Quick take: More than a good gig (of music)

SAN FRANCISCO (10/27/2003) - Want to carry 1.5GB of music in an MP3 player about the size of a deck of cards? The US$300 Rio Nitrus from Rio Audio, a division of Digital Networks North America Inc., is one of the best units I've tried. I stuffed over 17 CDs' worth of music into the tiny hard drive-based player and got over 13 hours of playback on a charge. And there were no skips or stutters either, whether I was jogging or biking on rough roads. Further, the device's wedge shape helps it slide easily and comfortably into almost any pocket. On the downside, this player uses various combinations of jog dial, menu selector button, and joystick to maneuver through all that music. But the liquid crystal display is a bit too small to view all these choices. If you buy this player, be prepared to spend time on your PC drawing up multiple playlists.

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