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Panasonic rolls out MP3 players

No internal storage

Panasonic will soon sell two digital audio players that are designed to closely integrate with two companion home stereo systems.

The D-snap SV-SD800N and SV-SD400V are SD (Secure Digital) card-based players featuring no internal storage while the micro-stereo systems come with either an 80GB or 160GB hard-disk drive, the company said today.

In typical use, Panasonic envisages the user's song library will be stored on the hard disk and selected songs transferred to the portable player as desired. Transfer is accomplished through a dock in the top of the stereo systems that can also recharge the player. Through the dock the stereo system communicates with the portable player and offers users the ability to resume playback of the most recent song that was playing on the portable player before it was docked.

It's also possible to connect the players to a PCvia a USB cable.

The 800N player comes with a pair of earphones with noise-canceling built into a pod in the cord.

Both players and home systems will go on sale in Japan on 8 September and are destined for overseas markets, although Panasonic hasn't yet determined their launch dates. In Japan the SV-SD800N will cost ¥20,000 (about £90) and the SV-SD400V will cost ¥16,000 (£75). The micro stereo systems will cost ¥80,000 (£365) for the higher capacity model and ¥65,000 (£295) for the lower capacity model.

Both portable players come bundled with a 128MB SD card so potential users will probably have to purchase a second memory card if the 60-song capacity of the supplied card is not sufficient. The players support the new 'SDHC' high-capacity SD memory cards.

The portable players measure 35x87x10mm and weigh 38g. Panasonic said each player will provide about 30 hours of music playback on a single charge.

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