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MP3 Players Revealed at CES 2006


MP3 Players Revealed at CES 2006

Panasonic SV-MP010

Standalone MP3 players – that is to say those which primarily play audio only – were in surprisingly short supply at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show this year. Major consumer electronics companies and smaller specialty players were focused instead on bringing portable devices which offer more features, especially the ability to play video. Still, there were a few quality, digital audio only (with perhaps some photo viewing capabilities thrown in) players out there. Read on to get the highlights on some of the more interesting 2006 MP3 players coming your way.

Consumer electronics giant Panasonic’s 2006 MP3 player contribution comes in the form of two miniature, flash memory based models geared for the music lover on the go. The new SV-MP010 (1GB of storage in white or pink exterior colors) and SV-MP020 (2GB of storage in white or blue exterior colors) offer up features like support of MP3 and WMA music files (including protected WMA music downloaded from PlaysForSure subscription services such as Napster to Go), a size equivalent to that of a lipstick, “drag and drop” support for easy loading of music files from a PC, up to 75 hours of playback off of one AA battery and a large, easy to read 2-line LCD screen. Both should be available in March.

Amongst the many products Philips was rolling out at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the GoGear HDD1850 bubbled to the surface as their new MP3 player announcement. A hard drive based device, this $249, 8GB music jukebox can hold up to 4,000 songs. It is also capable of displaying JPEG photos and can store up to 2,500 pictures. Features of this player, which will be available in March, include playback of MP3 and WMA audio files (including protected WMA music downloaded from PlaysForSure subscription services like Napster to Go), a backlit sensory touchpad and scrolling control for navigation of a music collection stored on the player, a large and colorful backlit LCD screen, voice recording, built-in FM tuner, playlists on the go and up to 18 hours of rechargeable battery life.

Thomson, under its familiar RCA consumer electronics brand, released two new flash memory players. The 256MB m200256 ($59.99) and 512MB m200512 ($79.99) can be customized by the user via included decals and interchangeable covers. Features on these two models, which will be available in January, include an OLED display for easier viewing, a SD memory card expansion slot for greater music storage options and up to 18 hours of music playback on a single AAA battery.

Samsung offered up one new dedicated MP3 player at CES this year: the YP-Z5 (available in February). This flash memory based player, which will come in 2GB ($199) and 4GB ($249) sizes, is, like many of the other players in this round up, capable of playing back music downloaded from PlaysForSure compatible online subscription services like Napster to Go. Features of the YP-Z5 include up to 24 hours of playback on a rechargeable battery, a 1.8” color LCD screen, an ultra thin design in a durable aluminum body, a weight of just over two ounces, a touch pad for navigation of on screen selections, display of JPEG photos and playback of MP3 and WMA music files. Samsung’s player will be offered in both silver and black body colors.

Memory card maker SanDisk, buoyed by success in 2005 with their Sansa line of flash memory MP3 players, introduced the c100 series as an entry level MP3 player. Available in 1GB ($119.99) and 2GB ($169.99) storage sizes come March, the c100 line offers up features like a 1.2” color screen, support for MP3 and WMA (included PlaysForSure protected music from online subscription services) audio files, a FM tuner and recorder, long playback time on a single AAA battery and a built in microphone for voice recording.

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