“According to most analyst estimates, the iPod has the largest market share among all portable digital media players. But if any company can take on Apple in the media-player space, it is iRiver, a company that has been setting the high-mark standard for media-format compatibility. The company is perhaps the first major media-player manufacturer to offer players that are compatible with MP3, WMA, ASF, WAV and OGG music file formats,” Kirk L. Kroeker reports for TechNewsWorld.

[MacDailyNews note: iRiver players cannot play song purchased from the market-dominating (with over 70% of the market) iTunes Music Store. So, writing that iRiver “has been setting the high-mark standard for media-format compatibility,” strains credibility.]

TechNewsWorld Asked Sasse a few questions:

TNW: Your company, unlike Apple, has not focused on a direct synergy with an online music store. Instead, iRiver has favored background partnerships, media player integrations and broad format compatibility. Are you planning an integration effort or some partnership that will pair your media players directly with an online source for music?

Sasse: We are doing our best to remain as agnostic as possible in this arena. Our customers are looking for flexibility to choose the options that best suit their needs. By favoring the secure Windows Media format, it opens up the opportunity for competition in services, ultimately providing our customers with multiple libraries, service options, and payment structures to choose from. We aim to produce the best devices possible, in multiple categories, supporting multiple formats and services so our customers can always choose what is best for them.

TNW: Do you see the Apple iPod as your main competition at this point, or are there other players you admire more on the market?

Sasse: At this point, there are very few companies that have a product line that rivals iRiver. Without question, Apple has done a great job marketing their solution and the industry as a whole has benefited from that, but our strategy is entirely different. We believe there are many different consumer needs that need to be met with the right product; as such, our product line has something for everyone, whereas other companies may take the approach of “one product for everyone.”

TNW: How do you plan to take the iPod crown away from Apple?

Sasse: Apple can keep the “iPod crown.” The “portable entertainment crown” is still up for grabs, however, and we have our sights set squarely upon it.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sasse ignores the fact that his company’s players do not work with the world’s number one legit online music store, Apple’s iTunes Music Store, nor does he seem to remember the iPod mini, so his “one product for everyone” comment is meaningless.