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Digital Music Players Big and Small

Boot Camp feature for Monday, March 31, 2003

Digital music players... big and small. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Apple continues to set the pace when it comes to portable digital music players with its iPod. It's so popular, the Apple product is even being sold by Dell and there's been a shortage of the lowest priced three hundred dollar models. The iPod slips easily into a shirt pocket ... but its looks and design are what have made it a star. If you're looking for more storage for your money, Creative's 20 gigabyte Zen... at three hundred dollars, is hard to beat. Brand manager Lisa O'Malley says the Zen has other advantages as well...

"It's USB 2.0, which means that you get really fast transfer speeds. Also we have the unique ability to edit and create play lists on the fly. And this is something that most of the other players, in fact all of the other players don't do very well. We also include the ability with our players for you to synchronize your music between multiple PCs."

On the downside, the Zen is a bit more difficult to navigate than the iPod and is slightly larger. If you're looking for small, Azio Technology has introduced a slim MP3 device that does triple duty. It plays digital music, records up to five hours of voice memos and serves as a USB flash drive as well for transferring all kinds of files. And the price is about 99 dollars. Storage is limited to 128 megabytes... enough for some but far less than hard drive devices like the iPod or the Zen. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.