I’ve tried to ignore this player when it was announced a couple of weeks ago, but the sheer weirdness of the player itself and some accessories revealed today certainly calls for a quick mention. If you remember the first gen Mplayer it was already somewhat of a peculiar MP3 player where the Mickey Mouse design was the focus. The player now got an update called the Mplayer Eyes which have LEDs that light up in various facial expressions. Pretty much any smiley you can make with text symbols the Eyes seem to be able to replicate.
If that wasn’t weird enough for you, a Korean company has now released a dock for the device that is shaped like Mickey’s body. This combo is by far the weirdest MP3 player I’ve seen and that says something. While the specs aren’t too great for the Eyes with 1 or 2GB memory and 10 hours of battery, the novelty value is certainly through the roof. Hit the jump for a few more pics
[GenerationMP3 Mplayer Eyes|Mplayer Dock]
iriver had one of the coolest looking booth at CES and really was the only manufacturer that showed anything new and compelling. Walking behind the tent like structure you entered an ultra white and extremely well lit display area. It was a ultra modern and I would have expected to see the iriver reps wearing white lab coats. Still they knew their stuff and were quick to answer any questions.
Over the last few years iriver has been more of an enigma in the US by only releasing a handful of their products to the store shelves, keeping many of the really cool and compelling products back in Asian countries. However, iriver PR and two of the reps told me that the US will likely see a lot of what was on display and they will be making more of an effort to sell in the United States.
Below I have a rundown of the various players, a quick and dirty booth tour, and a video demo of the Unit 2.
We’ve seen the occasional MP3 player don some crystal decorations and have a limited model introduced in Japan for the fashion conscious previously, but what better design than iriver’s Disney Mplayer to parade with style. The ears of the cute device have been studded with Swarovski crystals, each body color (black, silver, white, blue, and pink) having different combinations of colored crystals.
The special edition Mplayer can be ordered online now, but only 500 units (100 for each color) will be shipped within Japan, and cost 16,800 Yen ($150) each.
We’ve been holding off on covering the slew of iriver DAPs appearing at CES in hopes for some hands-on time, but it seems we’ll have to wait like everyone else for the official releases (most of which are unknown). That’s okay, though, because from what we’ve seen and heard, most of the devices should definitely be worth the wait . . . assuming they’ll be available in the U.S., of course.
In the meantime, let’s take a quick look at everything the lovely folks at iriver have in store for us this year.