Taking on the iPod

Craig McHugh remembers the late 1990s, when naysayers "scoffed" at the idea of consumers moving digital music from their computers to portable devices.

It didn't go over very well, to say the least," said McHugh, president of Creative Labs, the maker of the Nomad Zen line of personal audio players.

Still, Creative introduced its Nomad Jukebox, a first-of-its-kind, hard drive MP3 player in 2000 -- less than a year after the record industry sued Napster for allowing people to share MP3 music files over the Internet at no charge.

Since then, the old Napster has gone away. And the online music industry -- now working under a pay-per-song model -- has blossomed. That has set up Creative for perhaps its biggest showdown. The 23-year-old company is stepping up its foray into digital music players as competition in the market heats up with the success of Apple's iPod player and the entry of rivals like Sony.

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News source: SiliconValley

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