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iRiver updates H10 music players

New 1GB and 20GB versions aim for the iPod

The company behind the iRiver family of digital music players will show two new versions of its recently launched H10 multimedia player this week at the Cebit show in Hanover, Germany.

South Korea's Reigncom is using the exhibition to launch 1GB and 20GB versions of the player. The first H10 player, launched earlier this year, has a 5GB storage capacity.

Reigncom's target for the first H10 player is potential Apple Computer iPod Mini buyers. The company is promoting the player to this market through a series of advertisements that feature a picture of a model biting into an apple and the tag-line "sweeter one". The two new players add capacities and sizes closer to Apple's iPod and iPod Shuffle.

"We needed some product to be launched as an Apple alternative," says Joon Yang, president of Reigncom, in an interview last week. "I don't think 100 percent of people like the iPod but it's hard to find an alternative, so we thought let's make an alternative."

The H10 supports MP3 or WMA files, including those purchased from music stores that work with Microsoft's Windows Media Player 10. All three models have a colour LCD, can show images or slideshows, have a built-in FM radio and a text viewer that supports ebooks or can be used to display the lyrics of a song being played. A built-in timer allows users to set the H10 to record radio programs at a preset time.

Some of these features, such as the FM radio, aren't available on iPods and some, such as the ability to view photos or the colour screen, are only available on some iPod models.

The greater number of features comes at a price. Reigncom has released only UK pricing for the two new models: £229 for the 20GB model and £139 for the 1GB model.

Battery life is 16 hours for the higher capacity model and 60 hours for the lower capacity model, according to the company.

Both new H10 models will be launched in the UK in April. Launch details and prices for other markets have yet to be announced.


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