Disney to offer "Mix Stick" MP3 players

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Disney Consumer Products on Thursday announced plans to launch the Disney Mix Stick, an MP3 player designed especially for kids. Disney Mix Sticks are Mac and PC compatible and will be available for US$49.99.

Disney Mix Sticks take a page from Apple’s iPod shuffle — they use flash memory and download music from a Mac or PC through a built-in USB 2.0 connector. But the Mix Stick only contains 128MB of built-in memory, compared to the $99 iPod shuffle’s 512MB. Music playback is controlled using an interface modeled after the outline of Disney mascot Mickey Mouse’s head.

Disney says the limited storage capacity is enough for their target audience — young kids with a small music collection — but they’ve also provided a built-in slot that can accept Secure Digital or MultiMediaCard (SD/MMC) flash storage cards for additional storage capacity up to 1GB.

These slots can also take “Disney Mix Clips” — MMC memory cards that include full-length albums in WMA format. The company will launch four Mix Clips with the players, including “Radio Disney Ultimate Jams,” “That’s So Raven,” “Disney Mania 3” and “Disney Channel Hits, Take 1.”

Disney Mix Sticks will come in three styles — Disney Chrome, Forever Princess (a pink and purple combination) and Tinker Bell (purple and green).

Disney Mix Sticks include a 10-hour built-in rechargeable battery, stereo earbuds, and a lanyard with a safety release. Although they ship with Windows Media Player, they’re Mac-compatible too — you can drag and drop MP3 files to load music onto the device when it’s connected.

The new players will also be accompanied by their own line of accessories, Disney Mix Stuff. The line includes the Disney Jam Stand, a stereo and battery recharger for $39.99, a USB wall charger/adapter, two styles of headphones and carrying cases — prices range from $9.99 to $14.99.

Disney said the new players will be available at Target, Sears, Limited Too, Wal-Mart.com and www.DisneyShopping.com beginning in mid-October.

This story, "Disney to offer "Mix Stick" MP3 players" was originally published by PCWorld.

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