One of the oldest digital music player brands, Rio, is exiting the market.

The news was revealed on Friday by D&M Holdings, which owns Rio as well as the Denon, Marantz, McIntosh Laboratory, D&M Professional, ReplayTV and Escient brands.

In a statement the company said: "D&M Holdings has decided to exit the portable digital audio player business by 30 September 2005."

The company declared that the portable digital audio player market “was not a strong enough strategic fit” with its core and profitable premium consumer electronics brands to warrant additional investment in the category.

D&M noted that the cost of competing in the music-player market has grown, as competition has become more intense.

The closure of the Rio range is expected to cost the company several billion yen, the company said.

In July, D&M Holdings agreed to sell certain intellectual property and other technology assets of the Rio MP3 player business to SigmaTel.

Vic Pacor, president of D&M Holdings, then said: "We are transferring the Rio technical and engineering resources to SigmaTel, where they can be better leveraged through SigmaTel's considerably larger scale in the MP3 business."