Norway reinvents the Shuffle

We’d all but given up hope of seeing some original MP3 player design, but you underestimate the Scandinavians at your peril – this flash effort from N

We’d all but given up hope of seeing some original MP3 player design, but you underestimate the Scandinavians at your peril – this flash effort from Norway’s Asono is one of the most innovative we’ve seen in eons.

While most players treat headphones as an ugly nuisance, the Mica welcomes them into its streamlined, minimalist design and let’s them double as a jogging-friendly necklace.

The main unit is as light as an iPod Shuffle at 22g, but fortunately not as basic in the features department. There’s a screen for a start, which you can use to navigate various play modes and equaliser options, and an FM radio provides some backup for your music collection.

Despite being Mac-friendly, the Mica’s no Apple in its file support; it’ll only play MP3s and WMAs, although you can rip content from external sources via the line-in.

Unless you’re Forrest Gump, it’ll last the duration of your runs too. The claimed battery life is a decent 12 hours, and it’ll automatically start charging when hooked up to your computer’s USB.

The Mica comes in 512MB and 1GB flavours, with pricing starting at 128 Euros (£90).

Head over to Asono’s site to order, and have a quick marvel at its DAB radio while you’re there.

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