Rio debuts 5GB ‘iPod mini killer’

“In the world of portable music players, the spotlight has lately been on Apple Computer Inc.’s top-selling iPod, but Rio Audio, the MP3 player pioneer, isn’t idling in the shadows. Rio, now owned by Digital Networks North America, Inc., debuted a player Monday that is expected to be the first of many to squarely compete against the popular 4-gigabyte iPod Mini,” May Wong reports for The Associated Press.

“The Rio Carbon, shaped like a slim wedge and weighing 3.2 ounces, uses Seagate Technology’s new 1-inch, 5-gigabyte hard drive, and touts up to 20 hours of playback time on a rechargeable battery. It will cost $249 and be available in late August, said Dan Torres, Rio’s vice president of product marketing,” Wong reports. “GoVideo, a DVD and VCR maker based in Scottsdale, Ariz., will enter the audio player market in September with a similar 5-gigabyte portable player as well as a 2.5-gigabyte model under a revived Rave-MP brand name.”

“Both the Rio and Rave-MP players will play songs encoded in the Windows Media Audio or MP3 formats. They will thus be locked out from songs purchased from online music providers that feature incompatible formats, such as Apple’s market-leading iTunes Music Store, of which songs are transferable only to Apple iPods,” Wong reports. Full article here.

See the Rio Carbon 5GB audio player here.


  1. Nope, ain’t gonna do it. The iPod Mini is just a thousand times cooler than that. And for the same price, you get the “ooooh you have an iPod mini!” from everyone rather than “whats that, some kind of PDA?”.

  2. Is there a reason Rio and all the other device makers do not include AAC playback in their products? Surelly whatever that would cost them is not going go affect the price of the final product; after all, they pay to include WMA support. Apple may have closed the door for the protected AAC files it sells online, but with iTunes anyone can rip their Audio CDs to AAC on either OS X or Windows platforms. If Rio wants to compete with Apple they should start with AAC playback.

  3. lol i just bought a 40g ipod so no chnace of me moving from aac format, i bet that all the ipod awners think the same way so…. good luck rio
    +theres mp3 player looks like a squah dump, im sure they could of get better designers lol

  4. Looks like the “marketing” is following in Sony’s steps. Lots of songs (if you record at 64kbps). It “is perfect for the music lover with a few hundred CDs…” Yeah, right. Fit a few hundred CDs on there at a reasonable kbps level. Not going to happen. Looks to me like the other players in the field are trying to market increased capacity while downplaying the lower quality…must be a Windoze thing.

  5. The amount of songs it can hold seems suspect unless they’re at a very low bitrate. I suspect that Apple will use the just announced 6GB Hitachi drive as soon as it is possible…. albeit they can’t seem to get enough of the current 4 GB drives OR are they just kind of stalling to announce that the mini will have the upgraded 6 GB drive real soon and at the same price???? That would one-up Rio!

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