Rio has today announced worldwide a new 5Gb MP3 player. The Rio Carbon will go up against the iPod Mini in the build up towards Christmas.

Based on a design similar to the Rio Nitrus the player will offer drag and drop connectivity via USB2, work on both Macs and PCs and not be reliant upon a dedicated music transfer program like the iPod.

Additionally following the footsteps of the iPod Mini, the Carbon will be available in multiple colours however these have yet to be decided and won’t be available until near Christmas.

The player will be available in the UK in September. The news couldn’t come at a worst time for Apple as stock in the UK of its iPod Mini is on a four to six delay. The new player from Rio will cost £199 with a suggested street price of £175.

Features at a glance
- 5GB* of memory stores up to 80 hours
of MP3 or 160 hours of WMA music
(up to 1250 MP3 or 2500 WMA songs)**
- Plays MP3, WMA and Audible®
audio formats
- Voice record
- Easy drag and drop of music and
data files
- Rechargeable battery offers up
to 20 hours of battery life on a
single charge
- USB 2.0 for faster downloads
- Charge from USB or the included
power adapter
- 5-band adjustable equalizer with presets
- Windows® and Mac® compatible
- Includes Rio Music Manager —
the most intuitive way to create and
manage your digital music library.

In an interview with Clive Hudson, MD of Rio Europe we questioned about the Karma 2. The answer we got was look out for announcement for something in October - will keep you informed.

Rio has also announced the launch of two new flash based players called the Forge coming in 256Mb and 128Mb sizes. We will be publishing a first looks of the new Carbon in the next 24 hours