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    Diamond Rio500 Review
    July 2000
    Introduction

    As we head closer towards the wireless lives we are destined to live, new and improved methods of doing ordinary things are popping up all over the place all throughout the years. Phones used to be large and wired, they're not micro, digital, and wireless; remote controls were once wired to the devices they controlled "remotely", and listening to digital music was reserved for the computer and the home entertainment system. As technology moves faster and scientists find simpler ways to do complicated things, they technology that once powered things are getting smaller also. Remember that old Nintendo you have in the attic? Today's Gameboy is more powerful than that clunky thing. I think you all understand by now, technology has to adapt to the people because people will not adapt to the technology they want. People want things that are light and that are portable. Look at the standard business class individual: Cell phone, pager, PDA, etc… portable and wireless is in and they can make life better for you. These technologies are made for the people just like the Rio500 is. If you've been living under Bill Clinton's shoe for the past 3 years, mp3's are the digital audio format of the future and the future is now. Mp3's are everywhere from high school dorm rooms to the offices of the RIAA (we know you like them). You can't get away from them! Would you want to get away from them? Think about it, downloading your favorite songs through Napster, listening to them a few times through your FPS2000's and taking them along with you on your Rio500 on that lousy blind date your friend fixed you up with. What better way to un-bore yourself than to listen to some ultracool techno? Now that we all agree that mp3's rule, lets go back to some history on the Rio series.

    Diamond/S3/Rioport's flagship line of digital audio players (only line actually) is of course the Rio. The Rio was the first portable mp3 player to grace the market and was release via a flurry of lawsuits and outcry from those famous mp3 supporting RIAA reps =). They tried to get the player out of the market before it even hit the market and they failed. The Rio PMP300 (reviewed here) was out for the world to enjoy at around Christmas time. You know what that means. It was released and then promptly sold out everywhere. It was harder to get a Rio than it was to get a date with a Swedish chick. Looking back on the Rio300, it was a first-generation mp3 player that had tens, even hundreds of copycats that did basically the same thing. Since it was the first one out it was also the most popular and the most referred to on CNN and magazines alike. People seemed to not notice the bad earbuds, the finicky operation, and bad sound quality of the Rio300. Combine that with millions in advertising and a small memory capacity and you get a very popular product that people don't really like. It's great that it doesn't skip, it's great that it goes 10+ hours on a single AA battery, and it's great that it's digital but the sound quality sucked and there was not enough memory. Live with it. We did live with it and Diamond watched it's market share go from 100% to "only" 60% as more and more companies are jumping on the DA bandwagon. A year after the original was released, Diamond announced the Rio300 Second Edition. There was nothing special about the second edition (reviewed here) except for the fact that it was transparent teal and had twice the memory (64MB). A year after that the second-generation mp3 players started to hit the market. Second generation players as they were popularly called, had a standard of 64MB of memory (first generation standard was 32MB), superior audio quality and faster transfer speeds. That is the Rio500 summed up in one sentence. S3 announced and shipped the Rio500 to the biggest anticipation ever and they sold off the shelves like hotcakes. 2 times in a row they run out of supply because demand was so high, must be a good thing. Just like the first Rio, you had a hard time trying to find a Rio500 for sale anywhere. Its ticket price was a whopping $299. When the first reviews of the unit came out they were 2 thumbs upping the Rio500 and giving it all the praise it can receive. Without a doubt, S3 again has the market on it's knees in front of them and Diamond/S3 will always be known for their superiority when it comes to "Digital Audio Players". Wow, that was a long introduction. Today we take a look at the famous mp3 player and give you the hard stuff.

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    1. Introduction
    2. Installation/Features & Specs 1
    3. Features & Specs 2
    4. For Every Good There's A Bad/Pros & Cons/Conclusion
    Article Info
    Author: Chris Oh
    Company: Diamond Multimedia
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