Roughly the size of a pack of cigarettes, Diamond Multimedia's Rio was the first "Walkman" designed solely to play digital audio files encoded with a form of compression called MP3. MP3 can reduce the storage needs of CD songs to roughly one tenth their original size without significantly sacrificing sound quality, and it has rapidly emerged as an open standard for transmitting music over the Internet. Songs, which can be downloaded from the Internet or "ripped" from CDs, are loaded into the Rio from a personal computer. MORE >>
The RIAA, the music industry's main trade group, announced that Wednesday that it is dropping its lawsuits over the Rio portable MP3 player. The end of litigation comes after a San Francisco federal appeals court ruled in June that the Rio is not subject to 1992 federal anti-piracy laws.