Toshiba Intros First 60GB Digital Music Player

Toshiba announced Monday a new hard drive-based digital audio player with a 60GB storage capacity. It will first be available in Japan in November and in the first quarter of 2005 in Europe and the USA, the company said.

The first players to go on sale will be its F series models (see photo below), using the companyis 1.8-inch hard disk drive. There are three models in the range with hard-disk sizes of 10GB, 20GB and 60GB. The drives for all three players are produced in-house by Toshiba and the company says the new Gigabeat is the first digital music player to use the 60GB drive.

The devices sport a high-resolution (240 by 320 pixels) 2.2-inch QVGA color liquid crystal display (LCD) display and a navigation system based on a plus-sign sensor. Supported file formats are MP3, WMA and WAV. Using a built-in lithium-ion battery, Toshiba claimed the unit has up to 11 hours of continuous play.

Music can be transferred from a PC via Toshibais "Gigabeat Room" software and the system supports a one-touch ripping function. When the Gigabeat is in its cradle and connected to the PC, users need only insert a CD into the PCis optical drive and ripping can be accomplished by the single press of a button on the cradle.

The 10GB model will cost US$357.00 and the 20GB model will cost $402.00. The 60GB model will be on sale from early December and will cost $582.00.

Pricing for Europe and the U.S was not announced.