Nuggets: MP3 going mainstream...

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Written by Justin Pearse, Contributor

I request digital music and I request it now...

It's started -- MP3 is creeping out of the PC and into everyday life.

ReQuest has launched AudioReQuest, a stereo component system that stores and organises MP3 files without a PC. Using a parallel port for downloading files the unit includes a CD player that lets you encode as well as play music. MP3 files stored on CD-R discs can also be played and saved to the system. AudioReQuest can be connected to a TV to create a user interface, allowing you to create playlists and organise that digital music store you always dreamt of.

You can convert your whole CD collection -- if it's under 150 CDs -- to digital format, encoding only the tracks you want from each CD. A real bonus is that you can digitally encode all audio formats through the Line-In input - that will stop you panicking about your `extra-rare mix tapes' getting chewed!

As usual the Yanks get first dibs with units expected in July for around $599 (£365). although there are no immediate plans to release it in the UK international orders via the Web will not be ignored.

Oh, and Just to show the MP3 cynics out there that the format really has entered the mainstream, this snazzy piece of kit is operated by remote control -- although an optional wireless keyboard will be available.

So there!

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