The Historical Text Archive: Electronic History Resources, online since 1990 Bringing you digitized history, primary and secondary sources


Mp3 players

The first digital audio player hit the American market back in the summer of 1988. The company “Eiger Labs” is credited with creating a thirty-two megabyte Mp3 player called the F10. The F10 came with thirty-two megabytes of storage standard and also included an upgrade to sixty-four megabytes for an additional sixty-nine dollars plus shipping and handling. This expandability would turn out to be an important and key feature to the future success of the digital Mp3 player.

The first Mp3 player to really make a significant impact on the buying population in America was the Diamond multimedia Rio PMP300. Diamond multimedia wisely released the PMP in September of 1988 just prior to the Christmas season. Sales of the Rio far exceeded the company’s expectations, which led to a number of large companies’ decisions to enter the digital audio Mp3 race.

These early Mp3 players were constrained by their slow parallel-port-based transfer methods and lack of overall storage. In the end of 1999 another large leap forward was made when a company called Remote Solutions introduced a hard-drive-based mp3 player called the Personal Jukebox.

The Personal Jukebox was a vast improvement with a storage capacity of up to 1200 individual songs which is the equivalent to over one hundred of today’s Cd’s.

As interest grew people wanted to access their favorite mp3's while driving, so the Rio car was developed. The Rio car had a capacity of up to twenty-eight gigabytes worth of digital music. Unfortunately due to expense and a poor marketing campaign the Rio car never really took off as the company had hoped and the model was discontinued in late 2001.

The most recent major event to happen in the history of the Mp3 player was the introduction of the Apple Ipod in 2001. Apple partnered the Ipod with the itunes software and has dominated the digital music market since. With the rapid adoption of high-speed connections, which decrease download time, the Mp3 market will continue to expand for the foreseeable future. One final note: please do not download bootleg music.