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The MP3 player turns 10

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The MP3 player, bane of the RIAA and friend to commuters everywhere, was first unveiled in 1998. The first device with built-in MP3 decoding and dedicated storage was the SaeHan Information Systems’s MPMan F10, debuting at Cebit (see this post from a couple months ago). Boasting an impressive 32MB, the machine could play back files loaded via an included serial cable.

I remember the first MP3 device I bought was a generic model I found at a pawn shop for $40. They weren’t sure what it was, but it was mine after I talked them down to $25. I had to get a $40 64MB MMC (not SD!) card via eBay to make it work. It would hold about 5 albums (I compressed well) which I ripped myself. The AA batteries lasted about 16 hours, not bad for the day.

Now, of couse, we have iPod and Zune and iPhone and a million imitators. Our phones, picture frames, and even cars play MP3s now. But nostalgia is awesome, so I must ask: what was your first MP3 player? And what was the first MP3 you downloaded? Let’s share!

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