Diamond Rio PMP-300 (was Re: What didn't happen in the future)

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Thu Jun 28 09:34:54 CDT 2007

On 6/27/07, Zane H. Healy <healyzh at aracnet.com> wrote:
> At 8:04 AM +0100 6/27/07, Rob wrote:
> >Almost on topic(only a year to go),
> Actually I'm not sure what the stance is on
> peripherals, but if it was a computer it likely
> would be fully on topic.

I would think there would be no difference made between peripherals
and CPUs of a given vintage or "coolness".  I think what's at issue
here is that technically, the PMP300 is nine years old, so it has to
squeeze in by nature of its place in history, not its mere age.

> IIRC, it was the first
> commercially available MP3 player, at least it
> was the first widely available one.

AFAIK, it was the second model to market, but the first widely available one.

> I bought one new as well, though I paid $300 and
> got it when it first came out.

Ow!  FLASH sure was expensive then... but so were all of Diamond's
other products.

> I actually had my Rio working with WinXP at one
> point, and I believe I also had it working with
> Linux.

Here's what I've been using for years to pump and dump music on my Rio PMP300

(from the README)
RIO utility v1.07 - The Snowblind Alliance (c) 1999

I did run into a parallel-port permissions issue with RedHat WS3 last
year, but under RedHat 9, the ancient Rio utility worked perfectly.  I
think it's just a matter of tweaking the rio.cpp to open the parallel
port with a more modern technique - the port banging code should work
fine after that.  If not, then there's a reason to stick with an
"obsolete" version of Linux - to get unfettered I/O port access.  :-/

> I still have the original box, and should have
> everything that goes with it.  My intention is
> that one day it will be a museum exhibit along
> with a lot of my other computer equipment, that
> is the only thing it has ever been good for.
> Personally I wish I'd never wasted the $300 on it.

Your feelings about it reminds me that I'm glad I didn't get one when
they were _totally_ new.  I paid at least $100 for mine, since, ISTR,
I was concerned that the RIAA lawsuit over potential violations of the
1992 Home Recording Act might make them unavailable.  Fortunately for
us all, that one was settled in favor of Diamond.

I still use mine.  I was given an iPod Shuffle that I don't use much
because embedded non-user-replaceable Li-Ion batteries annoy me.  I
have a removable NiMH AA in my PMP300, which means it won't be dying
of battery fatigue anytime soon (I use my Palm III in favor of my Palm
V for the same reason).

I do have a half-dead one, that I'd love to repair... it was free from
the previous owner because as far as we can determine, one of the
FLASH chips is defective.  I think it stores songs, but not the full
amount - there's a dead zone in the internal 32MB map.  Simple fix
once one identifies which chip it is, and locates a spare.


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