International CES newcomer cd3o today introduced a line of devices that plays MP3 music stored on a PC through a home stereo.
The three-unit Network MP3 Player line uses 802.11b and Ethernet networking to move the data from the PC to the audio system, said Steve Andler, cd3o's vice president of marketing. Available starting this month through the company's Web site, and later at retail, are the c100, c200 and c300, with respective suggested retail prices of $149, $199 and $249. The c100 is Ethernet only, the c200 adds 802.11b and the c300 is an extended range version.
Andler said cd3o's primary chore at CES is to sell retailers on their notepad-size product and hopefully convince one or two smaller shops to take a chance on selling the line.
"We are in an education mode right now and figure Christmas 2003 will be when the product takes off," Andler said. The company expects it to sell through retail and distribution later this year.
The players use a cd3o-developed PC interface that through a special infrared remote control allows end users to organize music in much the same manner as Windows Media Player. One twist is the inclusion of a voice guide. Using a telephone-like keypad the consumer can access all stored MP3 music with the help of the voice guide. It verbally guides a person through the process.
The wireless models will automatically detect and connect to an 802.11b network making installation easy, said James Scanlan, the company's marketing and hardware VP.
A video-based application for the technology may created, Scanlan said, as well as including the technology with CE components.