Back in the day, I used to follow www.dapreview.net and as a result had greatly anticipated the release of this little guy. At the time, the Rio Carbon was everything I wanted in an MP3 player. A small, high capacity (6GB was big at the time) MP3 player with great battery life that most importantly was mass storage compliant. This meant that I could simply hook it up to my PC via USB and it would attach like a regular flash drive. I could then drag and drop my music onto it and that would be that. No iTunes or Windows Media Player to deal with. I ordered this in August 2004 and was thrilled when the UPS parcel was delivered on my doorstep later that week. In this day and age where iPods reign supreme, I remain a happy Carbon owner. I do get gadget envy when I see friends of mine with iPod Touches or iPhones playing with all their nifty apps and *occasionally* even using these magical devices to listen to music, but for what I want out of a player the Carbon comes close enough to meeting all of my music needs. The company, Rio, has long been out of business and even after they closed shop, some of their developers released a new firmware. Titled "The Developer's Cut" this firmware got it all right. While using the click wheel found on the top right corner of the device along with the front facing buttons takes some getting used to, navigating my music collection is second nature to me now. I'll admit it - The UI is a little clunky and does takes some getting used to. Sound quality of the Carbon is fine. It never seems weak... in fact it gets a little too loud for my tastes. I usually have the volume at around 20 out of 25. The sound did get a little quieter when using my A900 headphones compared to some sony ex-70 earbuds I normally use with the player but that is to be expected with the less efficient full sized headphones. A few niggles for me that still linger are that there is no gapless playback and also I have definitely outgrown the device storage capacity. I long for one day having all of my 250GBs of music at my fingertips and being able to listen to Dark Side of the Moon without interruption. Other than that these past 6 years have been great.