CES - New MP3 player allows playback over FM radio

Digital Innovations LLC has rolled out an MP3 player that can broadcast music for playback on an FM radio -- say, in your car -- over unused frequencies.

The Neuros MP3 Digital Audio Computer contains software called MyFi (for My Frequencies) that enables wireless playback through any FM radio. The device automatically scans for open frequencies in the area, identifies one, and then broadcasts a signal from the player to the radio.

Chief Executive Officer Joe Born says he expects people will use this feature mostly in their car when driving in areas with poor FM reception, or when they simply want to enjoy their car's audio system to hear MP3 tunes. However, it can also be used to broadcast a signal to your home stereo receiver and play MP3s through your stereo speakers.

The 5.8-ounce device will be sold online at the company's Web site and is expected to appear in US retail stores in early February. List price is US$249 for a basic 128MB version. A 9.4-ounce, 20GB version will retail for $399.

Future Enhancements

During a demonstration Thursday at CES in Las Vegas, company officials also showed another feature of the product called HiSi (Hear it, Save it). This lets users automatically identify a song they hear from a snippet of music heard on a radio or a live event. For this feature, the device records 30 seconds of the song.

When you later hook up the player to a PC with an Internet connection, it will search the Neuros database and retrieve the title of the song and the artist who played it. Born said Digital Innovations would like to eventually offer downloads of searched songs, if customers want to acquire them for their collection.

The MP3 Digital Audio Computer can also automatically synchronize music files between a PC and the player.

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Ramon G. McLeod

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