Portable Music

I was about to buy the new H-340 from iRiver to be able to listen to my music from everywhere at any time I wish in good quality and with many tracks (40GB HD and support MP3, Vorbis, WMA). Unfortunately it doesn't support AAC. And I don't want to buy it knowing it may never support it (for licensing, hardware, marketing reasons). So I'll wait for something else.

The solution to my problem might come from wireless communication. Instead of embedding the music in a heavy HD, it could be downloaded directly from my home where all my music resides. Some cellphones or PDA could do that already, provided the software can be enhanced to support the nice formats (HE-AAC, Vorbis, Wavpack Lossy). And the price of such devices is about the same as the heavier H-340. But the technology is not ready yet. For good quality it would mean downloading music at about 256kbps and that my home could also offer such an upstream bandwidth (it is actually the case but that means no VBR possible or other flexibilites). The most important problem is that GPRS don't offer such a guaranteed bandwidth, WiFi hotspots are too rare yet, UMTS is not here yet, it will be hard to use when moving to other countries (roaming) and the price of bandwidth is too much (1h of music/day = 3600*32 KB = 115.200 KB of data = 1.152 Euros on iMode, 1 Euro would already be a big price). So it will be possible in the future, but not now. Once it's there most people will probably use such a feature either from their personal connection or from online radio stations... Until then (probably 2 or 3 years from now) I'll have to find the right interim solution...

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