Korean company claims lightest MP3 player yet

A South Korean company has developed what is one of the smallest and lightest MP3 players to date.

A South Korean company has developed what is one of the smallest and lightest MP3 players to date.

The circular EMP-Z is 42mm in diameter, 10mm thick and weighs 15g. Its size means that the device is small enough and light enough to be attached to a chain and worn around the neck as a pendant.

The player was co-developed by two South Korean electronics companies, EraTech and Station Z.

The collaboration involved Station Z designing the circuit board of the player and EraTech handling the design and manufacture.

Two versions of the EMP-Z are available. One contains 128Mbytes of memory, or about enough space for between 30 and 40 average MP3 files, while the second version contains double the amount of memory.

To keep the size small a memory card slot was not built into the product so the memory size is fixed when it is made and cannot be expanded.

Another concession to size is the lack of a USB connector on the player, but the company has come up with a way to send the USB signal through the standard headphone jack, via an adapter, that makes a USB connection possible.

The EMP-Z is compatible with machines running Windows 98 or higher and Mac OS version 9 or higher.

The player runs on a coin-type lithium ion rechargeable battery and a full charge provides enough power for about eight hours of use.

It will be available from August and the 128Mbyte model is expected to have a retail price of around $120 (£74).

The company said interest from overseas is strong and it has already received an order for 20,000 players from a German company.

Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service

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