IFA - Samsung unveils mini MP3 boom box

If you thought the boom-box days ended with the emergence of MP3 payers, think again: Samsung Electronics has designed an MP3 player with a slide-out stereo speaker system.

The K5 was unveiled by Gee Sung Choi, president and chief executive of Samsung Digital Media Business, in a speech to a packed auditorium Friday at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

The MP3 player can be turned into a free-standing mini-boom box, enabling users to share their music with others. Stereo speakers are embedded into a panel which slides out from the bottom of the device.

The device weighs 106 grams and measures 98 millimeters x 47.5 mm x 18.1 mm. It is equipped with a touch keypad and a 1.71-inch color OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display, and will be available in 1G-byte, 2G-byte and 4G-byte versions.

The K5 also comes with an FM radio receiver, photo viewer and clock, and offers 30 hours of playback time. Pricing and availability details were not immediately available.

With an eye on Apple Computer's iTunes and Microsoft's Zune, Samsung also announced a new digital music service in conjunction with MusicNet. The South Korean manufacturer will use MusicNet to power the service, which will offer users both download and subscriptions options.

The service will be initially available in France, Germany and the U.K. but Samsung plans to expand it later throughout Europe and Asia.

Customers will have access to more than 2 million songs, including content from all major labels and more than 40,000 independent labels.

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IDG News Service

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