Rio (digital audio players)

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Rio was the brand name of a line of digital audio players, best known for producing the "Diamond Rio" model that was the impetus for a lawsuit in 1998 by the Recording Industry Association of America.[1] That lawsuit eventually failed,[1] leading the way for the portable digital music industry to take off.

Rio was originally a brand of Diamond Multimedia, which merged with S3 Graphics in 1999. The resulting company was renamed SONICblue. On March 21, 2003, SONICblue filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and then sold off its main product lines; Rio was sold to Japanese firm D&M Holdings, forming part of their Digital Networks North America subsidiary.

Like other competitors in the digital audio player business, such as Microsoft's Zune, the Rio brand was unable to compete effectively against Apple's dominant iPod series of audio players.[2] In August 2005, D&M Holdings announced the discontinuation of its production of audio players, after it had licensed its digital audio software technology to chipmaker SigmaTel the month before.[3]


Rio PMP300
Rio 500
Rio 800
Rio su40
The Rio Chiba with 256 MB built in storage and SD Card expansion.
The Rio Forge with 256 MB built in storage and SD Card expansion.
Rio USA (portable audio players)
Rio USA (home audio players)
Rio Japan
Rio OEM models


  1. ^ a b Hart-Davis, Guy; Rhonda Holmes (2001). MP3 Complete. San Francisco: Sybex. p. 613. ISBN 0-7821-2899-8.
  2. ^ Turi, Jon (12 April 2014). "Gadget Rewind 2004: Rio Carbon". Engadget. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  3. ^ "D&M Holdings Inc. to Exit Mass-Market Portable Digital Audio Player Business" (Press release). D&M Holdings Inc. 2005-08-26. Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved 2008-04-17.