Product Watch: An MP3 Player That Supports Up To 340MB Of Storage? Blame It On Rio!

Rio 600
Last Wednesday, June 28th, S3's Rio Division announced that their Rio 600 is finally shipping. The Mac friendly Rio 600 features a host of improvements over its predecessor.

  • Memory - The Rio 600 only sports 32MB flash memory, while the Rio 500 has a more generous 64MB. The Rio 600, however, can be expanded well beyond the 500's 96MB limit via snap on microdrive memory "backpacks." The backpacks, which are currently not available, come in three sizes: 32MB, 64MB and a whopping 340MB!
  • Faceplates - Like many other products that have capitalized on the iMac color craze, the Rio 600 can be color customized via a snap on color plate. Purple plate shown on right.
  • Multiple file format support - Right out of the box the Rio 600 supports both MP3 and WMA (Microsoft Windows Media). Users will also be able to upgrade the player's processor via Internet updates to support formats such as Advanced Audio Encoding (AAC) and Audible. Audible does not currently support the Mac and while AAC is a better compression scheme, the specification is still being defined. We are not aware of any Mac AAC encoders/players as of this writing.
  • Pre-loaded music - The Rio 600 comes with 4 tracks of music installed including two from the Mission Impossible II soundtrack.
  • Remote control - Supported but not included with the Rio 600. The optional remote includes an LCD display and FM tuner.

According to S3, the Rio 600 shipped to a variety of brick and mortar stores including: Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Fry's Electronics and The Good Guys with a suggested retail price of $169.95. It can also be purchased at S3's online store. When the Rio 600 becomes widely available online we will add it to our MP3 player Buyers' Guide at MacReviewZone. A Rio 800 is also in the works so stay tuned...