Multimedia giant Creative Technology has expanded its Internet audio range with two new players, including a 6GB model that could house an entire record collection.
Expected to hit US shops by spring, reportedly for under $600 (£360), the Nomad Jukebox has 6GB of on-board storage thanks to a 2.5-inch notebook hard drive. Using the MP3 audio format the device can hold over 150 albums of CD quality music.
The Jukebox weighs 14 ounces and is roughly the size and shape of a personal CD player. Click for image (19KB). It uses USB for downloading music from a PC and supports multiple audio formats, including MP3 and Microsoft's Windows Media Audio (WMA). There is a Line-In for analogue recording from external sources and dual Line-Out connections for connecting to speakers of a hi-fi system. Also featured is an onboard real-time digital signal processor (DSP).
The Jukebox has been designed to be SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) compliant and supports downloadable features such as new DSP algorithms, security features and playlist generators.
Launching at the same time is Creative's next generation Nomad personal MP3 player, the Nomad II MG which comes in a magnesium case and features time compression/expansion implementation for controlling the playback of voice recordings. It also features an FM tuner, a backlit LCD, and a voice recorder that can store up to four hours of spoken word.
The bundled docking station for downloading MP3 files from a PC, doubles up as a battery re-charger. The 64MB of on-board memory can be upgraded by adding SmartMedia memory cards. Like the Jukebox, it is SDMI compliant and it features adjustable bit-rate and multi-codec support.
Last year ZDNet revealed Creative would not be allowed to release its Nomad player in the UK due to patent issues. Creative will respond to questions on this topic later today.
More details on the Nomad, including a look at what the competition might do in response, will follow later. In the meantime, why not visit our newly refurbished MP3 Newsroom.