Packard Bell guns for Apple

MP3 players

Yet another company fancies taking a shot at Apple. Packard Bell has become the latest company to enter the digital music market with a range of players, including a model set to rival Apple’s iPod mini.

Available in September, the Pocket M@estro sports a 5GB hard disk, can play back both MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) music files and features an FM radio and voice recording facilities. The M@estro, which has a battery life of seven hours, is expected to retail for around £200, with a 2.5GB version selling for less than £150.

Packard Bell has also introduced a trio of Flash memory-based players. The £100, 128MB wearable player, the AudioDream; the AudioKey FM with up to 512MB of memory with FM radio (prices from £66); and the budget AudioBell USB storage device with up to 128MB from £46.

Details from the press release follow:


A musical gem, the AudioDream is a digital music player and fashion statement all rolled into
one. Beneath its ultra slim, aluminum exterior resides a powerful flash memory music player
capable of holding up to 8 hours of music (WMA format). Light enough to be worn around the
neck and small enough to fit into any pocket or purse, its copious list of features also includes
a dazzling OLED display with ID3 TAG support, 5 equalizer presets, a built-in FM
tuner/recorder and voice recorder. Its rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery provides up to hours of
nonstop playback.

AudioKey FM

Easy to use and featuring a backlight screen, the AudioKey FM flash memory player brings
high-quality audio enjoyment to on-the-go users. First, it is a skip-free Flash Memory MP3
player that provides 12 hours of play time on a single AAA battery. Storage capacities range
from 64MB to 512MB. The 512MB version can hold up to 16 hours of WMA music (8 hours of
MP3). Second, it is a removable USB storage drive, perfect for toting around important
computer files. Third, it comes with a built-in FM radio player and recorder with 20 presets for
enjoying and recoding radio shows on the go. Finally, it features a built-in mîcrophone for
recording up to 8 hours of voice memos.


Highly affordable, AudioBell is a flash USB storage drive and digital music player. It offers
children a convenient and trendy way of carrying around computer files and listening to digital
music. Shaped like a ladybird, it is designed to fit comfortably into a child’s hand. The
ladybird’s black spots are the control buttons. Available with 64 and 128MB of storage, it can
hold up to 4 hours of music (WMA). Its lithium ion battery provides up to 4 hours of non-stop
play time and charges off the PC’s USB port.

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