Nuggets: IBM gets hip with memory for entertainment

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Big Blue is our hero! Eh, you seen the price?

No one can deny that MP3 players have won a fanatical following -- lots of you obviously agree, as Diamond is selling so many Rios that trying to get review models is like trying to get blood out of a stone. Problem is that you just can't get enough music onto the bloody things. So hooray for IBM, which has just started shipping its 340MB micro drive, designed to be used in the rash of must-have portable devices spreading over the globe.

At 42.8mm x 36.4mm x 5mm and weighing 16g, it's the size of a 50p piece and weighs less than an AA battery, but costs considerably more. Companies already receiving shipments of the drive include Casio, Compaq, Kodak, Nikon, Samsung, Sanyo Electric and the RioPort Division of Diamond, all of whom make some very cool products crying out for more storage space. To put this in perspective, a Rio offering support for the micro drive, and Diamond says it is already on the case, will be able to store up to seven hours of CD quality tunes. A digital camera will be able to hold 1000 photos.

The drive, expected in US shops later this summer, fits into a standard CF+ Type II slot. The kit will also come with a PC card adapter to use in notebooks

The suggested retail price is $499 (£304) which is enormously expensive. That said, let the toffs buy 'em first and the prices will tumble.

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