October 27, 2003 6:49 AM PST

Dell unveils MP3 player

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Continuing its push into consumer electronics, Dell on Monday announced a disk drive-based MP3 player and details of a partnership with music download company Musicmatch.

The Dell Digital Jukebox music player, or "Dell DJ," and accompanying software will be available through Dell's online music store starting Tuesday, according to the company. Dell says that the device, which comes with a capacity of either 15GB or 20GB, can play music continually for up to 16 hours.

The software, called "Dell Jukebox software powered by Musicmatch," provides a graphical interface between a computer and the Dell DJ device, as well as access to Musicmatch Downloads, a service selling songs for 99 cents.

Dell's 15GB MP3 player will sell for $249, while the 20GB version will sell for $329, according to the company.

The product is entering a crowded market. Consumers have a choice of a wide range of portable digital music players, which use data storage technologies including silicon chip-based flash memory. Also on Monday, Flash-maker Lexar Media announced a flash-based MP3 player called JumpDrive Music.

Meanwhile, Apple Computer has been working with a variety of other companies to boost the number of add-ons that attach to its iPod player. A version of the iPod sells with 40GB and has a 10,000 song capacity.

In announcing its device, Dell seemed to take a swipe at Apple. "Carrying around thousands of songs on one small device is a nifty idea, but not if you have to recharge it every few hours," said John Hamlin, senior vice president and general manager of Round Rock, Texas-based Dell's U.S. consumer business.

According to Apple's Web site, the iPod can play for eight hours when fully charged.

The Dell DJ is part of a broader effort by computer makers to succeed in the consumer-electronics market. Dell also plans to start selling LCD TVs.

The Dell MP3 device also shows the growing role disk drives are playing in portable music players and in consumer electronics more generally. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is supplying the 1.8-inch diameter drives in the Dell DJ, marking a major customer win for Hitachi. Hitachi announced the 1.8-inch drive earlier this year and began shipping it to customers in July.

"Dell is our most significant and earliest customer to adopt this (drive) in high volumes," said Bill Healy, Hitachi's senior vice president of consumer and commercial hard-disk drives.

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Dell Jukebox and MusicMatch
DO NOT BUY!!!

THE HARDWARE IS OK (THE DISPLAY IS HOPELESS UNLESS YOU ARE WEARING HUBBLE GLASSES) BUT THE MUSICMATCH SUCKS!

IT IS NOT IN ANY WAY INTUITIVE, AND FAR WORSE, IT TAKES OVER YOUR PC (FORGET THE TWO YEARS OF WIN MEDIA PLAYER PLAYLISTS YOU'VE SO CAREFULLY BUILT). MUSICMATCH TAKES OVER YOUR REGISTRY AND EFFECTIVELY TAKES CONTROL LEAVING YOUR FILE ASSOCIATION PREFERENCES FAR BEHIBD.

EVEN WORSE, THERE ARE ANNOYING POPUP WINDOWS REMINDING YOU TO BUY THEIR PREMIUM PRODUCT.

I BOUGHT A DEVICE WITH THE S/W INCLUDED. NOT A HALF-ASSED POPUP NAGGING PROMO! I FEEL LIKE I'VE BEEN RIPPED OFF.

I AM OK WITH THE H/W BUT THE MUSICMATCH S/W IS EXTREMELY HARD TO FIGURE OUT, TAKES OVER YOUR MP3 REGISTERIES AND NAGS YOU TO SPEND MORE MONEY ON A PREMIUM EDITION.

THIS S/W PRODUCT BLOWS AND I WISH I HAD NEVER SPENT $250.

STAY AWAY FROM DELL UNTIL THEY SELECT A NEW S/W VENDOR AND CAN PACKAGE A COMPLETE PRODUCT THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE POPUPS AND NAG WINDOWS!
Posted by dmcrae1 (1 comment )
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Do NOT UPDATE DELL!
If you have the Dell Jukebox by musicmatch you are going to get a pop-up asking to UPGRADE to Newer Version. DO NOT DO IT!

The new program is by YAHOO and it is really bad. You will not be able to listen to the files you now have. And when you burn music it puts it in a format that only your computer will read.

The person that developed this is a YAHOO! I could not delete it off my system fast enough. I had paid Dell for the Plus Upgrade. But, YAHOO SUCKS BIG TIME.
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