A piece in today’s Wall Street Journal suggests that Dell might be looking to jump back into the MP3 player game with a new DAP running the Zing firmware they acquired last year. You would be able to download MP3s through “Zingspot” over WiFi directly to the device and share the music with PCs and phones. That possibly means DRM, but god knows enough companies seem to have felt the burn on that choice lately: perhaps this would be a good opportunity for Dell to experiment with offering nothing but DRM-free tracks, a la Amazon.
Most of the blogs that are reporting this are being a bit snarky about Dell as a DAP-seller, but my first MP3 player was the old, crunch Dell DJ, which looked like an iPod as envisioned by Soviet-era electronics designers. It was actually a solid piece of hardware, capable of stopping anti-tank ordnance: four years later, it still works flawlessly, and my mother noodles around the garden listening to audio book mysteries on it every day. I wouldn’t mind seeing Dell make another stab at this space.