MP3 Players Ship Podcast-Ready - InformationWeek

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MP3 Players Ship Podcast-Ready

The MobiBLU players allow for one-click podcast downloading and promise 150 hours of battery life.

MP3 players from mobiBLU have begun shipping to retail stores with preinstalled software that lets users download podcasts in one click, the company said Monday.

The mobiBLU B153 and mobiBLU Cube are shipping to Target Inc., Office Depot, Frye's Electronics and other retail stores with Podcast Ready’s myPodder software. The software enables users to download podcasts easily.

"There is a huge perception that podcasts are for Apple users only, and if you're not using an iPod it's a difficult process," said Russell Holliman, founder and chief executive officer at Podcast Ready, but that's not true, Holliman said.

MP3 player unit sales will reach 286 million by 2010, up from reach 140 million in 2005, estimates In-Stat. The research firm said drivers include declining prices, availability of subscription and pay-per-download online music sites, and increasing Flash memory capacities and features.

The B153 provides more than 150 hours of battery life based on playback of 128kbps, 44.1 KHz, non-DRM MP3 files. "Typically MP3 players last for about 12 hours and then Sony has some that last between 40 and 60 hours," said Bob Fullerton, director of product marketing at mobiBLU. "We use a processor from a Korean company, rather than the usual suspects like SignaTel or Telechips."

The expended battery life, however, decreases to 100 hours when using WMA DRM files. The B153 MP3 player includes an FM Tuner, voice recorder with built-in microphone and audio technology from SRS WOW HD. The B153, available in two colors, comes in 512MB, 1GB, 2GB storage capacity.

There are plans to introduce a line of MP3 players in the summer with full color displays to view video and digital still photos.

Users can plug the mobiBLU MP3 devices into any Internet-connected computer and instantly access myPodder to update, subscribe to and manage their favorite podcasts. Podcast Ready also provides a simple-to-use podcast directory and one-click podcast subscription. The myPodder software today ships in English, and by June, the software becomes available in Japanese, Korean and German.

Online retail stores, such as Amazon.com, will sell the mobiBLU B153 or the mobiBLU Cube, too. Suggested retail price for the 2-GB MP3s are $129.99 and $159.99, respectively.

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