A small company named e.Digital hopes to challenge Apple’s iPod MP3 player with its new voice-activated, hard-drive-based $US349 Odyssey 1000. Among its many features are 20GB of storage, USB 2.0 connectivity and voice-recognition technology that lets you navigate menus by speaking.
In addition to playing MP3 and WMA audio files, the Odyssey has an FM tuner, a digital voice recorder with built-in microphone, and the technology to act as an add-on hard drive to a PC.
Users who prefer to access their music manually can scroll through their collection using the scroll wheel and the backlit blue-green LCD.
The unit is relatively compact and light at 73x109x23mm (WxHxD) and 230g.
An Odyssey will come with a variety of music files from e.Digital’s WeDigMusic.com Internet music site, which contains more than 3000 royalty-free tracks from independent artists. Although the site is currently free to access, in the future it will likely become a pay-for-play service (Odyssey owners will receive a free subscription).