Dell Ditty to Take On iPod Shuffle

Dell on Tuesday debuted the "Ditty" - its answer to the iPod Shuffle which the company hopes will prove more successful than previous incarnations of its DJ music players. At $99 USD for 512MB, the Ditty is aimed at taking away some of Apple's Shuffle market share this holiday season.

The Ditty has two features that the Shuffle has been often criticized for not including: an FM tuner and small monochrome screen. The device is also "PlaysForSure" compatible, meaning the user can download music from any Windows Media based subscription music service.

Dell said that considerable time was spent creating a more fashionable design, but the end result looks strikingly similar to the Shuffle's "pack of gum" appearance and smoothed edges. Previous portable music players from Dell were criticized for their bulky appearance.

According to Dell, the Ditty will be able to hold approximately 220 songs at 64kpbs WMA; however, users will see approximately half that as most songs are encoded at twice that bit rate. In comparison, Apple offers both 512MB and 1GB versions of the iPod Shuffle.

"With every new generation of Dell personal technology products, we continue to increase value for customers by adding innovative and relevant features at attractive prices," said Michael Farello, vice president of electronics and accessories for Dell's consumer business.

Dell also announced updates to its printers, adding faster operation and wireless connectivity, and changes to its PDA line with devices now shipping with Windows Mobile 5.0.

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