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HardwareZone's 10th Anniversary: The 1998 - 1999 Era

Portable Media Players in 1999

Portable Media Players in 1999

The famous Singapore-based audio card company, Creative Technologies, banked on their forte and started on their own DAPs in the following year when the MPMan came out. The Creative NOMAD received its official unveiling at the 1999 PC Show, and kick started Creative's foray into the portable digital audio business for the years to come.

 Looking back, Creative has endured the test of time and kept themselves busy over the years with the introduction of their Creative NOMAD back in 1999.

Flash memory, as you might have noticed, hasn't picked up steam as what we see in our present time. At a limited capacity of 32MB and 64MB, with possible expansion via its Smart Media slot, it was a whole different ball game with the introduction of a hard drive based DAP from Compaq's development team. But interestingly, the mandate of its unveiling was taken upon by another South Korean company, HanGo Electronics Co., Ltd. and came into existence as the Personal Jukebox PJB-100.

 The Personal Jukebox PJB-100 was the much needed device that provides consumers with the capacity to store thousands of songs at one go, albeit it won't be able to play thousands of it at one shot.

The infamous Napster came into existence by 1999 when Shawn Fanning created the online file-sharing site that specializes in MP3 distribution. Unsurprisingly, this formed another point of contention with the RIAA, and in a period when DAPs are getting popular, users found themselves embracing the MP3 file-sharing site, though the legalities of it at that time was highly dubious. Nonetheless, this formed the strong basis for future manufacturers to formulate their marketing strategy not only on the device front, but also on the content and services front.

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