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Rio Riot and Lyra Personal Jukebox

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the nylon-cd-case-seems-more-cost-effective dept.

Music 403

dschuetz writes: "SONICblue has the new Rio Riot up on their home page. It looks to me like an iPod killer -- 20 GB hard drive, very nice interface (better than Apple's), built-in FM tuner, powerful "DJ" functions, Lithium Ion batteries. And, at $399, it's priced competitively. The only question is -- how big is this thing? SONICblue has lots of other great systems out there, like the ReplayTV and Rio Receiver (which runs Linux), so the possibilities for hacking and otherwise extending this device are very good." Another submitter sends: "MP3 Newswire has a story on the RCA LYRA Personal Jukebox, a 20GB MP3/mp3PRO player that is the first portable to use the updated digital music compression scheme co-developed by its parent company Thompson. The new Lyra sells for $299. In related news, SonicBlue has released its first jukebox style player, also a 20GB unit called the Rio Riot that sells for $399. Both articles have pictures of the new players."

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fp? (-1)

n3r0.m4dski11z (447312) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833505)

props to weekend 420s!

Re:fp? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833571)

Excellent work. EST (GMT -5) in tha house.

First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833506)

Now I see the appeal!

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Still USB (5, Insightful)

S-prime (550519) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833513)

Sure, it's got a 20gig drive and an FM radio, but given the fact that it still uses a USB connection, how long is it gonna take me to transfer all my fmp3's?
I, for one, will stick with my iPod.

Re:Still USB (4, Insightful)

Shuh (13578) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833545)

Yeah... but Apple better get its iPod out there cheaper because it's only a matter of time before USB-mp3-player buyers realize the USB connection technology is too slow for 6Gb and now 20Gb drives. When that happens, will they pay $400 for the *only* IEEE-1394 version? Hell no. They will wait around for the USB2 versions to come out in a year and then buy them by the gazillions -- thereby marginalizing IEEE-1394 and helping that bus technology bust into wide acceptance. This in turn will be the springboard USB2 would need to make a stab at the already-established IEEE-1394-based DV camera/editing market.

Re:Still USB (5, Informative)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833616)

USB2 is pretty pointless for non-computer devices. IEEE1394 devices can talk to each other, point-to-point. For example, you can have a 1394 camera interfacing directly with a 1394 editing console which in turn interfaces with a 1394 VTR. USB and USB2 devices require a computer to run the show. Thus you would plug your USB2 camera, if there will be such a thing, into your computer and your VTR into your computer, and use them. If you don't have a computer arbitrating USB traffic, the USB devices are useless.

Re:Still USB (3, Informative)

eggz128 (447435) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833700)

If thats what you want, check the USB On the go [] extention to USB2.

Re:Still USB (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833553)

For 20GB and maximum USB throughput (1.5MBytes/sec) it would take approx. 3 hours 47 minutes and 33 seconds. Ouch.

Re:Still USB (1)

alfredw (318652) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833604)

Well, it's good for all of the PC users who don't have firewire, for instance...

Sure it takes ~4 hours to load up the drive, but who cares if you only have to do it once?

Re:Still USB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833665)

Listen you all whiners, I got 6Gb jukebox on normal USB, and I transferred ALL files I need onto it and don't change it apart from ocasional adding of 1-2 songs, its DO ONCE AND FORGET!!! Bloody USB is not an issue, issues are: size, battery time, weight of unit, extra stuff like FM, and only then goes USB or USB2.

Re:Still USB (3, Insightful)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833679)

If you can't afford a couple of hours to initially load your music, but would rather pay $400 for something with 25% of the HD space and no carrying case, have at it!

I'm using the money I save to build another server.

Re:Still USB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833709)

"I'm using the money I save to build another server."
Oh thats right, I forgot that the iPod is so much more expensive. I mean, they both are all of $399 and we all need at least two or three servers. :-)

Well... (1)

Pludodog (181200) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833518)

It looks good, if it really is the size of, or slightly larger than the ipod, I'd definitely think of buying it. Unfortunately, it's limited to USB, which mostly negates the ability to use it as a portable hard drive/ transfer music to it quickly. If a company finds a way to release something the size of an ipod with firewire, but useable on pc's, I'd definitely get it, as it has so many uses.

Re:Well... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833543)

One quick search on Google will tell you that you can use the iPod on Win98/2000/XP . . .

Download the trial here [] .

iPod killer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833521)

I doubt it! Looks way too big and is still using USB . . .

Close (1)

dadragon (177695) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833522)

Close, but not firewire. It's reasonable to assume that Apple will release a bigger iPod sometime soon, if so, then this is moot.

What it needs to be an iPod killer is Firewire. The iPod's 5gb is plenty for most people, I know I wouldn't need any more than that, as I only have about 1-2gb of MP3s.

Besides, do you want to copy 20gb worth of songs over USB?

Re:Close (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833547)

Close, but not firewire. It's reasonable to assume that Apple will release a bigger iPod sometime soon, if so, then this is moot.

I concur. Firewire makes a *vast* difference in the product's usability.

Also, I find the claim of a better UI than the iPod rather difficult to credit.

-jcr (I work for Apple, adjust salinity as required.)

iPod Crusher maybe? (4, Insightful)

SirDrinksAlot (226001) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833527)

The iPod is so popular because of the size. This thing uses a laptop harddrive like all the others. The iPod it self could fit inside these mp3 players that use laptop drives. It also uses USB. Please, do the math on how long it would take to transfer 20 gigs on USB.

Re:iPod Crusher maybe? (1, Redundant)

ApheX (6133) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833636)

Actually, the iPod does -NOT- use a Laptop Hard drive. Laptop drives have a 9.5mm spec which corresponds to the 2.5inch profile. The iPod drive has a 5mm spec corresponding to a 1.8 inch profile. Toshiba is the only manufacturer making this drive and the biggest one they have right now is 5GB.

More info on the Toshiba drive here []

Re:iPod Crusher maybe? (2, Redundant)

thesolo (131008) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833687)

well, USB 1 has a max transfer rate of 12 Mbits/sec. 12/8 = ~1.5, so a little more than 1 megabyte per second. Therefore, 1 gig would be rougly 670 seconds, or 11 mins, give or take. Full drive would be over 220 minutes, or 3.6 hours. And that is at theoretical best rate possible. Realistically, closer to 4 hours. I don't know about the rest of you, but I dont have 20 gigs of mp3, or 4 hours to spare transferring them.

UI (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833528)

Until they makesomething with as nice an interface as the iPod, I won't buy one. And it needs to have FireWire.

Re:UI (1)

Paradoxish (545066) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833551)

Firewire is reasonable, but take a look at the interface. I'd, personally, prefer it over the iPod's anyday.

USB is a bit slow for this... (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833529)

Is that a USB 1 or 2 interface on the thing? iPod's big advantage is its FireWire port. How long will it take you to put your 20GB onto the new device?

Does every new device have to be deemed "An iPod Killer"?


Re:USB is a bit slow for this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833638)

Does every new device have to be deemed "An iPod Killer"? Yes it does, because apple has set the standard (once again) and companies want there product to be better then the standard.

Very nice (1)

Paradoxish (545066) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833530)

The Riot is one slick looking machine. A lot nicer, IMNSHO, than the iPod. From what I've heard about it, the interface will be better as well. Unfortunetly, $399 is still a bit steep. Not that I don't think mp3 players are 'nifty' and all, but I've got a 12-disc changer in my car, a 60-disc changer in my room, and a laptop that has mp3s ripped from most of the CDs I own. And even for people who don't have quite as much audio equipment (or audio capable equipment) I've never quite understood the need to have something like 50 albums available all the time, anywhere.

Not that's it not something good to have, just seems like there are better things to buy for $400.

Re:Very nice (1)

educated_foo (93255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833579)

"...the interface will be better as well"

I must have missed something, because both players appeared to have two-handed interfaces (buttons on both sides of the screen). Sure, two hands is fine for a gameboy, but try jogging with both hands clutching your mp3 player.

Re:Very nice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833723)

The iPod is a decidedly one-handed interface. I've never had two hands on mine at once. It's too small. It has a ring of transport controls, a jog wheel, and an action button, laid out in concentric circles. You hold it in your hand with your thumb on the action button. You move about with the jog wheel (and change volume, and control the little thing in Breakout),, choose menu items with the action button, and use the play/TF/TB/menu buttons by moving your thumb to the extremes of the circle. After you get okay at it, you don't even need to take it out of your pocket to track around and adjust the volume.

Re:Very nice (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833595)

When you have the iPod, which is so small and so easy to use, and you have 50 albums on it, you notice. You don't think, "which CDs am I gonna take with me in the car" you don't wrassle with jewel cases or CaseLogic sleeves, you don't stuff an extra disc here and there into your book bag heading to the library or laptop case. You just take the tiny little iPod, and when you get a CD you know you're gonna wanna listen to in the next few weeks you put it on there. It's total one-hand operation. I leave it in the center console of my car and I never bring CDs anywhere. Too fragile. I rip them on iTunes (takes about 10 mins), and import them to iPod (couple seconds) and go. Having 5gb makes it so you don't really have to plan and are rarely disappointed.

not an ipod killer (1)

Stone Rhino (532581) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833531)

Not only does it have only USB rather than firewire, it also lacks the software integration and sheer coolness factor of the iPod (which is able to run off a single cable)

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No firewire (1)

yggdrazil (261592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833549)

When the storage capacity of these things increase beyond gigabytes, USB is just too slow.

The iPod sells a lot because of good design and user interface. The Riot looks black and ugly to me.

The iPod can be used as a firewire harddrive.

It doesn't seem to me that the Riot "kills" the iPod in any way at all.

Re:No firewire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833682)


Good job! You figured out it was black.

Huh? (5, Insightful)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833552)

It looks like it has approximately the same interface as the iPod, is as big as a paperback book, and interfaces over USB. USB is 12Mbps. It would take 3.9 hours to populate a 20GB disk.

This thing is no iPod killer. The great thing about the iPod is that I can put it in my pocket, and the firewire interface is so fast that I don't need to put ALL of my MP3s on it: it takes only seconds to load a fresh collection.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833660)

USB is 12Mbps. It would take 3.9 hours to populate a 20GB disk.
This thing is no iPod killer. The great thing about

I'm sick of hearing this. "Firewire is in many new PCs and sound cards, and it is a zillion times faster!"

I have a 40 gig USB HD for my iOpener-based car MP3 player. It took me about 11 hours to completely upload all 34 gigs of my music to it. When I want to add music, I plug it into my PC (or almost *ANY* PC or Mac, since USB *IS* ubiquitous at this point), it mounts, and I spend 10 minutes putting another couple of albums worth of music onto it.

If the initial load is *THAT* important to you-- that is you want your favorite 5 gigs uploaded in 15 minutes, instead of a couple of hours-- then pay the premium. I personally am willing to let the thing run overnight once to get my favorite 20 gigs onto it.

Fact is, with the Riot you're getting a device with 4 times the storage space, plus an FM tuner, for the same price. Oh, and you get a carrying case, too!

The gee-whiz effect Mr. Jobs used to have on me is gone. I marvel at the products, gasp at the price, then leave some other (more liquid) consumer to pay the premium.

Re:Huh? (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833672)

Personally the major holdup for me when even considering buying a ipod is the fact that I have to buy a 1000~4000 dollar mac dongle to go along with it.

Re:Huh? (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833703)

"This thing is no iPod killer. The great thing about the iPod is that I can put it in my pocket, and the firewire interface is so fast that I don't need to put ALL of my MP3s on it: it takes only seconds to load a fresh collection."

Although you seem to be right, most regular users won't realise this. And Apple knows that they won't realise it.

This 20G product could be good because it might give Apple the motivation to get PC Support for the IPod in working order before something else could potentially steal the market.

Still just an mp3 player? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833555)

With 20gb of storage and a $400 price tag why aren't these machines pda's as well as mp3 players. Even if they didn't have a screen you could use a touch pen on that would be nice...

No Firewire - No go (1)

agentfive (545436) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833557)

Great improvement in storage size - but no firewire. USB blows.

Huh. (4, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833560)

It looks to me like an iPod killer

That's funny. I had heard that the iPod was lame. [] Why would we need an iPod killer?

(In any case, it's still using USB. That's gotta be painful for moving 20GB of music...)

Re:Huh. (5, Interesting)

SpookyFish (195418) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833666)

I am not a big Apple fan, but the iPod is FAR from lame!

Besides Firewire, it has 32 meg of ram, more than any other HD based player -- more buffering, less HD access. It uses the memory to store the file database as well, so there is no wait for the hard drive to spin up to navigate through files/folders.

The 1.8" HD allows it to be much smaller & lighter -- about half the weight and size of the next-smallest HD based player. 5 gig is the largest 1.8" drive available right now AFAIK, but that will change soon, I am sure.

The only way to get a smaller/lighter fairly large capacity player is to use the 1GB Microdrive + a CF2 compatible memory player (with questionable battery life).

Instead of these oversized behemoths, why won't someone else use the 1.8" drive and make a player that is Win/Mac compatible (natively) that has Firewire AND USB?!



Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833706)

n/t, just mod 'em up. It's informative....

make it play vorbis (3, Offtopic)

austad (22163) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833561)

Once someone releases one that will play my Vorbis files, I'll buy one. I re-encoded my whole collection into Vorbis, and now I'm much happier (re-encoded from the CD, not from mp3's).

Until then, I'll do without one.

Re:make it play vorbis (2, Insightful)

emptybody (12341) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833719)

Why the hell arre the personal digital audio players all skipping vorbis? Don't they need to pay royalties to Germany for the ability to do MP3?

What will it take to get them to support vorbis !?!?!?!

"iPod killer" my foot, Michael..... (2, Redundant)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833562)

No mp3 player that expects us to deal with USB is an "iPod killer"
Can this thing be used as an external drive?
Battery life?
Interface with iTunes or does it require its own software?

Still USB.... blah.

Re:"iPod killer" my foot, Michael..... (1)

jarodss (243400) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833613)

Can this thing be used as an external drive?

Doesn't say.

Battery life?

10 hours

Interface with iTunes or does it require its own software?

It's bundled with iTunes and RealJukebox.

design (4, Insightful)

jrs 1 (536357) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833566)

what is it with all this non-mac hardware? it's like apple have hired *all* the good minimalist product designers in the world and every other product has to be designed with virtually no sense of style[1]. it's the same for all the iMac-a-like computers and even mobile phones. can someone please design an mp3 player with reasonable specs (which this seems to have) and doesn't look like a NURBS experiment gone wrong?

[1] noted exeptions: palm's computers and the sony playstation 2

Re:design (1)

yggdrazil (261592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833610)

Well, me thinks Nokia mobiles has a kind of Apple-like user-friendlyness to them...

Thomson, not Thompson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833570)

It even says so in the linked pages...

(Just some schlub who works for Thomson, although in a very different branch.)

Battery life (1)

madenosine (199677) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833572)

Anybody notice the fact that they neclected to state the average battery life? In addition, it is USB, and the interface seems to be a little too similar to the iPod's to me...hmm...

Re:Battery life (1)

madenosine (199677) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833597)

Does "over 10 hours" as an average battery life for a device with a hard drive seem a tad too long?

Re:Battery life (1)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833675)

when the buffer is 16MB or 32MB like the iPod, then no. obviously the hard drive is not spinning all the time.

Re:Battery life (1)

lsdino (24321) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833635)

There exists a more informative press release [] about the Rio Riot. It has a battery life of 10 hours. And apparently it's bundled with iTunes on the Mac. heh...

Of course, USB sucks... But with 20 gigs of storage, how often do you really need to change the music? let it download overnight once, and then maybe you're swapping out an album here and there...

Although what's kinda cool is it supporst MP3 and WMA today, is upgradable to other formats later (someone could potentially hack vorbis support in I'd imagine...) but they also plan to add support for Audible, for people who like to listen to books.

iPod killer? Hardly. (4, Insightful)

bbum (28021) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833573)

That it uses a 20GB hard drive means that it is at least twice the size. The 5gb hard drive used in the iPod is significantly smaller than the 2.5inch form factor required by the 20gb drive.

The Riot has a USB interface... the iPod uses FireWire (1394b). End result? You can completely replace the contents on your iPod in less than 15 minutes. Even loading 5gb onto the Rio is going to take something like 10 hours -- 20gb would likely take something like *two days*.

It is unbelievably handy/convenient/cool to be able to reload your entire portable music collection in a matter of minutes. I can get up in the morning and select 500+ tracks -- 50 albums or several playlists (depending on how I have things organized) -- based on my mood, desires, whatever... and the iPod is completely reloaded and ready to go by the time I'm out of the shower and ready to catch the train!

All in a device that slips conveniently into a pocket, is light weight, and incredibly tough. Did you know an iPod bounces when you drop it? Mine does-- and it still works fine.

Not too mention that having a 5gb FireWire hard drive in my pocket has proven to be damned convenient on numerous occasions. My iPod was used as a temporary holding spot for data or for sneaker net transfers no less than 4 times last week simply because it was the fastest and most convenient way to move the data around! USB wouldn't have cut it-- try moving 1gb of data across a USB bus in under a minute. (Sure, USB 2.0 can do it-- but who has USB 2.0 support on their MP3 player?)

Don't get me wrong-- the Riot is *very cool*. But it isn't an iPod killer. They are completely different products.

Personally, I don't need an FM tuner and really don't want a device that doesn't fit in a pocket.

There will be those that will reply with 'but do you *really* swap your entire playlists on a regular basis? I don't and I don't miss it...'

Re:iPod killer? Hardly. (1)

bbum (28021) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833587)

[damnit, got cut off]

>>There will be those that will reply with 'but do >>you *really* swap your entire playlists on a
>>regular basis? I don't and I don't miss it...'

Yes-- but do you NOT do it because you wouldn't or because you can't conveniently? In my experience, the use of a device is often defined by the limitations of the device. That you can't conviently swap out all the content doesn't mean you wouldn't do it if you could!

I swap the entire contents 2 to 3 times a week, on average. I have 100+ GB of high bitrate mp3s encoded from my CD collection and typically grab some random 4.5GB cross section of that ever few days based on mood, desire, or context.

slashdot has math majors now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833612)

"That it uses a 20GB hard drive means that it is at least twice the size."

Wow, yeah, it's at least three times the size too. It's actually exactly four times the size, however.

Two DAYS? what crack are you smoking? (4, Informative)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833629)

Let's see. USB is 12 megabits per second. Let's say that's 1 megabyte per second.

Now, 20 gigabytes is 20,000 megabytes. So it'd take 20,000 seconds to fill the hard drive in the Riot. How long is 20,000 seconds? Well, let's do some math here.

There are 60 seconds in a minute, and 60 minutes in an hour. That makes 3600 seconds in an hour. 3600 goes into 20,000 roughly 5 times.

So it'd take about 5 HOURS to fill the thing, not TWO DAYS! Let's get our math straight first before we make declarative statements about the product.

- A.P.

Re:iPod killer? Hardly. (1)

foqn1bo (519064) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833651)

You can completely replace the contents on your iPod in less than 15 minutes.

400Mb/sec / 8 = 50MB/sec 5000Mb/50Mb/sec = 100 sec 100 seconds actually. Not that this negates any of the good points you brought up in your post, but damn. Just a little over a minute and a half. You could replace an entire 20gb hard drive in a little over 6.5 minutes.

Re:iPod killer? Hardly. (1, Redundant)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833694)

The Riot has a USB interface... the iPod uses FireWire (1394b). End result? You can completely replace the contents on your iPod in less than 15 minutes. Even loading 5gb onto the Rio is going to take something like 10 hours -- 20gb would likely take something like *two days*.

That's FUD.

It took me 11 hours to put all 34 gigs of my music on an external USB drive for my car.

You've bough into Job's marketing hype. He's managed to convince you that the Firewire interface alone is enough to overlook the price premium.

Yes, the iPod looks cool, and transfers files fast, but it costs way too much compared to what you get with this Rio Riot.

Who cares? (0)

byran lei (517143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833576)

You can now buy a portable AM/FM cdrom player that'll play CDR's you burn at Wal-mart for $39.99. In a few months you'll be seeing versions of these things that'll have support for MP3's burned on CDR's.

Doesn't this make spending $$$ for a Rio Riot or Lyra Personal Jukebox a wee bit silly?

do we really need 20GB (1)

kawaichan (527006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833582)

I think iPOD is already over killed, I mean, your battery can't even last long enough for all the sounds, I think a perfect mp3 player should have:

Decent form factor - Small is good, but too small is stupid.

Decent Storage - 512MB flash is good enough with matching battery life.

Mutliple format support - OGG, WMA, MP3, MP3Pro

Expansion - SD Expansion is good enough.

That's it, that's all I am asking for.

FSF Kit! Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833586)

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All this can be yours for the bargain price of US$99.95 plus $10.95 shipping and handling. Alternatively, you could submit some piss-poor tcp/ip stack code in exchange. Order now, and you could be the talk of the cube farm! Kit comes with everything shown and will be shipped via UPS Ground for maximum damage en-route. Nick The Greek, London

Stop worrying about USB... (3, Interesting)

jarodss (243400) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833588)

Reading the early comments and seeing everyone complaining about it being USB.

Take a look at most "pee-cee"s today, how many have Firewire? Most people don't have Firewire, they do have usb though.

So stop saying that everything needs to be firewire, yes it will take a while to fill a 20gig mp3 player with a usb connection, but how many times are you going to need to reload 20 gigs of music, if your like me you get a few cds a month and rip them at the same time, at that point I have between 2 and 4 hundred megs, and that doesn't take long to transfer with a usb connection when I only have to do it once or twice a month.

And on a side note, does this thing act as a portable hard drive? I know some of the harddrive/mp3 players do and that would make it even more useful, with my 11 or 12 gigs of mp3 and a divx video or 6 in the rest of the space i'd be set, even my parents have usb on their pc.

Re:Stop worrying about USB... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833615)

Not everyone is saying they want Firewire most people just want something faster . . .

There are other options, USB 2 comes to mind.

Re:Stop worrying about USB... (1)

yetiman (262330) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833642)

You've gotta remember that an mp3 player with that much storage is going to appeal mostly to someone who has a huge amount of tracks. More computer-savy people are going to be likely the ones who have that many tracks...and since they are more adept than the general population they would be more likely to have either a firewire card, a firewire enabled sound card or something of that sort.

It makes no sense to have so much storage but no way to transfer it all in less than a couple of hours.

firewire is cheap (-1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833710)

Even compusa has 1394 cards for $20. At that price theres no reason not to have firewire.

USB it too slow, wah!!! Wah!! (2)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833592)

Um, geez, guys, the first time you copy over ALL your mp3s, why not do it overnight? I mean, this isn't exactly rocket science. How many of you who are complaining about the USB interface on the Rio Riot still use 10 megabit ethernet?

- A.P.

Re:USB it too slow, wah!!! Wah!! (3, Funny)

90XDoubleSide (522791) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833698)

How many of you who are complaining about the USB interface on the Rio Riot still use 10 megabit ethernet

A lot of the people who have iPods with FireWire transfer probably also have a Power Mac, so they have 1000BASE-T ethernet ;)

Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833593)

I can fill my iPod in about 10 minutes . . . I could fill the Rio Riot in about 3.8 hours . . .

Hm? Decisions . . .Decisions . . .

I really don't see this as an iPod killer in anyway!

Size/Weight, and iPod (3, Insightful)

pneuma_66 (1830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833596)

After reading the article, and reading sonicblue's page, i still couldnt find two key specs for this machine, size and weight. I really think that this is because that the iPod is much smaller and weighs much less.

I own an iPod, and I prefer having a tiny device, that i can fit in my pocket, or even in the cellphone compartment on my bag. Also, the riot is still USB, i couldnt even imagine how long it would take to fill up the drive. I have a hard time waiting for the three or four minutes it takes to fill up my ipod.

Everyone also says that the 5gb on the ipod is not enough, and i thought that also, until i got one. I can hold around 700 songs encoded at 192k on the hard drive, which is 2 days worth of music. Now when are you going to listen to the complete 8 days worth of music on your Riot?

Didn't Atari make one of these? (3, Flamebait)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833598)

I swear I've seen this device before. My younger brother used to play video games on it. It had the thinnest cartridges... And as everyone's pointed out, iPod killer my hairy ass...

Re:Didn't Atari make one of these? (2)

pneuma_66 (1830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833637)

You are thinking of the atari lynx [] . I had one also, it was the best portable out at the time, it blew away the gameboy, and game gear. too bad atari ruined it with their fabulous marketing.

Notice how... (1, Redundant)

nicwolff (91386) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833603)

...they avoid giving its dimensions among the specs -- or showing it in a user's hands? If this thing is much bigger than the iPod, then the hell with it. And FireWire is a necessity.

And the Lyra -- hell, the picture in the article makes it look like it's about the size of my head! Kidding, but the article says it weighs twice what the iPod does, so the hell with it too.

That said, when someone ships one of these suckers can copy songs over FireWire unit-to-unit, I'll hock my iPod and switch!

I want a 0gb MP3 player (3, Insightful)

KILNA (536949) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833607)

I'd much rather have a wireless network connected device capable of streaming the music off of my home machine and various other places on the net based off of my listening preferences. The thing I like about the radio is its ability to introduce me to new music. The thing I hate about the radio is its complete inability to know my preferences. Freeamp [] is a step in the right direction, but I still haven't managed to get any decent recommendations from it. Music Match [] makes an attempt as well, but their interface is practically unusable to me. And neither recommendation system is in the form of a net-enabled portable unit yet. *sigh*

Re:I want a 0gb MP3 player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833661)

Like this?

iPlay iPAQ mp3 player

iPlay shows just how cool the iPAQ and Pocket PC 2002 can get. iPlay features include a 16-band equalizer w/DSP 50 Hz bass boost, a linear 64-step volume control w/full control mode at low battery levels, balance & gain controls, L/R channel swap control w/enhanced stereo modes; easy-to-use file selection, play lists; plenty of stats and adjustments to make the best use of on-battery time, especially w/microdrives; analog and bar-segment VU meters; network/Wi-Fi file play, remote control of winamp; plus lots more including Load'n'Decode completion technology for quick play even w/multi-MB cache sizes. Plays MP3, PCM, and GSM-610 formats. Full details are in the complete User Guide below. Screenshots there and at the right.

Remember: PC Software for iPod! (2, Informative)

rbruels (253523) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833609)

Everyone says the iPod is only Mac-compatible... you need XPlay [] by MediaFour. Then you can use your iPod on a PC -- under Windows, anyhow. No Linux support yet, but I know some enterprising programmer will release software soon.

MediaFour had a demo of XPlay at MacWorld, running on XP, and I have to admit it was pretty sexy.

Re:Remember: PC Software for iPod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833627)

Not only did they have a demo they also released a public trial version of the software . . .

It works really well.

Re:Remember: PC Software for iPod! (1)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833655)

Too bad it can't remove songs from the iPod, it only has the ability to add them.

An FM Tuner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833619)

Why, if you had 20GB of MP3s in your pocket, would you ever want to listen to FM radio?

Re:An FM Tuner? (1)

SuperGordito (220530) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833680)

Because there's new music every day and radio is the first place good new music appears

Looks good, but... (5, Funny)

cosmicg (313545) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833620)

I'm holding out for the inclusion of "Amplitude Modulation" technology. I read a preview of it in the July 1899 issue of American Electrician-- it looks like it will be *the* format for christian and sports talk broadcasts.

This thing is big and ugly and useless (1)

Durindana (442090) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833625)

iPod killer? Yeah, right. There seems to be no dimensions information on sonicblue's site... hmm. I wonder why not? It looks like a damn Atari Jaguar, and it probably has a 3.5" HD, making it MUCH cheaper to make (as well as bigger and heavier) than the iPod.

And as others have already cogently pointed out:


rio (1)

crystalplague (547876) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833641)

bah, i'm still kickin it hardcore with my Diamond Rio...old school baby. 32MB? who would ever need more than that?

Re:rio (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833681)

Me too, but I'm living it large with 64 megs. And all because of [] .

Too bulky, but has an interesting feature (2, Flamebait)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833644)

I saw a picture of this being handled on TechTV, and it's much bulkier than the iPod. The iPod is a far more convenient form-factor for a portable player, IMO, and I predict that the Rio Riot's sales will suffer for that reason. That said, it has an interesting feature that the iPod lacks: it will create a favorites list based on your usage, which the TechTV guy loved.

iPod interface (2, Interesting)

elchulopadre (466393) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833647)

In terms of interface, I find it hard to believe that the iPod can be easily topped. I've had mine since thanksgiving, and have been fascinated by it.

Not only is it awesome as an mp3 player (excellent sound quality, great battery life, fast connection, high capacity), or as an external hd (I've used it to fix broken macs by booting off it). What I find most impressive of all is the fact that its ui is unbelievably efficient at getting you to the song, playlist, artist, album, etc. you want to hear.

In terms of usability and 'learning curve', my grandfather figured out how to use it in about 3 minutes, without my telling him anything about it. Granted, he limited himself to the gigabyte-or-so that I have of classical music, but still, he was impressed at how easy it was to use.

The Riot seems to be a slick little machine, and its 20 gb are very impressive. But, as people have already mentioned, 20 gb over USB are worth more than a few coffee breaks' wait...

Not to discredit the Riot's interface, but the jog dial doesn't let you go all the way around, which wouldn't let you really speed up (crucial element of iPod's navigation), and the buttons aren't in the center of the dial, but off to the side, so you'd have to take your thumb off the dial, move it up or down and push accordingly, as opposed to having the main button right there and the others right around the dial. In addition, the Riot seems to require 2-handed operation. On the other hand, though, the larger screen is impressive, and the hints at a graphical interface as opposed to a text-driven one make me quite curious.

The fact that I can do everything I could possibly want to with one hand on my iPod (with one finger, mind you) is one of the most fascinating aspects of the interface. And FireWire makes it all manageable. As soon as I get a new CD and rip it, I update my playlists and within seconds I'm good to go, new music and all. I'm very happy with my iPod, as you could have guessed. But it would be stupid to say that it's unsurpassable. It's just very difficult, but my eyes are open...

rio dj (slightly ot) (1)

Webz (210489) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833652)

I'm not too sure about the transfer speed of USB but I really like the Rio DJ function. RioDJ basically chooses songs for you (a supplement to personal playlists) by frequency of play, newly added music, songs of a certain decade, at random, etc... I hate wading through 2000 songs, because I end up playing them same 10 or so each time around. I don't think a function like this (of automated playlists) exists on the iPod. So, that's a plus.

In dash HD based MP3 player (1)

vw_bob (117531) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833659)

What I want to know is this: When will we get a good, preferably in-dash, hard drive based MP3 player for the car? You know, it could be done many ways, actually. Any of these companies could easily adapt the power supply for these devices to a standard 12 volts and then make the hard drive portion removable to bring in house and "sync up" via usb/firewire, whatever.

This would preferably also have a CD player in dash that could play regular as well as MP3 cds.

Hell, they could actually create a trunk mounted MP3 unit designed for use in car, similar to car CD changers.

I guess there's the Rio Car [] , but this is a little pricey a (imho) rather ugly design.

You see all sorts of kits with small computers mounted in trunks hooked up though power inverters, etc. You could also get a cigarette lighter adaptor for any of these jukeboxes. But none of these are eloquent solutions to a problem that really already HAS a solution.

Message To Big Audio Company: I want my entire (400+) CD collection in my dash or trunk in MP3 format. I want large drives (20gigs +). I want it cheap ( $600), I want it pretty. I want it flexible. (Upgrades/Add-ons?) And I want it NOW!

Yesss! An iPod Killler! (3, Funny)

phloda (530937) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833673)

I did a quick comparison of the old iPod to Sonic Blue's new Rio RIOT. Although tech specs are still forthcoming, the Flash technology tour of the Rio RIOT made it easy to tell that this is absolutely an iPod killer.

old iPod: One Boring Scroll Wheel, 5 buttons

Rio RIOT: Scroll Wheel, Game-Boy Pointer, and five buttons, including two on the left side for volume!

old iPod: IE1394 (what issat?)

Rio RIOT: USB! Everyone has it! Soon it will be five times as fast with USB2 technology!

old iPod: looks like a zippo, sized like pack of cigarrettes

Rio RIOT: ergonomically styled like Game Boy Advance, in sleek charcoal plastique!

old iPod: select by artist, album, or manual playlist

Rio RIOT: intellegent audio wizard detects your favorites and plays them back for you!

old iPod: made by Apple, a company going out of business

Rio RIOT: produced by Sonic Blue, a recognized leader in MP3 technology!

I think the message is clear. Sonic Blue has an iPod killer on it's hands with the Rio RIOT. Thank you Slashdot for letting us know quick!

Re:Yesss! An iPod Killler! (2, Interesting)

smack_attack (171144) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833708)

I have IE1394 (firewire) on my Compaq laptop [] . It's not as uncommon as you think, it's just been slow to be adopted.

Riot (2)

lavaforge (245529) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833683)

The Rio Riot seems like a good idea, but I'd personally like to see a wireless NIC and some P2P software built in. Imagine sharing files automatically by just walking around...

Why are these things still costing 400 dollars? (2)

t0qer (230538) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833686)

400 dollars is a lot to pay for a 20 gig hard drive and some electronics. I got a solution to the price problem.

Look at your hard drive, just grab one, any of them. Turn it over, thats nice.. Now look at the electronics on the other side.

I see a 256k ram buffer chip. I see a microcontroller. I see various other parts and pieces that tell me that with a few changes in the PCB layout, there is NO reason hard drives couldn't be factory shipped with the ability to play MP3's. The hard drive im looking at is an ancient quantum 240 meg drive too. Just add your own battery and case and voila.

If maxtor, seagate, or any other ppl from a hard drive company is reading this post, please pressure you boss into doing this. It would give you a place to sell hard drives other than in computers.

Re:Why are these things still costing 400 dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2833711)

PCMCIA form factor 5gb toshiba firewire hd's (like the one in the iPod) cost $400 retail. You get the LCD, the batteries, the software, the 32MB RAM, the decoding chips, the opamp, the headphone port, headphones, firewire cable, and whatever else for free.

Anger at Apple?!?!?! (2)

toupsie (88295) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833704)

It looks to me like an iPod killer

Everything has to be compared violently to Apple, eh? Kill the iMac and kill the iPod! :)

What might be a killer product but not an iPod killer is the Jukebox Multimedia - Portable Entertainment Center [] . Archos makes some interesting products. I have an Archos Jukebox 6000 but now use an iPod -- its nice but the size and firewire device of the iPod make it my choice. The Jukebox Multimedia - Portable Entertainment Center is a handheld entertainment center, which combines an MP3 and WMA music player and recorder, plus built-in microphone, photo album and carousel, still camera and camcorder, plus video player and recorder according to their web site. The player has a 10 Gig hard drive. It uses USB 1.0, USB 2.0 and Firewire for transfering information back and forth. It even has a little LCD window to view pictures and movies on the device. Looks like it is the same size as the Riot. Could be a nice data wallet/purse.

But where is Vorbis support? was Re:Anger at Apple (1)

emptybody (12341) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833729)

So where is the vorbis support in this wonder box?

Not quite there, but almost (1)

HawaiianMayan (550426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833712)

It's not as beautifully simple as an iPod, but it's not ugly either.

If the picture of it sitting next to headphones is to scale, it's about the size of a videocassette.

It uses USB instead of FireWire, but as much as I love my iPod, that's not as big an argument as some people would have you think. Once you get the entire library on there (spend an hour or so with USB), everything else is just delta updates.

A 20GB hard drive is NICE. I'm already resenting managing the playlists on my pod to keep under 5GB. On the other hand, it ensures I only hear my favourite music on the road ;)

The price isn't really competitive, so basically what you're getting is a much larger hard drive in a much larger package. And PC compatibility out of the box, for you poor benighted PC-using souls ;)

So, not quite an iPod killer, but should give Apple pause about the price of the pod.

CF MP3 Player? (2)

jonbrewer (11894) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833715)

Neither of these impressed me much. They're hideous next to an iPod.

Anyone know of a CompactFlash based MP3 player? CF type I is now coming in sizes up to 1GB, and could be used to make an absolutely TINY device. (never mind the power-hungry IBM Microdrives)

Does the RioVolt even _play_ MP3's???!!!! (1)

joetee (13215) | more than 12 years ago | (#2833732)

Look at the webpage(s): no mention of MP3, period.
Just because is's mentioned on MP3 newswire doesn't mean its not a SDMI earwig music player!

I'd love to be wrong about this, but look for yourself. Alas no mention of VogOrbis either...
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