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Wednesday, September 26, 2001
Emergence of HDD Radio Cassette May Make MD Obsolete


More than 50 companies displayed products related to the Memory Stick, a memory card developed by Sony Corp., at the Memory Stick pavilion at the World PC Expo 2001.

Pioneer's hi-fi audio system with MD. A Memory Stick can be set in the middle of the cabinet. Sony's HDD mounted audio system. Particularly noteworthy is a sample audio system developed by Sony and Pioneer Corp. Although it is clearly an audio system with speakers, it is smaller than an ordinary mini-component hi-fi audio system with MD and is equipped with a slot for the audio stick.

To use the system, first, store musical CD pieces on the hard disk. Because it uses the ATRAC3 compression technology, it can store pieces from more than 100 CDs. It has titles of album CDs on sale recorded in advance. When the songs are stored on the hard disk, album and song titles are displayed on the LCD screen. It has a function like a jukebox because the songs can be selected at random for play. Because favorite songs can be stored on the Memory Stick, the listener can play them on the Memory Stick Walkman.

Sony and Pioneer will roll out similar products with the same functions as these in mini compo products. They will change the body design and speakers. A Pioneer official said that the product will be priced below 100,000 yen (117.42 yen = US$1), but the company is not sure whether it will be popular. But visitors' reactions were favorable as some said that it would save time to eliminate the process of inputting titles and others asked the company to market the product as soon as possible.

Also on display at the Memory Stick pavilion were many sample devices such as cameras and GPS products compatible with the Memory Stick designed for CLIE, Sony's personal digital assistant.


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