The lightweight player, which is about the size of a cigarette packet,is set to shake-up the music industry. Diamond Multimedia's Rio offers a portable way of playing high-quality music files downloaded from the Internet. It has a 32MB flash memory card capable of storing 74 minutes of music in MPEG file format.
This week Diamond is shipping 1,500 units. The Walkman-like devises will be on sale from UK outlets such as Dixons from the middle of this week. The Rio will be priced at around £180.
The Recording Industry Association of America attempted to block the production of Rio alleging the product violated the 1992 Audio Home Recording Act because it allows music to be replayed without paying artist royalties. But Diamond staved off the music industry's attempt to scuttle its product when the US courts overturned the RIAA's objection.