In the MP3 world, boring box designs might be king, but that's not stopping MPIO from trying to break the mold. The new wedge-shaped FL500 eschews buttons, replacing them with knobs you can mess with. There's a knob for volume and one to switch player functions between MP3 playback, FM radio and sound recording—that third one (bottom left) isn't actually a knob at all, but a necklace clip, so you can wear the thing. What's the inspiration for the wedge?We think it's too many pizzas ordered during planning sessions, but MPIO says it's the silhouette of an electric guitar. We'll go ahead and take their word for it. The FL500 plays for around 15 hours on a battery charge, carry anywhere from 512MB to 2GB depending on the model, and come in a stylish black body featuring a 3-line, 128x48 LCD with white LED backlighting.
If you do love the old-school iPod-inspired box look, the FY800 is basically the same player in that less daring knob-free form. The sleek FY800 can get a little extra boost if you slide an SD card into the top, giving the player a total maximum capacity of 4GB. Both players feature an organization system which mimics a computer's file management, and come PC and Mac ready.
For the 2GB version of each player, the FL500 will actually set you back a little more. $126 for a 2GB FL500, and around $102 for the 2GB FY800. No word on when they'll be in stores.