iRiver America Delivers Refreshed Clix, Plans Rhapsody Optimization

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Portable MP3 manufacturer iRiver America, a division of Seoul, South Korea-based ReignCom, has now unveiled an updated version of its innovative Clix media player.

The Clix, largely unknown by digital music consumers, allows navigation by directionally clicking a glass display.  That approach eliminates the need for buttons or scroll wheels, and injects an element of design competitiveness.  The updated Clix2 expands the storage possibilities to include 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB players, all of which carry the futuristic AMOLED display technology.  AMOLED, which stands for Active Matrix Organically Light Emitting Diode, offers crisper video and image displays, while consuming fewer battery reserves.  It can also be viewed at harder angles, and carries a differentiating cool-factor.  Additionally, the AMOLED improvement will boost photo-viewing capabilities, a feature that was introduced in the first-generation release.  The Clix2 player also carries over first-generation capabilities like an FM tuner and PlaysForSure support.

The Clix first debuted as the companion device to Urge, the digital music discovery, jukebox and ecommerce platform launched by MTV in May of last year.  The pairing was designed to emulate the venerable iPod+iTunes combination, though the Clix was quickly consumed by obscurity following the launch.  That is a fate that has doomed dozens of competitive devices, thanks to a dominant and often eclipsing position held by the iPod.  The imbalance has motivated rival manufacturers to push differentiating features, and iRiver is no exception.  Aside from its incredibly unique size and navigation, the player also offers offbeat concepts like flash games and support for portable subscription collections.  Meanwhile, iRiver indicated that it will be releasing a Rhapsody-optimized device, a move that follows rival manufacturer SanDisk.  The Rhapsody-enabled player is slated for release this summer, according to the company.