Diamond pumps up MP3 volume

Diamond subsidiary RioPort has released a new software program for the MP3 and Windows Media audio formats.

The RioPort Audio Manager lets users convert CDs into formatted music files that can be arranged into play lists, burned onto CDs, transferred onto MP3 playing devices and exchanged over the Internet.

Diamond, which fought off a lawsuit from the music industry over the Rio player, has become an early leader in the hardware side of the fledgling digital music market, which Forrester Research Inc. estimates could be worth $1 billion by 2003.

The Audio Manager will be built into the Rio 500, set to hit the market next month, and is now available for download at RioPort's Web site at www.rioport.com . The free version is good for 50 encodes, while the paid version, offering unlimited encodes, costs $9.95, or $4.95 for registered Rio 300 PMP owners.

More details are available at www.zdnn.com.

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