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PHILIPS DIVES INTO MP3 TECHNOLOGY

Vows To Include Eye Patch And Parrot With Every Unit
Move over, Napster… There's about to be a new thorn in the side of the RIAA, as Philips gears up for the release of eXpanium, its MP3-based CD player.

The concept behind eXpanium isn't that revolutionary. Its size is comparable to the standard portable CD player.

eXpanium does improve on the limited memory of Flash-based players like Diamond Rio's by offering up to ten hours of playback, thanks to the help of a CD burner.

What makes Philips a rabble-rouser is the fact that the home electronics behemoth is fully embracing MP3 technology at a time when the RIAA is lashing out against music downloading.

According to Philips, eXpanium is designed to download legit MP3 files, though it doesn't offer protection against stuff grabbed from Napster. "You can also download legal MP3 music files from the Internet to your hard drive," the company says. "Our lawyers made us say that."

At the same time, the product's tagline, "Rip it! Burn it! Spin it!," suggests eXpanium can also be used for something more sinister.

Philips says that eXpanium is slated for an August release. No word on the launch of eXspamium, which plays MP3 files made from processed lunch meat.

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