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A portable media player (PMP) or digital audio player (DAP) is a portable
consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum ...
device capable of storing and playing
digital media Digital media means any media (communication), communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded machine-readable data formats. Digital media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified, listened to, and preserved on a di ...
such as audio, images, and video files. The data is typically stored on a
compact disc The compact disc (CD) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of electronics Electronics compri ...

compact disc
(CD), Digital Video Disc (
DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electr ...

DVD
),
Blu-ray Disc The Blu-ray Disc (BD), often known simply as Blu-ray, is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of elec ...
(BD),
flash memory Flash memory is an electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses acti ...
,
microdrive Microdrive is a registered trademark for miniature, 1-inch hard disk A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive, or fixed disk is an electro-mechanical data storage device that stores and retrieves digital data using magnetic s ...
, or
hard drive A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive, or fixed disk is an electro-mechanical data storage device On a reel-to-reel tape recorder (Sony TC-630), the recorder is data storage equipment and the magnetic tape is a data stora ...

hard drive
; most earlier PMPs used physical media, but modern players mostly use flash memory. In contrast, analogue
portable audio player A portable audio player is a personal mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern comp ...
s play music from non-digital media that use
analogue signal An analog signal is any continuous signal for which the time-varying feature of the signal is a representation of some other time-varying quantity, i.e., ''analogous'' to another time-varying signal. For example, in an analog audio signal, t ...
storage, such as
cassette tapes The Compact Cassette or Musicassette (MC), also commonly called the tape cassette, cassette tape, audio cassette, or simply tape or cassette, is an analog magnetic tape Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin, mag ...

cassette tapes
or
vinyl record A phonograph disc record (also known as a gramophone disc record, especially in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language fi ...
s. Digital audio players are often marketed and sold as "MP3 players", even if they also support other
file format A file format is a standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrology), an object that bears ...
s and media types. The PMP term was introduced later for devices that had additional capabilities such as
video Video is an electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active d ...

video
playback. Generally speaking, they are portable, employing internal or replaceable
batteries Battery may refer to: Energy source * Electric battery, an electrochemical device to provide electrical power ** Automotive battery, a device to provide power to certain functions of an automobile ** List of battery types * Energy storage, inclu ...
, equipped with a 3.5 mm
headphone jack A phone connector, also known as phone jack, audio jack, headphone jack or jack plug, is a family of electrical connectors typically used for analog audio signals. The standard is that a plug (described as the male connector) will connect with ...
which users can plug
headphone Headphones are a pair of small loudspeaker drivers worn on or around the head over a user's ears. They are electroacoustic transducers, which convert an electrical signal to a corresponding sound In physics Physics (from grc ...

headphone
s into or connect to a
boombox A boombox is a transistorized portable music player featuring one or two cassette tape recorder/players and AM/FM radio, generally with a carrying handle. Beginning in the mid 1980s, a CD player was often included. Sound is delivered throug ...

boombox
or
shelf stereo image:shelf stereo.jpg, 200px, A Magnavox 2.0 shelf stereo A shelf stereo, also compact stereo, micro component system or mini component system, is a type of home audio product. Shelf stereos are typically both small enough to fit on an average sh ...

shelf stereo
system, or may be connected to
car A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle Electric bicycles parked in Yangzhou's main street, Wenchang Lu. They are a very common way of transport in this city, in some areas almost outnumbering regular bicycles A motor vehicle, also k ...
and home stereos via a
wireless Wireless communication (or just wireless, when the context allows) is the transfer of information between two or more points that do not use an electrical conductor In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), ph ...

wireless
connection such as
Bluetooth Bluetooth is a short-range wireless Wireless communication (or just wireless, when the context allows) is the telecommunication, transfer of information between two or more points that do not use an electrical conductor as a medium by which ...

Bluetooth
. Some players also include FM radio tuners, voice recording and other features. Increasing sales of
smartphone A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphone
s and
tablet computer A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations aut ...
s have led to a decline in sales of portable media players, leading to most devices being phased out, though certain flagship devices like the
Apple iPod The iPod is a line of portable media players and multi-purpose pocket computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The iPod Classic#1st generation, first version was released on October 23, 2001, about months after the Macintosh version ...

Apple iPod
and
Sony Walkman Walkman (stylized WALKMAN) is a brand of portable media players manufactured by Sony is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational conglomerate (company), conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo. The co ...

Sony Walkman
are still in production. Portable DVD/BD players are still manufactured by brands across the world. This article focuses on portable devices that have the main function of playing media.


Types

Digital audio players are generally categorised by storage media: *Flash-based players: These are non-mechanical solid state devices that hold digital
audio files An audio file format is a file format for storing digital audio data on a computer system. The bit layout of the audio data (excluding metadata) is called the audio coding format and can be uncompressed, or audio compression (data), compressed to re ...
on internal
flash memory Flash memory is an electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses acti ...
or removable flash media called
memory card A memory card is an electronic data storage device used for storing digital information, typically using flash memory. These are commonly used in portable electronics, portable electronic devices, such as digital cameras, mobile phones, laptop co ...

memory card
s. Due to technological advances in
flash memory Flash memory is an electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses acti ...
, these originally low-storage devices are now available commercially ranging up to 128 GB. Because they are solid state and do not have moving parts they require less battery power, are less likely to skip during playback, and may be more resilient to hazards such as dropping or fragmentation than hard disk-based players. Some of these may be styled just as
USB flash drive A USB flash drive (i.e. thumb drive) is a that includes with an integrated interface. It is typically removable, rewritable and much smaller than an . Most weigh less than . Since first appearing on the market in late 2000, as with virtuall ...

USB flash drive
s. *
Hard drive-based
Hard drive-based
players or digital jukeboxes: Devices that read digital audio files from a
hard disk drive A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive, or fixed disk is an electro-mechanical data storage device On a reel-to-reel tape recorder (Sony TC-630), the recorder is data storage equipment and the magnetic tape is a data stora ...

hard disk drive
(HDD). These players have higher capacities ranging up to 500 GB. At typical encoding rates, this means that tens of thousands of songs can be stored on one player. The disadvantages with these units is that a hard drive consumes more power, is larger and heavier and is inherently more fragile than solid-state storage, thus more care is required to not drop or otherwise mishandle these units. *
MP3 CD A compressed audio optical disc, MP3 CD, or MP3 CD-ROM or MP3 DVD is an optical disc drive. (CD-R), showing characteristic iridescence. In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating comput ...
/DVD players: Portable CD players that can decode and play MP3 audio files stored on CDs. Such players were typically a less expensive alternative than either the hard drive or flash-based players when the first units of these were released. The blank
CD-R CD-R (Compact disc-recordable) is a digital media, digital optical disc data storage device, storage format. A CD-R disc is a compact disc that can be Write once read many, written once and read arbitrarily many times. CD-R discs (CD-Rs) are r ...

CD-R
media they use is very inexpensive, typically costing less than US$0.15 per disc. These devices have the feature of being able to play standard "Red book"
CD-DA Compact Disc Digital Audio (CDDA or CD-DA), also known as Digital Audio Compact Disc or simply as Audio CD, is the standardization, standard format for audio compact discs. The standard is defined in the ''Red Book'', one of a series of Rainbow ...
audio CDs. A disadvantage is that due to the low rotational disk speed of these devices, they are even more susceptible to skipping or other misreads of the file if they are subjected to uneven acceleration (shaking) during playback. The mechanics of the player itself however can be quite sturdy, and are generally not as prone to permanent damage due to being dropped as hard drive-based players. Since a CD can typically hold only around 700 megabytes of data a large library will require multiple disks to contain. However, some higher-end units are also capable of reading and playing back files stored on larger capacity DVD; some also have the ability to play back and display video content, such as movies. An additional consideration can be the relatively large width of these devices, since they have to be able to fit a CD. * Networked audio players: Players that connect via (WiFi) network to receive and play audio. These types of units typically do not have any local storage of their own and must rely on a server, typically a personal computer also on the same network, to provide the audio files for playback. *
USB host Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an technical standard, industry standard that establishes specifications for cables and connectors and communication protocol, protocols for connection, communication and power supply (Interface (computing), inter ...
/
memory card A memory card is an electronic data storage device used for storing digital information, typically using flash memory. These are commonly used in portable electronics, portable electronic devices, such as digital cameras, mobile phones, laptop co ...

memory card
audio players: Players that rely on USB flash drives or other memory cards to read data.


History

The immediate predecessor in the market place of the digital audio player was the
portable CD player A portable CD player is a portable audio player A portable audio player is a personal mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic ...
and prior to that, the
personal stereo A personal stereo, or personal cassette player, is a portable audio player using an audiocassette player, battery power and in some cases an AM/FM radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio wa ...
. In particular,
Sony , commonly known as Sony and stylized as SONY, is a Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from mult ...

Sony
's
Walkman Walkman is a brand of portable audio player A portable audio player is a personal mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or ...

Walkman
and
Discman CD Walkman model D-E330 (2002) Discman was Sony , commonly known as Sony and stylized as SONY, is a Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countrie ...

Discman
are the ancestors of digital audio players such as
Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, wher ...
's
iPod The iPod is a line of portable media player A portable media player (PMP) or digital audio player (DAP) is a portable consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic ( analog or digital) equipment ...

iPod
. There are several types of MP3 players: * Devices that play
CDs The compact disc (CD) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of electronics Electronics compri ...

CDs
. Often, they can be used to play both audio CDs and homemade data CDs containing MP3 or other digital audio files. * Pocket devices. These are solid-state devices that hold digital audio files on internal or external media, such as
memory card A memory card is an electronic data storage device used for storing digital information, typically using flash memory. These are commonly used in portable electronics, portable electronic devices, such as digital cameras, mobile phones, laptop co ...

memory card
s. These are generally low-storage devices, typically ranging from 128MB to 1GB, which can often be extended with additional memory. As they are solid state and do not have moving parts, they can be very resilient. Such players are generally integrated into USB keydrives. * Devices that read digital audio files from a
hard drive A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive, or fixed disk is an electro-mechanical data storage device On a reel-to-reel tape recorder (Sony TC-630), the recorder is data storage equipment and the magnetic tape is a data stora ...
. These players have higher capacities, ranging from 1.5GB to 100GB, depending on the hard drive technology. At typical encoding rates, this means that thousands of songs—perhaps an entire music collection—can be stored in one MP3 player. Apple's popular
iPod The iPod is a line of portable media player A portable media player (PMP) or digital audio player (DAP) is a portable consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic ( analog or digital) equipment ...

iPod
player is the best-known example.


Early digital audio players

British scientist
Kane Kramer Kane Kramer is a British inventor and businessman. He is credited with the initial invention of the digital audio player An MP3 player is an electronic device that can play MP3 digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound rec ...
invented the first digital audio player, which he called the IXI. His 1979 prototypes were capable of approximately one hour of audio playback but did not enter commercial production. His UK patent application was not filed until 1981 and was issued in 1985 in the UK and 1987 in the US. However, in 1988 Kramer's failure to raise the £60,000 required to renew the patent meant it entering the public domain, but he still owns the designs.
Apple Inc. Apple Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, ...
hired Kramer as a consultant and presented his work as an example of
prior art Prior art (also known as state of the art or background art) is a concept in patent law used to determine the patentability of an invention, in particular whether an invention meets the Novelty (patent), novelty and the inventive step or non-obvio ...
in the field of digital audio players during their litigation with Burst.com almost two decades later. In 2008, Apple acknowledged Kramer as the inventor of the digital audio player The player was as big as a credit card and had a small
LCD A liquid-crystal display (LCD) is a flat-panel display A flat-panel display (FPD) is an electronic display device s, LED display and Vacuum fluorescent display, VF display, top to bottom. A display device is an output device for presentation ...
screen, navigation and volume buttons and would have held at least 8MB of data in a solid-state bubble memory chip with a capacity of 3½ minutes' worth of audio. Plans were made for a 10-minute stereo memory card and the system was at one time fitted with a hard drive which would have enabled over an hour of recorded digital music. Later Kramer set up a company to promote the IXI and five working prototypes were produced with 16-bit sampling at 44.1 kilohertz with the pre-production prototype being unveiled at the APRS Audio/Visual trade exhibition in October 1986. However, in 1988 Kramer's failure to raise the £60,000 required to renew the patent meant it entering the public domain, but he still owns the designs. The Listen Up Player was released in 1996 by Audio Highway, an American company led by Nathan Schulhof. It could store up to an hour of music, but despite getting an award at CES 1997 only 25 copies were made. That same year
AT&T AT&T Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a ...

AT&T
developed the FlashPAC digital audio player which initially used AT&T Perceptual Audio Coder (PAC) for music compression, but in 1997 switched to
AAC AAC may refer to: Aviation * Advanced Aircraft Advanced Aircraft Corporation is an aircraft manufacturer based in Carlsbad, California. History AAC bought out Riley Aircraft in 1983 in aviation, 1983. Products The firm has specialised in conve ...
. At about the same time AT&T also developed an internal Web based music streaming service that had the ability to download music to FlashPAC. AAC and such music downloading services later formed the foundation for the Apple iPod and iTunes. The first production-volume portable digital audio player was The Audible Player (also known as MobilePlayer, or Digital Words To Go) from Audible.com available for sale in January 1998, for US$200. It only supported playback of digital audio in Audible's proprietary, low-bitrate format which was developed for spoken word recordings. Capacity was limited to 4 MB of internal flash memory, or about 2 hours of play, using a custom rechargeable battery pack. The unit had no display and rudimentary controls.


The MP3 standard

MP3 MP3 (formally MPEG-1 Audio Layer III or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III) is a coding format for digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. In digital a ...

MP3
was introduced as an
audio coding standard An audio coding format (or sometimes audio compression format) is a content representation format for storage or transmission of digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal p ...
in 1994. It was based on several
audio data compression In signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems which use electricity, electro ...
techniques, including the
modified discrete cosine transform The modified discrete cosine transform (MDCT) is a transform based on the type-IV discrete cosine transform A discrete cosine transform (DCT) expresses a finite sequence of data points In statistics Statistics is the discipline that ...
(MDCT),
FFT A fast Fourier transform (FFT) is an algorithm of an algorithm (Euclid's algorithm) for calculating the greatest common divisor (g.c.d.) of two numbers ''a'' and ''b'' in locations named A and B. The algorithm proceeds by successive subtract ...

FFT
and
psychoacoustic Psychoacoustics is the branch of psychophysics Psychophysics quantitatively investigates the relationship between physical stimuli and the sensations and perceptions they produce. Psychophysics has been described as "the scientific study of the ...
methods. The first portable MP3 player was launched in 1997 by Saehan Information Systems, which sold its “ MPMan F10" player in parts of Asia in spring 1998. In mid-1998, the South Korean company licensed the players for North American distribution to Eiger Labs, which rebranded them as the EigerMan F10 and F20. The flash-based players were available in 32 MB or 64 MB (6 or 12 songs) storage capacity and had a LCD screen to tell the user the song currently playing. The first car audio hard drive-based MP3 player was also released in 1997 by MP32Go and was called the MP32Go Player. It consisted of a 3 GB IBM 2.5" hard drive that was housed in a trunk-mounted enclosure connected to the car's radio system. It retailed for $599 and was a commercial failure. MP3 became a popular standard format and as a result most digital audio players after this supported it and hence were often called "MP3 players". The
Rio PMP300 Image:Rio pmp300.jpg, The Rio PMP-300 portable MP3 player. The top view shows the face of the player. The bottom view shows the edge of the player (including its proprietary connector) and the included parallel-port adaptor. The Rio PMP300 is one o ...
from
Diamond Multimedia Diamond Multimedia is an American company that specializes in many forms of multimedia technology. They have produced graphics cards A graphics card (also called a video card, display card, graphics adapter, video adapter, or display adapter) i ...
was introduced in September 1998, a few months after the MPMan, and also featured a 32 MB storage capacity. It was a success during the holiday season, with sales exceeding expectations. Interest and investment in digital music were subsequently spurred from it. Because of the player's notoriety as the target of a major lawsuit, the Rio is erroneously assumed to be the first digital audio player. The
RIAA The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association, sector association or industry body, is an organization founded and funded by busi ...
soon filed a lawsuit alleging that the device abetted illegal copying of music, but Diamond won a legal victory on the shoulders of '' Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios'' and MP3 players were ruled legal devices. Eiger Labs and Diamond went on to establish a new segment in the portable audio player market and the following year saw several new manufacturers enter this market. The player would be the start of the Rio line of players. Other early MP3 portables include Sensory Science's Rave MP2100, the I-Jam IJ-100 and the Creative Labs Nomad. These portables were small and light, but had only enough memory to hold around 7 to 20 songs at normal 128 kbit/s compression rates. They also used slower parallel port connections to transfer files from PC to player, necessary as most PCs then used the
Windows 95 Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems (OS) lik ...
and NT operating systems, which did not have native support for
USB Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard ''Industry Standard'' is a 1982 album by Dixie Dregs, The Dregs. It is their only album featuring vocals (by Alex Ligertwood of Santana (band), Santana and Patrick Simmons of The Doobie Brot ...

USB
connections. As more users migrated to
Windows 98 Windows 98 is an operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems (OS) like macOS, Linux, And ...
by 2000, most players transitioned to USB. In 1999 the first
hard drive A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive, or fixed disk is an electro-mechanical data storage device On a reel-to-reel tape recorder (Sony TC-630), the recorder is data storage equipment and the magnetic tape is a data stora ...

hard drive
based DAP using a 2.5" laptop drive was made, the Personal Jukebox (PJB-100) designed by
Compaq Compaq (a portmanteau A portmanteau (, ) or portmanteau word (from "portmanteau (luggage) A portmanteau is a piece of luggage Baggage or luggage consists of bags, cases, and containers which hold a travel Travel is the movement ...

Compaq
and released by Hango Electronics Co with 4.8 GB storage, which held about 1,200 songs, and invented what would be called the jukebox segment of digital music portables. This segment eventually became the dominant type of digital music player. Also at the end of 1999 the first in-dash MP3 player appeared. The
Empeg Car{{Refimprove, date=November 2007 The Empeg Car is the first in-dash MP3 player developed. In 1998 a British company called ''Empeg'' was formed to build the unit,Peter Clarke"Engineers drive craze for MP3 audio players", EETimes 02/05/1999 which shi ...
and Rio Car (renamed after it was acquired by
SONICblue SONICblue Incorporated (NASDAQ:SBLU) was a public company based in Santa Clara, California Santa Clara () is a city in Santa Clara County, California Santa Clara County, officially the County of Santa Clara, is California's List of counties in ...
and added to its Rio line of MP3 products) offered players in several capacities ranging from 5 to 28 GB. The unit didn't catch on as SONICblue had hoped, though, and was discontinued in the fall of 2001.
Sony , commonly known as Sony and stylized as SONY, is a Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from mult ...

Sony
entered the digital audio player market in 1999 with the
Vaio is a Japanese manufacturer headquartered in Azumino, Nagano Prefecture is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basin, endorheic basins. Th ...

Vaio
Music Clip and Memory Stick
Walkman Walkman is a brand of portable audio player A portable audio player is a personal mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or ...

Walkman
, however they were technically not MP3 players as it did not support the MP3 format but instead Sony's own
ATRAC Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding (ATRAC) is a family of proprietary audio compression algorithms developed by Sony , commonly known as Sony and stylized as SONY, is a Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational c ...
format and
WMA WMA may refer to: Organizations * Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association, a nonprofit trade association for owners of manufactured home communities in California, US * Western Marble Arch, a synagogue in London * William Morris Agenc ...
. The company's first MP3-supporting Walkman player did not come until 2004. The new Walkman players were originally referred to as "Network Walkman", with the introduction of the NW-MS7. This DAP plays audio files using ATRAC compression stored on a removable
Memory Stick The Memory Stick is a removable flash memory, flash memory card format, originally launched by Sony in late 1998. In addition to the original Memory Stick, this family includes the Memory Stick PRO, a revision that allows greater maximum storag ...

Memory Stick
. Over the years, various hard-drive-based and flash-based DAPs and PMPs have been released under the Walkman range, albeit MP3 support only came in 2004. Designed by
Samsung Electronics Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (; lit. "tristar electronics", sometimes shortened to SEC and stylized as SΛMSUNG) is a South Korean multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in ...
, the Samsung YEPP line were first released in 1999 with the aim of making the smallest music players on the market. In 2000, Creative released the 6GB hard drive based
Creative NOMAD The NOMAD was a range of digital audio player A portable media player (PMP) or digital audio player (DAP) is a portable consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics ...
Jukebox. The name borrowed the
jukebox A jukebox is a partially automated music-playing device, usually a coin-operated machine, that will play a patron's selection from self-contained media. The classic jukebox has buttons, with letters and numbers on them, which are used to select ...

jukebox
metaphor popularised by ''Remote Solution'', also used by ''Archos''. Later players in the Creative NOMAD range used
microdrive Microdrive is a registered trademark for miniature, 1-inch hard disk A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive, or fixed disk is an electro-mechanical data storage device that stores and retrieves digital data using magnetic s ...
s rather than laptop drives. In October 2000, South Korean software company Cowon Systems released their first MP3 player, the CW100, under the brand name
iAUDIO iAUDIO is the brand name for a range of portable media player A portable media player (PMP) or digital audio player (DAP) is a portable consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic ( analog or digital ...
. Since then the company has released many different players. In December 2000, some months after the Creative's ''NOMAD Jukebox'',
Archos Archos (, stylized as ARCHOS) is a French multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinatio ...

Archos
released its ''Jukebox 6000'' with a 6GB hard drive. While popularly being called MP3 players at the time, most players could play more than just the MP3 file format, for example
Windows Media Audio Windows Media Audio (WMA) is a series of audio codecAn audio codec is a device or computer program capable of encoding or decoding a digital data stream (a codec A codec is a device or computer program A computer program is a collection of ins ...
(WMA), Advanced Audio Coding (AAC),
Vorbis Vorbis is a free and open-source software Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software Software is a collection of instructions that tell a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of ari ...
,
FLAC FLAC (; Free Lossless Audio Codec) is an audio coding format for lossless compression of digital audio, developed by the Xiph.Org Foundation, and is also the name of the free software project producing the FLAC tools, the reference software p ...
,
Speex Speex is an audio compression codec specifically tuned for the reproduction of human speech and also a free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), ins ...
and
Ogg Ogg is a free, open Open or OPEN may refer to: citizen * Open (band), Australian pop/rock band * The Open (band), English indie rock band * ''Open'' (Blues Image album), 1969 * ''Open'' (Gotthard album), 1999 * ''Open'' (Cowboy Junkies ...
. Many MP3 players can
encode The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) is a public research project which aims to identify functional elements in the human genome The human genome is a complete set of nucleic acid sequences for humans, encoded as DNA within the 23 chromosome ...
directly to MP3 or other digital audio format directly from a line in audio signal (radio, voice, etc.). Devices such as
CD player A CD player is an electronic device that plays audio compact discs, which are a digital audio, digital optical disc data storage device, data storage format. CD players were first sold to consumers in 1982. CDs typically contain recordings of au ...

CD player
s can be connected to the MP3 player (using the USB port) in order to directly play music from the memory of the player without the use of a computer.
Modular Broadly speaking, modularity is the degree to which a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its ...

Modular
MP3 keydrive players are composed of two detachable parts: the head (or reader/writer) and the body (the memory). They can be independently obtained and upgradable (one can change the head or the body; i.e. to add more memory).


Growth of market

On 23 October 2001,
Apple Computer Apple Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, ...
unveiled the
iPod The iPod is a line of portable media player A portable media player (PMP) or digital audio player (DAP) is a portable consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic ( analog or digital) equipment ...

iPod
, a 5 GB hard drive based DAP with a 1.8"
hard drive A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive, or fixed disk is an electro-mechanical data storage device On a reel-to-reel tape recorder (Sony TC-630), the recorder is data storage equipment and the magnetic tape is a data stora ...

hard drive
and a 2" monochrome display. With the development of a spartan
user interface In the industrial design Industrial design is a process of design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specificati ...
and a smaller form factor, the iPod was initially popular within the
Macintosh The Macintosh (mainly Mac since 1998) is a family of personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be op ...

Macintosh
community. In July 2002, Apple introduced the second generation update to the iPod, which was compatible with
Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary {{Short pages monitor