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Diamond Rio 500 MP3 Player

The name Rio is nearly synonymous with MP3. That is what happens when your product is one of the first MP3 players to hit the market. The competition for these MP3 players is quite fierce, so one has to wonder how Diamond is able to keep its Rio MP3 player on top of the competition. Diamond could simply offer features similar to their competitors but it appears that they have decided to offer three different players to appeal to different users needs.

The Board
  • Size: 3.59" x 2.46" x 0.74"
  • Weight 2.75 ounces
  • Distortion Rate: 0.01-0.1%
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 95 dB
  • 4 EQ presets and 1 configurable setting
  • 64 MB of onboard memory
  • Upgradable with 16 MB of flash memory


(+,-) $230 USD

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Today we take a look at the Rio 500 MP3 player. If you are looking for an MP3 player Diamond has one in a price range that will fit your wallet. The Rio 500 certainly won't disappoint you if that is your choice. Taking a look at the features of the RIO 500 really shows what an improvement it is over the original RIO 300. 64 MB memory is rapidly becoming standard, but this unit can be upgraded to 80 MB very easily. Add the other features of this player and you'll see why I think so highly of it.

How Does It Work?

Diamond included the rugged travel case with this review unit. Upon opening the travel case I was surprised how small the unit is. Although slightly thicker than an audiotape it is in all other dimensions smaller. The unit is the perfect size to place in a pocket. Also included with the player are the USB transfer cable, a setup guide, earbud headphones, the CD with all your software, and a battery. The RioPORT software included with this player not only has an MP3 player to use with your computer but also a full-featured MP3 recording feature. One of the best features of this unit is the fact that a 16 MB flash memory card can be inserted into the back of it to raise its capacity to 80 MB. Very cool. Another thing I liked was the availability of two translucent colors. Since I'm not a Mac user I'll simply say that those colors would match my Gameboy perfectly.

This thing screams of ergonomic design. The buttons on this unit are all laid out for one hand operation. For instance, when held in the right hand the browse and volume controls are situated for the right thumb. The thumb can also easily reach the play/pause, stop, FF, and REW buttons. The unit works easily well for left handed users since the left thumb can reach the buttons on the front of the unit while the left index finger can operate the browse and volume controls. The earbud headphones feature a design to keep them on your ears. They have a plastic tab that raps around the rear of each ear. Another benefit of this design is that you don't have to cram the ear pieces into your ear.

The RioPORT software has all its features located in one interface. You can play your MP3s, transfer music to the player, or record music from your audio CDs all from the same interface. Ever get tired of switching programs to do all these operations? Diamond has you covered. The included software is only half the story. Diamond has the RioPORT website. From there you can download music from several genres. Believe it or not there are actually artists who believe in the MP3 format! This software is so easy to work with there was no need for a manual. Don't believe me? I had a couple of other people work with it and both of them had the unit setup with their own music within five minutes. With its USB interface you can cram 64 MB worth of music on it in under a minute.


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