Dell unveils iPod Competitor

Dell computer maker has released a flash-memory digital music player it says will give Apple’s iPod Shuffle a run for its money.

The DJ Ditty is the same price as the Shuffle and has 512MB of memory, but Dell is marketing its audio toy as storing 220 songs compared with the Shuffle’s 120.

Dell claims that it has a more efficient compression technique, although it does not say what effect this technique has on the final sound quality. It says the 220 figure is based on 64kbps WMA encoding for each song so to an audiophile that is really pants, reports the Inquirer.

According to Information Week, Liem Nguyen, spokesman for the Round Rock, Texas, computer maker, said, "It's the first time we're using a word-of-mouth campaign to drive interest, instead of a traditional ad campaign.”

Besides a banner ad on its own Web site, and getting the word out through employees and focus groups of customers, Dell has also launched a multimedia DJ Ditty Web site targeting teenagers and young adults.

As to why Dell chose not to make a bigger push for the Ditty, Liem wasn't very clear, saying only that the company "felt it was the ideal product" for word of mouth.

To challenge the market-leading iPod line of digital music players, however, Dell may need a bigger campaign. The Apple device accounts for more than three-fourths of the digital music players bought by consumers.

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