By Rich Menta- 11/19/99
If Parker or Waterman added one of these to their line, that WOULD be a cool graduation gift. But, Sony beat them to the punch with its introduction of the first pen size digital music portable player.
The new Sony Vaio Music Clip doesn't actually write, but it does everything else an MP3 player should do except play MP3's . While the unit showcases the same size and weight advantages MP3 technology brings to the wearable gear market, it uses a competing digital format.
The reason for the size advantages is that digital music players have no moving parts, they are essentially memory chips with an outer shell and a few buttons. The Music Clip holds 64 megabytes of built-in flash memory, enough for about 20 tunes at the normal 128Kbit MP3 compression level. (Sony claims 2 hours of music, possible if you use lower quality compression settings to make your recordings).
The Music Clip supports Sony's new proprietary ATRAC3 format, a format Sony's record division has already adopted for future digital music products. The ATRAC3 format adheres to SDMI standards for protecting digital copyright.
The Music Clip includes a basic 3 setting equalizer (rock, pop, jazz) and connects to your computer via a USB cable. Unlike similarly priced digital music players (the unit sells for $300), the Music Clip does not have an expansion slot to upgrade the memory.
The Music Clip goes on sale this January, missing the Christmas sales season.
The 20GB Rio Riot Jukebox can be ordered from Amazon
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