Napster and Microsoft's paid download services.
The Nike PSA-610 will hit stores this June.
The Samsung Yepp YH-999 20 GB Portable Media Center is available on Amazon
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