Oh wow, I guess I’m getting old. Did anyone else own this player — the Eiger Labs MPMan?
This is the 64-megabyte F20 shown here but I had the 32-megabyte F10. Remember how it hooked up to your computer via Parallel port and took forever to transfer songs?
Apparently the prototype for this device was shown at CeBIT back in March of 1998 before going on sale in May of the same year.
My MPMan is long gone but I’ve held on to a few relics from the very early days of the portable MP3 movement. Hit the jump to see some photos.
Genica Portable MP3/CD Player
Here’s what may have been the first portable CD player that also played MP3 discs. It was made by Genica back in 2000. If I recall, it was on preorder for $99 (which was a downright steal) from ComputerGeeks.com (now Geeks.com) for like six months. I was a junior in college at the time and I distinctly remember the UPS man ringing the doorbell really early on a Friday morning.
The next night, someone broke into my car and stole it. I cried — big, heaping sobs — because I knew it’d take forever to get another one. Also, it was four in the morning and I’d been drinking all night so I was (needless to say) a bit emotional. The cops couldn’t understand what was so special about the device because they couldn’t grasp how a CD could hold 150 songs.
Try explaining MP3 compression to a cop when you’re blotto.
Ah, the Neo Player. Remember this one? It was a bring-your-own hard drive affair. Just load it up with a 2.5-inch laptop drive and you’re set. I also had the car version, which used a dock that slid into a 3.5-inch drive bay on your tower and then slid into a similar dock that you kept on the dashboard of your car. I wish I still had photos of it somewhere. It was awesome.
Pocket mStation (Neo II)
Then there’s the successor to the Neo, the Pocket mStation — also known as the Neo II and probably a bunch of other names. I never really fell in love with this one but the ridiculously huge buttons made it easy to use in the car.
Here’s a nice family photo of all these old-timers. I even have the box for the Genica.
Anyone else have some old photos of your early MP3 players? Send ’em to Doug at CrunchGear dot com and I’ll add them to this post.
Ten years old: the world’s first MP3 player [Reg Hardware]