Wireless Systems Design

Portable Media Players Top Many Wish Lists

For tech-savvy people, electronic products have become "must-have" gifts during the holidays. The past few years have seen rising holiday sales of cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, and high-definition and plasma TVs. Now, handheld manufacturers have come out with an all-in-one portable-media offering. These personal-entertainment devices are quickly attracting consumers. For two examples, look to iriver's (www.iriver.com) PMP140 and PMP120 Portable Media Players (PMPs).

With these two devices, multimedia fans can play audio and video content, listen to the radio, record music, and even use the built-in microphone for digital voice recording. The real-time clock includes a music/radio alarm function. A line-in makes it easy to record external audio signals. In addition, a USB 2.0 port quickly transfers audio, video, or image files from PCs or notebooks to either PMP model. The devices' finishing touch is a USB 1.1 port (host), which connects external equipment like digital cameras (USB on-the-go).

The devices boast a 3.5-in. display with 260,000 colors. The PMPs also come with high-grade earphones. To connect to external audio sources or speakers, the devices offer a 3.5-mm stereo minijack-to-minijack lead. The TV-out lead-a 3.5-mm minijack-cinches video and audio (L+R) stereo. In addition, the iriver PMP offers a built-in FM tuner. Users also can watch movies or view photo slideshows on a TV screen via a TV output channel (NTSC or PAL).

Because the iriver Portable Media Players have a Linux-based operating system, they promise to play more formats than other personal media centers. For instance, they can play MP3, ASF, WMA, and WAV audio format. They also can play numerous video formats including AVI in MPEG-4, DivX, and XviD. The iriver PMP140 boasts a 1.8-in. hard drive with a full 40 GB of storage capacity. Its smaller sibling, the iriver PMP120, has 20 GB of storage space.

TAGS: Components
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