updated 02:00 pm EDT, Tue April 22, 2008
iRiver Mplayer Season 1
iRiver today brought one of its more unusual iPod shuffle rivals to the US. Already available in Japan and Korea, the Mplayer Season 1 goes screenless but uses its resemblance to Mickey Mouse to its advantage for control: listeners skip tracks and adjust volume by twisting the Mplayer's ears. The small and light design also lets iRiver use lanyard headphones that spare the need for clips.
The player handles basic MP3 and WMA audio for up to nine hours on a charge and stores 1GB of songs on its built-in flash. Disney is carrying the player now for $70 and ships it in black, blue, pink, silver, and white; neither Disney nor iRiver mentions platform support, though the player comes bundled with iRiver Plus software to sync content.