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The world’s largest maker of personal computers, Dell, on Monday introduced its first flash-based digital music player. The new device is a part of the company’s push into mobile entertainment products, a market that the company has been addressing for quite a while now. The new player is set to compete against Apple’s iPod shuffle, which is among the most popular flash players today.

Dell’s DJ Ditty will come with 512MB of memory at the price of $99, the same price-point as entry-level iPod shuffle players with the same amount of memory. However, Dell’s product will feature an LCD screen and an integrated FM radio tuner, something that Apple’s iPod shuffle lacks, as well as up to 14 hours of battery life, two hours more compared to 12 hours declared by Apple.Dell will supply earbud phones, lanyard as well as a USB cap with its DJ Ditty.

Dell DJ Ditty music player

Dell has been into the MP3 player market for a while already trying to compete with Apple iPod and Creative Zen products with its Pocket DJ product series. One of the major selling points for the Pocket DJ has always been the price: Dell tried to sell better products at Apple iPod’s price-points. For instance, Pocket DJ 30 costs $299 and comes with 30GB storage, whereas Apple’s iPod only features 20GB storage in a model that is priced at $299.

“Although the Ditty is expected to generate some sales and profit for Dell, it won’t chase the iPod off the top of the MP3 player heap,” said Roger Kay, founder of Endpoint Technology Associates in an interview with Austin American Statesman news-paper.

“What Apple’s producing with iPod is the total experience with hardware, software and services. That’s the piece none of the other purveyors have figured out: how to make the thing a great experience from soup to nuts,” the analyst added.

Dell’s new player will be compatible with Musicmatch Jukebox by Yahoo!Music, Napster to Go as well as Audible music download services. While the price is known, at press time the device was unavailable at Dell’s web-site.


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