It seems silly to continue the MP3 vs AAC vs HD vs CF etc
etc argument. Bits are just bits after all - we need
somewhere to store them and a decoder/encoder to play
This device has no internal media storage, just an
CPU with a standard filesystem controller,
an LCD, a high-
ADA and headphone amp, and a USB *host* port - ie like the
one on the computer.
You can plug any USB storage device into the player - say
start off with a cheap 128 meg USB keydrive, then later you
could add an external USB hard drive, a USB flash card
reader, CDROM or whatever your heart desires.
The storage device is plugged into your PC as a standard
external drive, and files are transferred as you would to any
One file on the drive contains the instructions for encoding
the format of the media files - MP3, Ogg, AAC, WAV, AIFF,
Mpeg-4, whatever. In fact, files in different formats could
stored together, with a standard DOS/Unix file extension
which identifies the format. Whenever required, the device
loads the decoder into a small onboard flash RAM. A little
more RAM could be set aside as a playback buffer.
A set of standard clamps to attach the device to a range of
storage boxen and a short USB-USB stub should take care of
the aesthetic and portability factors.
With a USB hub and a smart enough filesystem controller,
could attach multiple storage device simultaneously, so you
can transfer files from CF card to hard drive.
Hell, use an open-source language for the encoding
instructions and let people write their own firmware for it.