Neuros II Digital Audio Computer
In 2004, Neuros Audio released the Neuros II, the second version of what was already the mother of all audio players: It played MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, and uncompressed WAV files. It could also record MP3s through a line input, a built-in microphone, or an FM tuner. Perhaps most innovative was the player's two-part design: The player unit was mounted inside an upgradable "backpack" that contained the battery and the storage media (from a 128MB flash drive to an 80GB hard drive). The downside was that the whole thing looked something like a black brick, at the ungainly size of 5.3 by 3.1 by 1.3 inches--at a time when audio players were getting sleeker and more strikingly designed. However, the legion of enthusiasts and tinkerers that Neuros catered to were more interested in specs than looks, and they happily snapped the player up.