XM Satellite Radio / MP3 Player
So, your MP3 player just plays MP3s? Today that's simply not enough; the demand for handheld devices to serve ever more functions packing in the latest micro-technologies is forcing some cunning feats of engineering.
Take Samsung's new NeXus, released in the fourth quarter of '05. This is not the first Satellite Radio DAP (digital audio player) but it is Samsung's first offering using XM. Dell also has one that can do XM: the Dell DJ Satellite Radio / MP3 Player. It's a great idea but with a very big problem; the satellite radio reception is not handheld. Like the Dell DJ and Sirius's S50, Samsung's handheld device can only receive satellite radio when plugged into a docking station. This is a serious limitation when compared to the likes of XM's Delphi MyFi.
The NeXus will come in two types, with 1Gig and 512MB versions for storage of MP3 or WMA files. That's enough storage for some 50 or 25 hours of music respectively. Only when the NeXus is docked can you pick up satellite radio. This feature would provide a source to your home stereo in your living room.
Both versions of NeXus are 3.4" high, 1.9" wide and a slim 0.7" thick. The kit will come with battery, earbuds, remote and docking cradle. You'll be able to connect your docking cradle via RCA connectors to your home stereo system and to your PC through USB. As a convenience, they include the install CD for your Napster XM service. Hey thanks!
Digital content from XM can be stored on your NeXus if you're listening to it from the docking station. One cool feature is that if you happen to hear something you like on XM radio you can tag it for purchase through Napster, if you use the XM Napster online service. This system has nothing at all to do with a mobile kit for your car which is sold separately.
The sad fact is this is a gadget on the verge of being pretty cool, but it's just not there yet. Until we can walk around town getting reliable XM satellite radio to get our mobile groove on, DAP / Satellite Receiver combos will just have to wait in the someday box.