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iRiver Enhances clix, Plans Rhapsody DNA

Vancouver, Wash. — The second generation of iRiver’s clix MP3/video player is thinner than its predecessor, accelerates the video frame rate to 30 fps from 15 fps, and comes in three flash-memory capacities, up from one.

The clix 2 is available in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB versions at a suggested $149, $199 and $249, respectively, through the company’s Web site. The previous generation was available in 2GB form.

The company is also working with RealNetworks to develop a version using Real’s Rhapsody DNA technology, which already appears in four recently launched SanDisk MP3 players. Rhapsody DNA is said to enable seamless content transfers from Rhapsody’s subscription-download service and other Rhapsody-powered subscription sites, including Best Buy’s. DNA also offers the ability to transfer and store Rhapsody streaming-music channels on the device and play them back for as long as the user’s subscription is paid up.

Rhapsody-optimized portables play back protected music in more than one music format: PlaysForSure-protected WMA, used by almost all authorized download sites but iTunes, and protected music downloaded from Rhapsody and Rhapsody-powered sites in the 192kbps Real Audio 10 (RAX) format, which is built on the AAC codec and is protected by Real’s Helix DRM (digital rights management) technology.

Also new for the clix is a color display using AMOLED (active matrix organically light emitting diode) technology, which delivers a wider viewing angle and reduces power consumption. Unlike its predecessor, the new clix is compatible with Microsoft’s Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) and Universal Mass Storage (UMS) operating models. MTP is for use with Windows XP and higher operating systems. It still has FM radio; MPEG-4 decoder; and decoders for MP3, protected WMA and OGG music files.