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Toshiba's iPod competitor makes itself heard

The iPod may have finally met its match in Toshiba's highly anticipated Gigabeat S series. After a number of delays, the MP3 player/PVP has arrived in time for the rollout of Windows Media Player 11. The lightweight, (roughly 5 ounces) portable video players are available in a blue or white 30GB model, which retails at $300, or a black 60GB model, which goes for $400.

The gadget, which features Microsoft's Portable Media Center software housed in an aluminum, scratch-resistant container the size of an MP3 player, handles a number of video formats, including MP3, WMA Lossless and WAV. Other video formats, such as DivX, are automatically transcoded in Windows Media Player 11. Standard earbuds, a USB cable, a USB-conversion cable (for connecting to digital cameras) and more are included.

The Gigabeat is one of the first devices that can be connected to and controlled via the Xbox 360's interface.

CNET's digital audio expert James Kim likes the product for its compact form factor, easy-to-use operating system and high storage capacity. Read his review here.