Dell may try to compete with Apple's iPod once again

Talk of Dell's movements in handheld technology have been at a high recently, with rumors of a smartphone from the company and now of a new digital music player to compete with Apple's iPod.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Dell has been testing a new digital music player that could be released as early as September. Details on the device are scant other than that it will have Wi-Fi, and likely capitalize on Dell's dormant Zing property that it acquired last year.

Zing's technology was licensed to SanDisk for use in its Sansa Connect Wi-Fi media player, enabling realtime streaming of audio content from Yahoo's now-defunct music service. Following its acquisition of Zing, Dell applied for the trademark of "Zingspot", which was described in the filing as "an online consumer portal for digital entertainment content acquisition and distribution."

Zing will ostensibly play a major role in Dell's new portable, as the company intends for it to be more than just a player, but also software platform that allows music to be shared from PCs and other devices.

Unnamed Dell executives were cited by the Wall Street Journal as saying the new device will likely be under $100, similar to the company's last attempt at a personal media player, the DJ Ditty. That device, despite its ridiculous and memorable ad campaign (below), failed to gain traction in the crowded media player market, from which Dell withdrew in 2006.

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