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The establishment of EVISA is funded by the EU through the Fifth Framework Programme (G7RT- CT- 2002- 05112).

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The Zen Stone -The Definition of MP3 Player Broadens

The mp3 player has been on the market for years, and is at this point an established concept. After Apple created the first iPod five years ago, the technology has been improved, perfected, and made cheaper. Millions and millions were sold by a variety of manufacturers, and the market was more or less saturated. Now, it seems, the stress seems to be on expanding the market for digital music players. Anyway you can download mp3 from youtube with brand new Youtube to Mp3 service.

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The first generation iPod does a good job of defining the basic concept of an mp3 player: it is portable, if not tiny, has a screen with which pick out music to listen to, and a hard drive big enough to hold your entire music library. This was indeed a brilliant idea. It came when the world of portable music was dominated by the CD player, which, necessarily as large as a CD, was bulky and unwieldy, and which required bulky and unwieldy CDs, each of which could only hold only a little more than an hour of music. To make matters worse, they skipped when shaken, meaning they were difficult to walk or even jog with. The mp3 player cut through all of this, creating an enormous market for itself.

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Its market has now more or less grown to the maximum size, and stopped growing. New ideas were necessary. Apple responded in two ways: Making cheaper players and better ones. The better ones added features such as video playback capabilities, and continued to sell for a fairly serious amount of money, often around $300. The little ones, however, whose flash memory could only hold a gigabyte or so, were cheaper, if not nearly as good.

Apple itself didn't go far with the cheap mp3 player idea. It created the iPod shuffle, a little stick that, lacking a screen, could only play music from its minimal library on shuffle mode. Since no one's music library amounts to only 1 GB, its owner also had to reload music every time they wanted a change. Selling for close to $100, it is no wonder it never really caught on.

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Other companies have furthered the idea, creating a number of alternative cheapo flash mp3 players, often more based around a concept than the mini. One company, for example, created a 1 GB cube, about an inch on each side, that could be worn as a necklace.

Now Creative has introduced a product along those lines, the Zen Stone. Weighing just a little more than 18 grams, it is definitely playing the "light mp3 player" card, and with its smooth, rounded design, it also seems to be going for the concept approach. Selling for $40, it also establishes itself as being substantially cheaper than the Mini. Although unlikely to prove to be anything spectacular, it goes to show that the definition of mp3 player is expanding.