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  #1  
Old 10-13-2012, 04:42 AM
austinv austinv is offline
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Default The #1, 1st digital audio player - is this it?

Hi guys,

Could use your help to validate this assertion:

The very first, production-quantity, consumer product that can be accurately described as a "digital audio player" is The Audible Player from late 1997 (copyright on box) through early 1998.

http://web.archive.org/web/199801180...he_player.html

It had 4MB of flash storage with custom removable battery. It only supported first gen .aa type files, but this qualifies as digital audio.

First gen MP3 players appeared at trade shows and went on sale around this time (1997-98) so I'm trying to establish precedence. Apparently Audible didn't sell many at $200 ($~300 2012) as there are few records in google. I have a NIB example. Also have MPman models from this age but without box. Unsure of the order as details are scarce, and personally I wasn't able to afford MP3 players until eMusic dot-com/Sensory Science & Creative promotions in '99.

Any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2012, 08:03 AM
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lebellium lebellium is offline
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Hey collector dude

Interesting I never head about that one, I always thought the first mp3 player for consumers was the Audio Highway Listen Up.



Announced on September, 23rd 1996. Innovation Awards at CES 1997.

Dimensions 4 X 2 X 1.5 inches, 2 x AAA batteries, docking station, car adapter.
Price $299.
Rumors say only 25 units were produced and sold. Spotted on ebay in 2009 at $75.000

Sources:
-Popular Mechanics, January 1997
-Full Press Release, September 23rd 1996
-Product Page, 1996 (still online!)
-Wikipedia EN
-All-Time 100 Gadgets, Time.com, October, 25th 2010


If 25 units is enough to be considered as consumer product, then it looks older than yours.


Oh and BTW, I should get a PJB-100, the 1st commercially sold HDD player ever, for Christmas
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Last edited by lebellium; 10-13-2012 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:24 AM
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Am I reading that right as $75,000? :O
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:42 AM
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lebellium lebellium is offline
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Yes. But nobody bought it at that price fortunately!
Of course such a piece of collection is worth much money but $75,000 is exaggerated.

Source: http://www.time.com/time/specials/pa...023609,00.html
Quote:
An eBay listing from October 2009 indicates that only 25 units were produced. The seller was asking for $75,000 but failed to find any bidders.
@Austinv: I guess I just found an interesting article talking about both the Audible player and the Audio Highway Listen Up http://www.current.org/wp-content/th.../tech715r.html

edit:
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Last edited by lebellium; 10-13-2012 at 09:20 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2012, 11:32 AM
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He was actually ahead of his time. And, amazingly, it's SMALL!!! And thanks for the video.

PS: here's an online Time article about the "Listen Up": http://www.time.com/time/specials/pa...023609,00.html
As short as it is,... :/

Last edited by The DarkSide; 10-13-2012 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The DarkSide View Post
He was actually ahead of his time. And, amazingly, it's SMALL!!! And thanks for the video.
Small but ugly

Quote:
PS: here's an online Time article about the "Listen Up": http://www.time.com/time/specials/pa...023609,00.html
As short as it is,... :/
You did not read the sources quoted in my 1st post
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:04 PM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lebellium View Post
Small but ugly

You did not read the sources quoted in my 1st post
Oops, sorry. I missed that,...
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:40 AM
austinv austinv is offline
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thanks for all the links! good stuff. well established that Listen Up was announced first, and almost certainly manufactured first, but at only 25 units it's not a commercial run and they would have cost $1000 each or more. made for testing, marketing at trade-shows, shopping to big box stores, magazine promos, etc. AFAIK it was never packaged or sold to consumers.

i'm going to stick with Audible's player as the first real DAP anyone could buy, though it was pretty feeble by any standards. still ya got to start somewhere

hope this is fair
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital...player#History
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