Video enters picture for handheld devices

By Michel Marriott, The New York Times

A few years ago, when MP3 players were establishing themselves as the hot cool thing, the next step seemed clear: What if you could take along not only music but movies, television programs, home video and still pictures in a high- tech box svelte enough to slip into a briefcase, backpack, purse or perhaps a pocket? A solution is beginning to emerge, however tentatively.

Microsoft’s response takes the form of a system called the Portable Media Center, being incorporated first by Creative, an early maker of MP3 audio players, into a sort of oversized audio player with a color video screen. Samsung and iRiver will follow with sleeker versions this fall, each costing about $500 and capable of 80 hours of video play.

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