Interface design gaining importance for MP3 players

IRiver is promoting a new user interface for its MP3 players to differentiate its products from others.

With more and more MP3 player makers improving their devices' external designs, the user interface is becoming an important differentiating factor, the chief executive of one of the world's biggest MP3 player makers said Wednesday.

Joon Yang, chief executive officer of South Korea's Reigncom, which produces players under the IRiver brand name, said the exterior design of his company's devices is what used to make them stand out from the competition. But competitors have caught up on exterior design, pushing IRiver to focus on something else.

"It's hard to differentiate by design," he said in an interview at the SEK exhibition in Seoul on Wednesday. "We thought: why do we need control buttons? Controls are ugly so if it's possible to eliminate them and use the display [we should do that]."

The first results of this thinking can be found in the U10, which was announced on Monday and publicly debuted on Wednesday.

The U10 does away with the majority of control buttons usually found on MP3 players in favor of a pressure-sensitive front panel. The panel can be pushed in four areas, each at the middle of the panel's four sides, to control the device. The function performed by depressing each part of the panel changes depending on the menu and the current functions are clearly shown on the display itself.

"This U10 contains the concept of future IRiver products," he said. Clear user interfaces allowing quick access to content will be key in the future, said Yang.

Looking at the MP3 player market, Yang predicted that the fierce price competition between companies will ease later this year. He said he believes a compromise between the bigger players in the market will naturally occur as manufacturers work to maintain their profit margin.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?