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A Music Player That Clix

Techstination feature for Wednesday, August 2, 2006

A music player that clicks. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Competitors keep trying to knock Apple from the top of the tree. The various flavors of iPods have a market share approaching eighty percent. But the competition is getting better….sometimes by imitating Apple's design. Sometimes by coming up with cool designs of their own. That's the case with iriver's Clix….the first music player designed to work with Urge…the music service created by MTV and Microsoft. Iriver America President Jonathan Sasse…

"It's basically built around a two and a quarter inch color display. So it has a large display with respect to the device as the device is not much larger than that. We looked at, from a design perspective, all the other products on the market that have typically a display and then a whole bunch of buttons on the front of the device. And what that results in is a fairly large device and a fairly small screen. The Clix device …the screen itself kind of moves to the left and right and up and down…and that's the way you navigate it. It looks like it might be a touch screen but there's actually a tactile feel there when you click in either direction. So on the surface there's no buttons that are visible on the front of the device. There's a very large color screen. A very large battery built into the device."

Which makes it thicker than Apple's iPod Nano. But that nothing but screen front that you control by pushing on the edges…has a definite cool factor. At the moment…only a two gigabyte model is available…and the price is about two hundred dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.