AfterDawn: Tech news

Rio owner D&M Holdings quits MP3 player market

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 30 Aug 2005 14:14 User comments (6)

The name "Rio" will always be remembered in the MP3 player market. The current owner of Rio, D&M Holdings is to quit the MP3 player market however, the company has announced. This comes after D&M Holdings sold its Rio division's technology and people assets to SigmaTel in July. The company then said it was "examining additional strategic options for Rio". Rio was originally part of Diamond Multimedia and was a true pioneer in digital music hardware. However the flash-based players were quickly overtaken by HDD-based players such as Apple's iPod.
In October 1998, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), joined by the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies filed a complaint seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction against Diamond Multimedia's announced MP3 player device which sold for a price of $199. The RIAA claimed it had to file the complaint to protect its artists and the creative content of the music industry.

Hilary Rosen claimed that the MP3 player violated the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA), and in doing so "encourages consumers to infringe the rights of artists by trafficking in unlicensed music recordings on the Internet." However US District Judge Audrey Collins denied the injunction that would have halted Diamond Multimedia Systems, from distributing the player.

If that wasn't annoying enough for the RIAA, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling, and also found the Rio was not covered by the anti-piracy law invoked by the association. Being passed around from corporation to corporation didn't help the brand and the increasing growing competition including Creative Technologys Zen players and of course Apple's iPod proved fatal for Rio. However, there still could be hope for the Rio brand as D&M said it was retaining the Rio name, and has a licence to use the MP3 technology now sold to SigmaTel.

The Register

Previous Next  

6 user comments

131.8.2005 1:16

I remember i got the Rio when it first came out.. I think it was around 150 for the 64Mb version.. lol! Found a pic of it!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Aug 2005 @ 1:29

smoke me a kipper i'll be back for breakfast - Ace

21.9.2005 8:51

I have a Rio S10. 64Mb + SD card slot. I don't need to cart around my whole music collection. 1/2 a gig of tunes is plenty for me on a portable. I can bring some extra SD cards along if I need more than that. No moving parts. 30 hour battery life on 1 USER REPLACEABLE (what a concept!) AA battery. The (PC) software is not great, but it works fine. Not sure why people got so sucked in by 20 & 40 gig players. I guess more is always better for lots of people. Shuffle is okay but no display and more important no expansion slot rules it out for me. Just my 2 cents.

31.9.2005 18:15

that sucks, rio made really good players, they were so damn small!, if i remeber correctly they made the smallest 20 gig yet. I agree about the 20-40-60 gig thing, thats just redicululous, i have a 5 gig zen micro, i use about 4 gigs and its just too much!

42.9.2005 13:05

yeh they did make the smallest one the rio karma luscious, it was lol :P

54.9.2005 20:56

I have a RIO S35S and it certainly takes a beating and keeps on working. I am pretty hard on electronics and it is holding up Very well. LOL and it was a Refurbished one to start with. Of course I got an extended warrenty ... wonder what they would replace it with?

67.9.2005 23:14

The Karma still is great. Excellent user interface, superb sound, FLAC, OGG support and perhaps best of all, the docking station wires straight into my network. The best product they did still has to be the Riocar AKA as Empgeg (before they were bought by Rio). Even today, 6 years after launch, it's still an amazing car radio: up to 2 x 2.5" drives (that's potentially 320G!) 2 x 10 or 4 x 5 band fully configurable parametric eq (freq, level, q); great interface, remote control, fully configurable, network interface still nothing like it on the market. Not surprisingly, the Empgeg guys also did the Karma... and the RioReceiver (AKA as Dell receiver) and many other players for Rio.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive