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Rio Brand Closes Doors

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the ipod-wanted-for-questioning dept.

Businesses 377

Castar writes "In a press release today, D&M Holdings announced the end of the Rio brand. Rio had a troubled history, but were responsible for the first mass-market MP3 players as well as more recent popular players such as the Rio Karma. This closing follows the sale of Rio's IP to Sigmatel, maker of chipsets for many audio players, including the iPod Shuffle." From the release: "The company's decision to exit the Rio business followed a determination that the mass-market portable digital audio player market was not a strong enough strategic fit with the company's core and profitable premium consumer electronics brands to warrant additional investment in the category. The original goal of strategic advantage with wholly-owned and branded portable client devices was reconsidered in the context of the costs required to effectively scale and compete in this sector, where competition has grown intense. D&M Holdings will now focus all its resources on the core Premium AV business and advanced content server products."

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377 comments

firsdtsd (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411491)

1?

Re:firsdtsd (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411756)

Sad to witness a good, innovative brand going down because another company uses juvenile mass-marketing to push its underpowered, overpriced rip-off through.

Amazing how stupid the American people is.

AKA (4, Funny)

hexghost (444585) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411492)

We got pwn3d by the iPod.

Re:AKA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411594)

As a former Rio owner and I do mean "former" The latest Carbon player just plain sucked. It died on its own "upgrader" of death scenario after playing sluggishly for a couple of months. I was able to salvage the sweeeett 5gb compact flash drive. Good Riddance!!!!! All Hail Apple which is what I currently own (6gb apple ipod mini)

Re:AKA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411709)

whatever, rio owned themselves by selling butt ugly products. I wanna kick the head of whoever approved the design of the rio riot. I mean c'mon..

Re:AKA (2, Insightful)

nate nice (672391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411782)

Everything looks ugly compared to the iPod. Apple flat out owns this market and the future looks great...what it can lead to. This is why if you bought Apple stock 3 or 4 years ago for $13.00 it's gone up past $75.00, split and is around $45.00 right now and you're rich.

Re:AKA (2, Insightful)

vagrancy (907283) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411794)

....of course we got pw3nd by the iPod. Style, grace, and a helluva lot of features. Expensive, yes. Awesome, yes. Worth it? You bet your sweet (or unsweet) music collection.

In other words... (2, Funny)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411494)

"The company's decision to exit the Rio business followed a determination that the mass-market portable digital audio player market was not a strong enough strategic fit with the company's core and profitable premium consumer electronics brands to warrant additional investment in the category."

Translation: We're sick of getting our ass kicked by the iPod. We give up.

Re:In other words... (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411631)

No, the statement should just make clear the company was run by managers making bombastic statements nobody understands, and generally creating a lot of hot air. All the developers have probably left the company, leaving them no choice but selling the leftover code and finding a new job (again).

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411641)

lol what?

Or in non-business speak (2)

BluhDeBluh (805090) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411498)

"We've closed because we weren't making any money out of it anymore"... meh.

Re:Or in non-business speak (2)

Tuna_Shooter (591794) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411619)

No.... they closed because they are not making the boatloads of cash they wanted to. http://www.digitalnetworksna.com/company/press.asp ?ID=610 [digitalnetworksna.com] Biz plan 101 . It's a shame when the bean counters can dump a fairly profitable business due to the fact that the profit margin isn't 100%.

One fan sorry to see them go (4, Insightful)

bigwavejas (678602) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411499)

The company's decision to exit the Rio business followed a determination that the mass-market portable digital audio player market was not a strong enough strategic fit with the company's core and profitable premium consumer electronics brands to warrant additional investment in the category.

Truth is, Apple simply crushed them with superior development, product and marketing. Apple also maintains a strong market share from the popularity of Podcasting (free advertising) and the Apple Music store. Not to mention a generation that embraces the Ipod and its culture, who can blame Rio for jumping ship?

What they did offer was a nice alternative. I owned a Rio mp3 player and functionally it worked just fine, no qualms. In fact, I enjoyed having a unique player, rather than the trendy Ipod. The problem was Rio just didn't offer any compelling "stand-out" features and the pricing was on-par with Apple's Ipod selection (which gave buyers very little reason to migrate to a Rio player).

Re:One fan sorry to see them go (0, Troll)

badmammajamma (171260) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411614)

"Truth is, Apple simply crushed them with superior development, product and marketing."

I take issue with the "product" part of that sentence. I would put my Karma up against any iPod, any day. The only thing the iPod had over the Karma was looks. In every other way, the Karma is the superior product. Just like Windows, the iPud wins on better marketing and sexier wrapping paper. *sigh*

Anyway, this is sad. I was really hoping for a next gen Karma, mainly for the option of getting a bigger hard drive. 20gig is pretty good but I really need a 40gig. Anyone know of a player that has >20gig of space, plays OGG, FLAC, WMA, and is reasonably compact?

Re:One fan sorry to see them go (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411650)

something with a cf slot, a bunch of cards, and a case for them?

Re:One fan sorry to see them go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411727)

Just like Windows, the iPud wins on better marketing and sexier wrapping paper. *sigh*

Bwa-ha ha hah hhhahhh!

*sniff*

Sorry, but if you're thinking XP is any way "sexy" except to Fisher Price fetishists...

Re:One fan sorry to see them go (1)

badmammajamma (171260) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411790)

Apparently you never heard of OS/2 or the battle between the operating systems and how Windows won...

Re:One fan sorry to see them go (4, Informative)

radish (98371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411646)

The problem was Rio just didn't offer any compelling "stand-out" features
They offered several features which were compelling to me (and not found in Apple products):

Gapless playback
FLAC support
Vorbis support

That's why I don't want an iPod at any price, and why I just ordered a spare Karma in case mine (now 18 months old) ever dies.

Re:One fan sorry to see them go (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411740)

FLAC and Vorbis isn't compelling. The market for that is very, very small contrary to what the /. masses seems to think.

Re:One fan sorry to see them go (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411730)

The problem was Rio just didn't offer any compelling "stand-out" features and the pricing was on-par with Apple's Ipod selection
I think you've nailed it right there. We old geezers in the audience can remember the advent of another personal audio device, the Walkman. "Walkman" was a Sony brand name. For a while, most of the portable tape players sold were Sonys. But let's face it -- they were just tape players. Pretty soon people started using the word "Walkman" as a generic term to mean any kind of portable cassette player. A lot of other manufacturers were already producing cassette mechanisms and sticking them into a smaller form factor wasn't really rocket science.

What's more, there just wasn't all that many ways a manufacturer could distinguish itself. It was hard to compete on long battery life when every device was expected to use AAs and you had those pesky DC motors to run. Sony got another run at it with "Mega Bass" but even that feature wasn't innovative enough for Sony to corner the market. Their "Sports" models were popular for a while, with the shiny yellow impact-proof plastics. Truthfully Sony probably remained a leader, if not the leader, throughout the whole Walkman phenomenon. But at the end of the day, if you were going to go out and buy a portable tape player today you probably wouldn't care if it was made by Sony or not, and you'd still probably call it a Walkman.

But so now you have the MP3 player market and things aren't so simple. There are more formats to consider, more gizmos you can add on to take advantage of those little CPUs and big hard drives. I personally own an iRiver player, but I have to admit that Apple's iPod UI is way superior. Apple is pretty much kicking ass in this market, and it's doing it because it came up with a solid, innovative product to begin with and there hasn't been a single other feature anyone's come up with yet that can't be had from a stock iPod or a few add-on accessories.

It's possible that other manufacturers could put together product lines that have most of the features and appeal of the iPod and force the prices in the market ever downward. At that point, maybe the term "iPod" would effectively become generic, as well. But right now Apple has a helluva lead and I haven't seen anything that I'd expect to give the iPod a serious run for its money.

(Oh, the reasons I went with the iRiver were OGG support and the ability to record to either WAV or MP3, including optical line-in. But iRiver has disappointed me with some of its choices, particularly in the things it promised to deliver with firmware updates but never did, choosing instead to keep cooking up new product lines to try to catch up with Apple.)

Re:One fan sorry to see them go (4, Insightful)

Castar (67188) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411738)

The problem was Rio just didn't offer any compelling "stand-out" features and the pricing was on-par with Apple's Ipod selection (which gave buyers very little reason to migrate to a Rio player).

The real problem is that they didn't advertise their compelling features. Marketing was Rio's gigantic failure. They had Ogg playback, Gapless (which no one has managed to even duplicate!), an ID3 database-based storage system, really long battery life, better EQ and sound quality, and a smaller form factor. (This is all on the Karma, BTW)

Of course, they didn't TELL anyone about those features, so is it any wonder they failed?

Re:One fan sorry to see them go (1)

superdude72 (322167) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411771)

The problem was Rio just didn't offer any compelling "stand-out" features and the pricing was on-par with Apple's Ipod selection (which gave buyers very little reason to migrate to a Rio player).

The flash-based Rio Cali I bought years ago has a screen and an FM radio and costs just a little bit more than the iPod Shuffle. (And besides, when I bought it there was no Shuffle and the iPods available cost at least twice as much.) Plus, it runs on a AAA battery, which is more convenient for me. What are you supposed to do with an iPod on a long road trip? Bring along a charging station? I'd rather just stop at the 7/11 and buy enough batteries to last the month, with zero downtime needed for recharging.

Why I didn't buy (2, Informative)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411501)

I didn't buy a Rio for one simple reason: No expandability. I couldn't add a larger memory card. So I got a little Kodak camera/mp3 player instead that could use compact flash.

Re:Why I didn't buy (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411549)

I didn't buy a Rio for one simple reason: No expandability. I couldn't add a larger memory card. So I got a little Kodak camera/mp3 player instead that could use compact flash.

Hmmm... I just added a 512Mb card to my Rio player. Most of the models I see listed show they are expandable.

Re:Why I didn't buy (4, Interesting)

pthisis (27352) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411551)

I bought my riocar empeg because of easy expandability. It's just a StrongArm running Linux, and I still haven't used the 2nd laptop drive bay (I have a single 40GB drive in there now).

Re:Why I didn't buy (2, Informative)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411570)

Depends which model you're talking about. All of the original Rio PMP300-based models took smartmedia cards. I personally spent a good $300 on a 64MB PMP300SE with an additional 32MB smart media card. God, flash was expensive in '98 :( At any rate, I can't speak to the model you were looking at, but Rio did make expandable players.

goodbye rio (1)

FragHARD (640825) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411502)

well someone had to say it

Theme song for Rio's Funeral (4, Funny)

cryptochrome (303529) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411760)

It's name was Rio and it looked good in your hand
Until the iPod made it seem totally bland
The loss of profit was too much for it to stand
Oh Rio, Rio Apple killed the Rio Brand

This is not the first post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411503)

I don't fail it.

Apple 1 - Rio 0 (-1, Redundant)

tetrode (32267) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411504)

No comment.

One down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411511)

Now if only Creative would follow...

Re:One down... (2, Interesting)

The Lost Supertone (754279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411540)

Sadly I don't think creative's going to die terribly soon. They sadly still do sell some to unsuspecting people. Someone I know recently got a crappy Zen micro thingy, he was like... yah I know it's not as good as an iPod but it was cheap. I just shook my head and was reminded yet again how happy I am that I have a 4 gig mini.

Re:One down... (1)

AcheronHades (837485) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411566)

Whats so bad about the Zen? I was thinking of buying one. >

Re:One down... (1)

Knight Thrasher (766792) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411577)

We're going to have to agree to disagree here. Between AllofMP3.com and Creatives recent software updates, I like my 40GB Creative Zen Xtra very much. It's served me well for the last year and I havn't had any serious differences between it and my 4th Gen 20GB iPod and iTunes.

Re:One down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411587)

Yeah, that's really sad they're not going out of business. I know I really only want one main market player. Monopolies are such a cool thing when it's a "cool" company, right?

Translation: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411513)

Apple 0wnz j00!

Too bad (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411518)

Personally, I'm a little dissappointed. I have a Rio S35S. It's no iPod, but it hasn't given me any trouble, battery usage is good, takes an SD card. Overall a quality product.

Re:Too bad (1)

balamw (552275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411661)

I had its baby brother the S30S as my first MP3 player, and you're also right it's no iPod. :-)

I agree with you on the pros (battery life, expandability, etc...), but what really sold me on the iPod was the UI. iTunes is just so much easier to use than anything else. (IMHO of course). I started using iTunes and that got me to buy an iPod. Funny thing is I originally bought it to listen to audiobooks, but am now listening to more music than ever.

The overall experience of iTunes and iPod convinced me to give a Mac a chance for the first time in 15 years. I can't wait for the Intel Macs!

B

Somewhere... (1)

Knight Thrasher (766792) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411522)

Somewhere, in the depths of Apple Headquarters, Steve Jobs busts out the champagne.

Re:Somewhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411700)

Somewhere, in the depths of Apple Headquarters, nobody noticed.

Re:Somewhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411716)

Nah, at most he'll laugh evilly.

Rio 600 (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411528)

Say what you might about non-ipod music players, but the Rio 600 was a reasonably good, affordable device... I still use mine for some offbeat audio applications - such as adding sound effects to Halloween costumes...

I'm not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411533)

Rio's continual delays regarding the next-gen Karma were a bad omen. While other companies were already pushing 4th gen iPods, Rio couldn't bring a successor to a very technically sound and beloved player. The Karma had the potential to be a real iPod killer based on its function. Remember, it could play OGG and FLAC way before other players could. It was cutting edge and people rightfully had high expectations.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

tehanu (682528) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411714)

The Karma had the potential to be a real iPod killer based on its function. Remember, it could play OGG and FLAC way before other players could. How does the ability to play ogg and flac make something a potential iPod killer? How many people outside of slashdot even know what ogg and flac are?

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

soupdevil (587476) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411779)

OK, then, how about demonstrably superior audio specs, gapless playback (important for jazz, classical, electronica and live albums) and simple, intuitive, on-the-fly playlists?

Sigh (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411535)

It would be a sad day, a grievous day, indeed a day of bitterness and infamy the likes of which music lovers around the world would remember and mourn for many years to come. It would be the day of darkness, the day of lamentations and gnashing of teeth, of rolling around in the dust and tearing out of the hairs upon our heads.

It would be such a day if, that is, I knew who the hell Rio Brand was.

One of the coolest products... (4, Interesting)

JesseL (107722) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411541)

...to ever fail miserably was the Rio Car. An in-dash computer for playing music, running linux on an ARM processor, with a hard drive, and ethernet - too bad it cost something like $600.

Proof that first to market doesn't equal success (4, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411548)

One of the mantras I heard ad nauseum during the Dot Com era was that if you can get there first, you'll get mindshare, which will lead to marketshare, which will lead to market dominance. First-movers have been shot down enough times now that everyone should recognize that being first in a market is not enough, and it can actually be a hindrance.

Your competitors get to watch what you're doing, learn from your mistakes, then jump in at the right time. I'm not saying that being first in a market is never a good strategy, but it's long past the time for the business development people out there to wake up and recognize that if you have a first to market strategy, you'd better have an excellent plan for capitalizing on the initial advantage.

Strategic Failure (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411550)

"not a strong enough strategic fit" == "we couldn't compete anymore"

A press release means never having a reporter respond to your "I'm resigning for personal reasons, to spend more time with my family" with "Senator, what about the dead body they found in your bathroom?". Not that today's reporters ask Senators anything more than "where do I get the press release?".

Fu3ker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411553)

Marketing or lack of it (4, Insightful)

Jjeff1 (636051) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411555)

I own an Empeg [empeg.com] . It's now several years old, but at the time, was the best tech out there for putting MP3s into a car. In fact it's still nothing to shake a stick at.

But the empeg folks sold their outfit to rio and started working there. That was pretty much the end of the empeg. It was never really marketed by Rio, and the price never came down much. Rio pretty much let it die. It should have been a really popular product.

Thanks a lot Apple (-1, Flamebait)

pappy97 (784268) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411556)

You just had to kill a good market with your trendy IPods.

F**k ipods and itunes.

I'd rather use a player where I am not limited to closed formats like aac.

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (0, Troll)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411575)

I'd rather use a player where I am not limited to closed formats like aac.

Let's not forget paying $60 to replace a battery.

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (1)

pappy97 (784268) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411591)

Exactly. Just buy a cheaper product like this http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTool s/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1527025&CatId=0 [tigerdirect.com] 20GB player for $159.99. Great deal if you ask me.

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411635)

Personally I like the flash players - I'm leary about the hard drives, plus every flash player I've seen is easily expandable and smaller than most hard drive models. I use mine primarily at the gym, so don't need 20GB of space, just enough music for a couple hours.

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411580)

Does it hurt when you talk out of your ass like that?

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (2, Informative)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411598)

AAC is not a closed format, it's the Fairplay DRM that can be attached to it thats closed.

Take the CD's you ripped into iTunes, transfer the songs over to a Sony PSP (renaming the extension to mp4), they'll play.

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (1)

enjoilax (792737) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411608)

Are you a moron? 1. It does not cost 60$ to replace your iPod battery, its costs as low as 30$ + My Battery has lasted over the last 19 months! 2. It supports MP3! Do you need a more ubiquitous format?

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411703)

Are you a moron?

Ummm... no. One Google search found this site [ipodjuice.com] . The battery is $28, replacement fee is $20 and shipping costs would probably make up the balance. Perhaps not exactly $60, but if a person doesn't have the expertise to replace it himself, it could easily be $60. There is no way I've spent even $30 on AAA batteries for my Rio.

Also, we bought my sister an iPod Shuffle for her birthday back in Feb, and it's dead now. I'm guessing it's battery, good thing it's under warranty.

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (1)

enjoilax (792737) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411793)

Oh please. Of course something is more expensive if you can't do it yourself. Computers, driving, your statement could be applied to any kind of service. Plus what kind of Rio do you have? Does it have a harddrive, or is it flash based? What kind of screen does it have?

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (4, Informative)

inkswamp (233692) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411633)

You just had to kill a good market with your trendy IPods.

That's great. There WAS NO substantial market for this stuff before Apple came along and did it in a consumer-friendly way that made it easy for non-geeks to download and buy music. They practically created the market that you're accusing them of ruining. That makes sense. I guess.

I'd rather use a player where I am not limited to closed formats like aac.

Silly troll. I have 1000+ songs on my iPod and it has no AACs on it. I have all mp3s that I've ripped from my own CDs or bought from (gasp!) non-Apple music stores. Try knowing what you're talking about before posting. It makes these forums a little more useful.

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411781)

Silly troll... Try knowing what you're talking about before posting... etc

That's what makes it a 'troll.'

YHBT. YHF. HAND.

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (5, Informative)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411677)

AAC is open. It's owned by Dolby Labs and anybody can license it. It is as free for licensing as mp3 is. You do realize that mp3 also requires a license?

You're probably thinking of iTunes music store songs which is AAC in a DRM wrapper. Would you hate mp3 and call it closed if Apple managed to put a DRM wrapper around the mp3 format? Do you rail against the umpteen million models of Windows Media players out there?

The iPod also plays mp3's. So, unless you limit digital audio to a player that plays OGG and FLAC you present yourself as not really knowing what you're talking about.

Re:Thanks a lot Apple (1)

Onan (25162) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411722)

Man, yeah, nothing as ugly as a closed format [aac-audio.com] , right? Not to mention all those other [mpeg.org] closed [sonicspot.com] formats [swin.edu.au] to which you're limited.

I'm as much in favor of competition in markets as anyone else, but the particular complaint you make is pretty silly.

Things may have been different (4, Funny)

amrust (686727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411559)

if they could have just got that "Riocasting" thing off the ground.

"iPod Killer" (1)

enjoilax (792737) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411569)

HA HA! The iPod has killed an "iPod Killer" SUCK ON THAT! In all seriousness though, this sucks as i was looking forward to the Karma 2 and the Chroma. Now they will never be shown. R.I.P. Rio.

I wonder... (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411571)


Ok, enough of the Apple wins Rio loses comments. Anyone know if the Rio brand will still have support from anyone? Meaning if someone's Karma dies now...is there anyplace to send it?

I was wavering between an iPod and a Karma not too long ago. The thing that made me choose Apple was the simple fact that about 60% of reviews of the Karma (on Amazon and other online review sites) were negative. People seemed to love the Karma for about 91 days...and the warranty runs out at 90 days. I read many reviews that said the hard drive died after about 100 days.

I think that is the reason Rio is going under...it has nothing to do with Apple directly. It is the fact that it seems Rio was putting out shoddy products.

Re:I wonder... (1)

radish (98371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411686)

I've loved my Karma for over 18 months, and I just ordered another as a spare in case I break it. Fantastic piece of technology, and considerably more reliable than my GFs iPod which has had to be returned twice already.

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411718)

I've owned a Karma for something like two years. I bought it for the gapless mp3 playback and wide variety of supported formats. There were apparently some Karmas with hard drive problems, but mine is fine. I think Rio got burned by their hard drive supplier, which damaged the Karma name. It's too bad, really, because I really like it. I hope I can still get the battery replaced when it eventually craps out.

Re:I wonder... (2, Informative)

Gogo Dodo (129808) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411764)

It was noted in the press release: D&M Holdings will continue to support retailers and customers of its Rio brand through all final sale and post-sales activities, including customer service, repair, warranty and sales channel support. D&M Holdings is committed to continuing service levels without compromise.

Re:I wonder... (1, Insightful)

Bobartig (61456) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411788)

I'd bet good money Rio and Apple are using the same HDD's for their players. If the drives are crapping out, its 99% drive MFR, or user's fault.

Some people are astounded by the rate at which HDD based MP3 players crap out, but I'm not. When has it ever been the case that we went running, camping, road tripping with any kind of HDD strapped to our waist, and had the HDD accessed every couple minutes the entire time? They're just not up to the task yet. Either their failing a bunch, or their being broken a bunch. Whichever it is, they're just not ready for the way we live.

Yeah... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411572)

But what does this have to do with Duran Duran?

Re:Yeah... (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411731)

Fool! It's because Duran Duran run linux!

Disposable computing. (1, Interesting)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411581)

Between this and the iPod story about batteries being built into equipment, I'm becoming quite concerned that we are becoming conditioned to accept a lifespan for computers and electronics that is well below the achievable lifespan (with a little clever engineering) -- leading to an unsustainable future of disposable computing.

With the increasing price of oil, and consequently plastics, I can't help wondering what the face of computing is going to look like five or ten years down the line. The average computer uses as much as two circus tents worth of coal to run on any given day. Much of this is spent on wasteful peripherals we could do without, such as fancy 3D graphics cards or optical mice, but even more is being spent on processing power well beyond the needs of the average user.

Inefficiencies in microcomponent fabrication mean that a great deal of the electricity that goes into your computer is given off as heat. Techniques such as reversible or quantum computing hold much promise in the future for putting more energy into computation but today it is up to the consumer to safeguard the environment.

In a way, the argument is the same as with vehicles -- most people don't need a SUV or a top-of-the-line system but many choose to get them to compensate for inadequacies or because of marketing -- but with computers at least it is impossible to argue you are "safer" for having a faster system. Indeed, you are more likely to run viruses or worms without realizing it because you don't notice the hit in operating performance.

I've noticed that I've been holding on to computer equipment longer and longer these days. Oh sure, I have to fix a power supply here and a fan there, but besides slack engineering standards from software companies there is little reason to keep up with the hardware treadmill... and at least one compelling reason not to.

Similarly we should demand quality in design and upgradability in our portable electronics. This comes with a cost, but one that pays dividends in reliability, environment, and sustainable computing.

Re:Disposable computing. (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411610)

The average computer uses as much as two circus tents worth of coal to run on any given day.

What is this supposed to mean. Didn't know coal was measured in 'circus tents'. Is that a weight or volume comparison?

Re:Disposable computing. (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411623)

well, maybe, but my four year old Rio with 92MB RAM still works fine, translucent blue casing and all - had forgotten it on a windowshelf and my son found it a couple of weeks ago, used it that day with the same batteries, and complained about the music - then I told him it was four years old.

My new 512MB flash card/MP3 player/voice recorder uses about the same amount of energy, I've got rechargeable standard AA batteries for it, and none of these use heat.

And since switching my lightbulbs for compact flourescent, my kitchen doesn't get too hot in the summer, so I don't need to buy a big fan to cool it, so I save even more energy.

Now, if I can find a way to dispose of my burnt-out old compact flourescents without paying extra ...

Re:Disposable computing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411637)

>> Much of this is spent on wasteful peripherals we could do without, such as fancy 3D graphics cards or optical mice, but even more is being spent on processing power well beyond the needs of the average user.

Tell that to my lag in Ironforge.

The biggest load of crap I've ever seen (1)

diogenes of Sinope (910547) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411678)

>The average computer uses as much as two circus tents worth of coal to run on any given day. What an idiot.

The end of Ogg support? (2, Insightful)

samesong (836323) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411602)

The sole reason I bought the Rio Karma was its ability to play OGG files; the open source alternative to Mp3 (and is arguabley a better codec than Mp3). When my Karma dies, what do I do with my 15 gigs of Oggs?

Re:The end of Ogg support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411648)

Buy the x5 from cowon. People who listen to MP3's on an ipod must not have ears, but its terrible. If you've never heard the OGG difference I beg you to try.
The Karma was the greatest player with gapless and lossless playback. OGG and FLAC, two of the greatest reasons not to buy an ipod.

Re:The end of Ogg support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411653)

Buy another player that plays oggs, dumbass.

In with a bang, out with a wimper (1)

no_opinion (148098) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411616)

Remember that they were subject to one of the first music industry lawsuits relating to digital distribution? I found a summary here [morganfinnegan.com] .

Jargon, anyone? (1)

jeblucas (560748) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411626)

The company's decision to exit the Rio business followed a determination that the mass-market portable digital audio player market was not a strong enough strategic fit with the company's core and profitable premium consumer electronics brands to warrant additional investment in the category. The original goal of strategic advantage with wholly-owned and branded portable client devices was reconsidered in the context of the costs required to effectively scale and compete in this sector, where competition has grown intense. D&M Holdings will now focus all its resources on the core Premium AV business and advanced content server products."
Thanks for distilling this down for a human reader. I'm sure the ESL folks checking Slashdot appreciate the subtleties of "wholly-owned and branded portable client devices". I can't read this stuff--IT MAKES MY EYES STINK. When will the bullshit end? [amazon.com] The above paragraph actually says:
We're killing the MP3 Player Division because the iPod is murdering us out there and we can't make enough money. We'll focus on our other stuff instead.

Well, err, because they had like 1% marketshare? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411638)

There's a reason it isn't called Riocasting ...

iPod is the walkman of the '00s. Other players will catch up by the end of the decade though, and then it will turn into a market like '90s walkman clones. The marketplace will still be defined by the term iPod though.

A British newspaper even identified a new social class in the UK ... the IPODs. There was a reason that acronym was thought up ... (I forget what it stands for, but in the end it was families with debt who had to have the latest technology, who weren't earning enough but were getting by, but had very high stress levels, or something like that).

Diamond? (1)

porkface (562081) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411673)

Is D&M Holdings the remains of Diamond Multimedia or something else?

Re:Diamond? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411752)

I believe it stands for Denon and Marantz.

D&M = Denon and Marantz (1)

uqbar (102695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411765)

(afaik)

Re:Diamond? (1)

radish (98371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411772)

D&M = Denon & Marantz

I wonder if these guys feel silly now? (0, Troll)

rjung2k (576317) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411682)

"[The Rio Carbon's] got the right attitude, and the right hardware. Apple could learn a thing or two from this media player."
-- Maximum PC [maximumpc.com]

What, like how to suck?

Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13411691)

Our shit sucked, and the iPod kicked our ass.

Low Quality (1)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411704)

I bought 2 Rio's and they both messed up with the same error within weeks.. They should QA their products better.. I'm sure the RMAs killed them..

Duran Duran (1)

threaded (89367) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411735)

I've seen you on the beach and I've seen you on TV
Two of a billion stars, it means so much to me -
Like a birthday or a pretty view
But then I'm sure that you know it's just for you.

Let's hope they don't kill ReplayTV (1)

TallGeek (31895) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411755)

ReplayTV is also owned by D&M, so those of us that own and love ReplayTVs should hope D&M keeps it going!

Rio's MP3 players have always sucked. (1)

milatchi (694575) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411757)

Rio's MP3 players have always sucked. Mod me troll if you want, but I'm just telling the truth.

Duh (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411773)

portable digital audio player market was not a strong enough strategic fit

More like their audio players were pieces of shit.
Wife had a Nike PSA before philips took over and it it was a lemon

Rio Karma (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#13411785)

They really only ever got it right once. The Rio Karma is the perfect music player and at the recent pricepoint of $180, it's exactly everything a music player should be. The problem was that they originally asked too much for it. I mean 20 Gigs of music for $500? That's ridiculous. But 20 gigs for $180, that's reasonable. I just got my Karma in May and I have to say I love even more than the iPod I had before. It does a perfect job of segueing from one track to the next with no blank hole like the iPod. Absolute perfection. But having one good product and a slew of failed products is what makes a company go out of business... So bye bye Rio.
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