updated 09:50 am EST, Tue November 20, 2007
Haier ibiza Rhapsody
Normally known for its home appliances in the US, Haier today entered the American market with the ibiza Rhapsody, its first portable media player in the country and one of the few to take direct advantage of built-in Wi-Fi. Partnering with RealNetworks, Haier provides access to the former's Rhapsody unlimited subscription service to provide downloads of new tracks anywhere the ibiza can connect to the Internet; an existing subscriber can fill the player with music without touching a computer, Haier says. The device can also browse AOL Video clips for free and even subscribe to podcasts directly from the device.
The version available today contains a 30GB hard disk and offers Bluetooth for wireless headphones, FM radio, and a custom skinning feature to personalize the look of the user interface. It ships today for $330 in several colors and will be accompanied in the near future by 4GB and 8GB flash-based models without Bluetooth for lower prices of $230 and $250 respectively. Haier does not specify operating system support.