Perhaps it's a 2009 thing and, come the new year, packaging will won't enthral us so, but for now there's a great deal of geeky appeal in how manufacturers choose to present their tech. Cowon have generally been associated more with audio performance than they have with style, but it looks like some of the "shape up" message is getting through: DAP Review have just taken delivery of the iAudio 9 PMP, and as their unboxing photoset shows there's obviously been a lot of thought put into how it's packaged.
Cowon have outed their latest PMP, the iAudio 9, complete with a 2-inch QVGA display and voice-recorder functionality. While it may not have the outright style of some rival devices, one thing Cowon have always impressed with is codec support and the iAudio 9 is looking like it'll be no different.
Having gone up for pre-order only a few days ago, Cowon's D3 media player is already on sale - a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. The Android 2.1 based D3 is built around a 3.7-inch AMOLED WVGA touchscreen, offers WiFi and Bluetooth, and an HDMI output; music lovers, however, will be most interested in Cowon's near-legendary audio processing technology, which helps them offer some of the best sounding music around.
Cowon's niche has generally been PMPs that offer significantly higher audio quality than rivals, but according to the latest rumors they could be throwing in some fashionable Android action with their next model. Journal Du Geek reckons that the Cowon D3 - the replacement to the venerable D2 - will eschew the company's proprietary OS and replace it with Google's open-source Android platform.
Cowon's next MP3 player has been previewed, and the keyring-style iAudio E2 is already causing no small amount of confusion. While it ostensibly resembles a screenless PMP in the manner of the iPod shuffle, the row of icons at the top of the Cowon teaser (which you can see full-sized after the cut) does seem to suggest a more complete range of features.
Cowon have announced an updated version of their D2 PMP, the Cowon D2+, with the same touchscreen control as the original but a newly tweaked OS. The D2+ has an integrated DMB digital TV tuner, video and audio playback, together with an ebook reader, flash player and up to 52 hours battery life.
Cowon have announced European pricing for their O2 media player, announced at IFA 2008 and set to launch in November 2008. The O2 has a 4.3-inch 480 x 272 touchscreen, T-DMB digital TV tuner and 8, 16 or 32GB of internal storage that can be augmented via an SD/SDHC slot. Prices start from €289.99 ($400).
iPod who? Let's face it, if you're in the market for a portable media player and you're less than swayed by Apple's offerings, there's never been better choice of rivals, each playing catch-up to the market leader by offering - in general, anyway - bags more functionality. Of course, you may just be tired of seeing the same old iPod UI and having Jonathan Ives' handiwork flashed in your face on every street corner; in that case, there's plenty of different, and often just as successful, design out there to choose from. Cowon is a long-term player in the PMP game, and AdvancedMP3Players.co.uk were good enough to send over one of the company's latest devices, the D2; not only does it have up to 8GB of storage for your music, it also receives DAB digital radio and plays video too.