Creative Labs 30GB Nomad Jukeboxby Matthew Witheiler on July 26, 2001 11:41 PM EST
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In the fast paced world of computers, few technologies have caught on as fast or been met with as much success as the MP3 audio format. Initially reserved to only computer savvy users as little as two years ago, services like Napster and Morpheus have successfully brought the file format to the masses. Couple these file sharing services with the penetration of broadband internet services made available in the past few years and it is no surprise that MP3 success continues to grow.
We are coming upon a time where almost everyone has heard of the MP3 name, made famous by the media and the courts alike. Not only has recognition of the MP3 name become commonplace, so has use of the file format. It started with the young males of the family, but now the MP3 format is utilized by everyone from your kid sister to your father's parents.
The proliferation of the MP3 format is good news for music lovers with Internet access. With the expanding user base of the MP3 format came the expansion of MP3 files available for download. Not too long ago one was hard pressed to find any type of music but those listed on the top 40. Now, with the age of MP3 users varying from 10 years old to 80 years old, almost every type of music imaginable is available for download: from rap to Israeli folk songs. What has this resulted in? Growing personal MP3 libraries, naturally, as we hoard all the music we can get our hands on.
Another need that has evolved along with MP3 music files is the desire to bring your MP3 music collection on trips with you, replacing your delicate CD player with a storage medium with a MP3 decoder. Like MP3 files, portable MP3 players have realized almost unparalleled success in the past year or so, with almost every company that ever dabbled in music producing a portable MP3 player of sorts.
Although MP3 file collections grow, and the amount of compression used on the files decreases, most portable MP3 players offer very limited storage capabilities when compared to a desktop. Many users now find themselves with MP3 collections upwards of a few gigabytes, however the majority of portable MP3 players are limited to just megabytes. Those typically found in stores come with 32 or 64MB of memory standard, and most are limited to 128MB when upgraded. The problem with these devices is not getting the space, it is paying for it. The vast majority use various types of solid state storage and the prices of this media can be in excess of $1 per megabyte, making gigabytes of storage space extremely expensive.
One of the first portable MP3 players to address the issue of space, the Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox, remains one of the most successful players to date. Using a 9.5mm laptop hard drive as opposed to solid state media, the Nomad Jukebox has become the mainstay portable MP3 player for those looking for large storage capabilities.
The Nomad Jukebox comes standard with a 6GB hard drive, leaving quite a bit of space for you MP3 collection. For those looking for more, NomadJukebox.net offers "upgraded" Jukeboxes that sport up to a 30GB hard drive. Today we take a look at the 30GB NomadJukebox.net portable MP3 player and use it to judge both the Nomad Jukebox platform as a whole as well as the upgraded version.