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Another Challenger to Apple's iPods

Techstination feature for Monday, July 3, 2006

Another challenger to Apple's iPod. And this one has some muscle. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Microsoft's efforts to work with consumer electronics companies to come up with more worthy challengers to the iPod seem to be paying off. Both iRiver's tiny Clix …and Toshiba's new Gigabeat S models work with Windows Media Player 11. And the Gigabeat can not only play ripped, downloaded or subscription music….it works with Vongo, the movie subscription service owned by Starz! Entertainment. Toshiba's director of business development Louis Masses…

"This is really the first device that takes that portable media center platform and puts it into a device that's really small. So that's one key difference between previous portable media centers and the Gigabeat. In relation to our own line from last year, the addition of video and an FM tuner is a dramatic difference as well as adding the more easy to use Windows portable media center platform as well."

As for the Vongo service, it lets you watch unlimited movies for about ten dollars a month. That covers up to three PCs. And getting downloaded movies onto the Gigabeat is designed to be easy…

"It's a very simple process. You hook up the device, your PC will ask you, do you want to download movies? Yes. It opens the Vongo software and you download whatever movies you'd like"

Battery life on the Gigabeat may be an issue…. just 2 and a half hours for video…and 12 hours for music. The 30 gigabyte model sells for about 300 dollars. A 60 gigabyte version is a hundred dollars more. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.