EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

iRiver President Jonathan Sasse on Creating the iPod Killer

Contrary to popular misconception, Creative Labs was the first company on the market with a hard-drive-based digital music player, the original Nomad Jukebox, which came out initially built around a 6 GB 3.5″ hard disk. The Jukebox looked like a portable CD player, which could account for its initial popularity, but the form factor that would later prove to be most popular was the player built in the shape of a notebook computer’s smaller hard disk and then later the form factor that Apple and iRiver built their respective players around: the 1.8″ drive, slightly smaller than a standard 2.5″ laptop drive.

When Apple’s iPod came out — the first hard-drive-based player on the market to come in a form factor not much bigger than the hard drive itself — and quickly dominated the media-player space, Creative Labs,

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