MP3 docking stations have been around ever since MP3 players came out in 1998. Since their inception, docking stations have primarily charged MP3 players, but they have grown since then to take on a variety of other functions as well.
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The Korean company SaeHan Information Systems developed the MPMan F10, brought to the United States in the summer of 1998 by Eiger Labs. This was the first MP3 player to hit the U.S. market (just month's before Diamond Multimedia's substantially more popular Rio PMP300).
The First Docking Station
The first docking station came with the MPMan F10. It weighed 80 grams and had the following dimensions: 133mm (H) x 110mm (L) x 30mm.
It's only function was to charge the MPMan.
Docking stations are now available in many different varieties. Although their primary function is still to charge the MP3 player, they often provide additional features. The most popular of these features is a speaker system/dock combination, which essentially turns an MP3 player into a home stereo system. Some docks do the same to connect a player to a car audio system, and others simply take the hassle out of dealing with cords while syncing the MP3 player to other devices, such as a computer.
iPod and Docking
The first iPod to have a dock connector came out in April 2003, and it also featured a touch wheel. This third-generation iPod was available in 10 GB,15 GB or 30 GB.
There are interesting docks available on the market today. For example, The "High School Musical MP3 Player Dock" is shaped like a basketball and reveals speakers and a microphone when opened. The "iConcepts iPod Dock" has a waterproof enclosure, perfect for the shower, and includes an FM radio.
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