Nuggets: Sharp lets you put your MP3s on MD

Acronyms galore with sharp new package...

Launched at Comdex yesterday was a new portable music player that gives you all your favourite musical acronyms in one device.

The Internet MiniDisc package from Sharp not only offers a fully functional MiniDisc recorder but also gives you a portable MP3 player into the bargain.

To do this Sharp has teamed up with Voquette to bundle its NetLink software. This will let you download, record and manage Internet audio files and create personalised playlist. The software will also let you convert text into voice. These playlists can then be recorded onto MiniDiscs for playback on the MD player.

The formats supported by NetLink include RealAudio, Microsoft Windows Media, MP3, HTML, email and text files. To record audio content you just drag and drop it from a Web site into the Voquette Media Manager. It's then automatically recorded.

The main advantages to this little beauty is that the player gives you the easy editing facilities associated with MiniDisc and, more importantly, it lets you carry around your MP3 collection at an affordable price. Blank MDs sell for a few quid, compared to anything up £100 for the SmartMedia cards used in portable MP3 players.

The package includes the Voquette NetLink adapter for connecting the MD player to your PC.

The bad news is that although Sharp is "in discussions over a UK launch date", according to a spokesman, no such date has yet been set. Still, you can always nip over to America with $249 (about £154) and get one.

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