Panasonic SD Audio Player

TOKYO (06/01/2000) - Cell phones beware. Digital audio players might soon become the hottest high-tech fashion accessories on the streets of Tokyo after Panasonic followed Sony's lead and debuted a player that begs to be shown off.

Weighing in at 55 grams, the SV-SD70 is light enough to be worn on the wrist or, as is the fashion with cellphones among teenagers in Japan, hung around the neck.

To promote this, Panasonic is also marketing a range of wrist straps in black, white, green, yellow, orange and pink. The device will just snap into them and they'll match any outfit.

A little smaller than a deck of cards, the player measures just 49.8 millimeters (mm) by 15mm by 49.2mm and its liquid crystal display (LCD) panel is large enough to display two lines of 12 characters. Two AA batteries slot into the cylindrical ends of the player and will provide up to four hours continuous playing, says Panasonic.

For people who don't want to carry anything, Matsushita has also developed the SV-SD01. Not much larger than a conventional pair of headphones and weighing just 104 grams, the digital audio player is built into headset unit for totally portable audio.

The players are also notable as the first on the market to support the Secure Digital (SD) memory card format -- the result of a collaborative effort by Sandisk Corp., Toshiba Corp. and Matsushita to create a de facto memory card standard with support for the cross-industry SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) copy protection system.

Matsushita says the initial 64M byte SD cards are enough for between 46 and 129 minutes of music, depending on the quality selected and whether music is stored as MP3 files or in the AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) standard. AAC is a high quality audio compression system being employed in Japan for audio distribution and digital satellite broadcasting.

The SV-SD70 will go on sale on June 30, while the SV-SD01 will debut on July 10. Both will carry retail prices of 49,800 yen (US$457).

Product Name: SV-SD70

Manufacturer: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.

Price: 49,800 yen (US$457)

Availability: June 30 in Japan; summer or later in North America and Europe.

Web: http://www.panasonic.co.jp/avc/audio/sd/index.html (Japanese only)Product Name: SV-SD01Manufacturer: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.

Price: 49,800 yen (US$457)

Availability: July 10 in Japan; summer or later in North America and Europe.

Web: http://www.panasonic.co.jp/avc/audio/sd/index.html (Japanese only)Panasonic is a brand name of Tokyo-based Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.

Ltd. which is on the web at http://www.mei.co.jp/.

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More about MatsushitaMatsushita ElectricPanasonicSandiskSecure Digital Music InitiativeSonyToshibaTotally Portable

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