Jumpin' jack flash cards keep MP3's playing

DN Staff

April 3, 2000

2 Min Read
Jumpin' jack flash cards keep MP3's playing

Sunnyvale, CA -Ready for music but left your CD player behind? Not to worry. A new wrist-watch styled audio player from Casio lets you take listening enjoyment along anywhere. Simply download MP3 files from the Internet or your favorite CD and pop in stereo earbuds.

The strap-on audio player weighs just 70 grams and features a stamp-sized 16-Mbyte MultiMediaCard from SanDisk for MP3 audio storage. MPEG Audio layer-3 (MP3) is a high-quality digital audio format that allows files to be compressed up to 1/12 their original size.

The water-resistant wrist player's flash card stores 33 minutes of CD-quality sound or 66 minutes of FM broadcast-quality sound. A high-speed built-in USB interface also lets users download a 4-minute audio track in as little as 70 seconds. On the face of the watch lies a flashback title display to scroll through song titles and artists, as well as animated motion graphic characters that move to the song being played.

MultiMediaCard's low-power design provides four hours of continuous playback when the device's lithium-ion battery is fully charged. The MultiMediaCard, which SanDisk co-invented, is available in 8-, 16-, and 32-Mbyte capacities with 64Mbytes to come later this year. The company's memory cards find their way into not just music players, but also digital cameras, voice recorders, handheld PCs, camcorders, and smart phones.

If you want portable music, but prefer a handheld with a neck strap, the I-JAM portable MP3 audio player/recorder is your ticket. MAC/PC compatible, with high-speed recording and FM stereo, the 2.5 oz MP3 player features a 32-Mbyte SanDisk memory card.

When asked his vision of where the thumbnail-sized, thin-media storage technology is headed, Nelson Chan, SanDisk director of marketing, says that flash data cards will be used as the universal storage media for portable, wireless, and Internet market applications, including voice recorders, music players, video machines, PCs, and smart cellular phones-eventually replacing CDs, cassette tapes, and DVD. "Advanced flash memory solutions are making a new generation of ultra-portable consumer electronic products possible," says Chan.

SanDisk cards enable wireless downloading of information, whether that data is music, text, databases, maps, or movies. "It has to be secure or the content providers will not want to put that information out there," says Chan. SanDisk's new secure digital (SD) memory card will provide a Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI)-compliant, high level of copyright protection and high-density memory capacity. Matsushita Electric and Toshiba have recently formed an association with SanDisk to promote the next generation secure memory card. This Secure Digital card will ship in 32- and 64-Mbyte capacities this spring.

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