Toshiba Announce First 60GB Music Players

Toshiba have added some new models to their gigabeat series, including the world’s first 60GB digital music player. All players in the gigabeat F series have 2.2 inch QVGA high resolution colour displays and feature storage capacities from 10GB to 60GB. Based on Toshiba’s 1.8” hard-drive technology, the music players will début in Japan in November 2004.

The 60GB model will store 15,000 4 minute tracks encoded at 128kbps in either WMA or MP3 formats – that’s nearly 42 days of continuous music.

Interaction with the gigabeat F players is done through Plus Touch, a plus sign-shaped sensor that allows users to navigate quickly through music libraries and tracks. The players attach to PCs through a USB cradle, and users can rip any CD in their optical drive by pressing the RipRec button on the cradle. Toshiba’s gigabeat Room software manages music on the PC and player, synchronises tracks within designated folders and allows artwork and notes to be attached to music. Supporting Windows DRM, the players are fully compatible with either Windows Media or MP3 files, but no AAC as yet.

So what next? Who will be the first to break the 100GB music player barrier, and when?

The Toshiba players

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?