Macworld SF 2002 Product Watch: An MP3 Player With A Twist!

RipGo! From Imation
1-8-02 Don Engstrom
When you think of Imation, "MP3 player" is not one of the first (or even last) things that springs to mind. Even so, Imation has taken aim at the digital music market with their own MP3 player dubbed RipGo!

The RipGo forsakes traditional complact flash style memory in favor of mini (80mm) CD-R disks. Mini CDs store up to 185MB and currently run about a dollar each, giving the the RipGo an attractive cost per megabyte ratio.

Sonic Blue's Rio Volt SP90 also uses CDs for storage (full size in this case). But unlike the Rio Volt, the RipGo also doubles as a USB 6x CD burner making it a standalone solution. Burn your songs, unplug from your Mac and go! The RipGo device can also be used to burn data CDs as well of course.

Although the two devices are fundamentally different, comparisons to the iPod are inevitable. The RipGo is definitely bulkier than the iPod, but should fit easily in a jacket pocket, if not your shirt pocket. It is far more sleek and portable than the Nomad Jukebox players. The RipGo uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery providing roughly 5 hours of playback time, the iPod a rechargeable lithium polymer battery good for about 10 hours. At 8.0 oz. the RipGo is slightly heavier than the 6.5 oz. iPod.

The RipGo premiered first as a Windows only device, with Mac support just announced at Macworld. As of this writing, the RipGo player doesn't coordinate with iTunes or Toast, but an Imation rep told us that they are working with Apple and Roxio to make this happen.

Company: Imation
Product: RipGo!
Estimated Street Price: $349
Available : Now