As MP3 music moves from geekstream to mainstream, more products are being introduced to make the process of compressing, storing and listening to MP3s easier and more versatile. The MusicStore from Digmedia is the perfect all-in-one MP3 device to move your music collection from PC to home stereo to portable player.
The MusicStore ($499) combines the best of everything a computer has to offer for making and storing MP3s. It includes a CD player, which can play ordinary CDs or MP3-compressed CDs that you've created. It also includes a hard drive that is internally connected to the CD player. The drive can store music imported from your computer or it can "rip" (i.e., copy) MP3s directly from the CD player. With six gigabytes of storage space, the hard drive can store about 200 CDs worth of digitally compressed music. The CD and hard drive components are designed to work together, so the MusicStore compresses at rip-roaring speed. Songs can be ripped straight to the hard drive in about one second?up to 40 times faster than a PC.
The generous hard drive capacity makes the MusicStore a nifty way to turn a home stereo into a personal jukebox. The songs can be sorted, shuffled and deleted using the small but functional LCD display. Plus, the MusicStore can be simultaneously attached to a home stereo and computer via a high-speed USB port.
And there?s more: An ingenious built-in cradle holds an included portable MP3 player called the SoulMate. The included portable player has 48 megabytes of memory, storing a little less than an hour's worth of CD-quality music, or more at higher compression rates (a 96-meg model is available as a separate purchase for $269). Just rip a CD or two, then transfer the mix to your SoulMate. Transfer times to the SoulMate are super quick, too (approximately 10 seconds to load it up).
The MusicStore is dripping with high-end features, all squeezed into a simple and functional package that integrates seamlessly into your current home stereo. The freedom of being able to rip and playback MP3s, coupled with the future possibilities of downloading straight from the Internet without a PC, makes this device live up to it's double-entendre name. It?s like having your own personal music store without the heavily-pierced, tattooed, blue-haired checkout clerk.