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