An enterprising British gentleman has gone to Kickstarter to secure funds to mass-produce two new eco-friendly music players he has developed. They are called the iBean and the iTagua, and they are made from very hardy (and abundantly-occurring) nuts found in the forests of Bogota, South America, and he’s asking for a minimum of a 40 pound pledge if you want one. He has spent time and money developing them already, and just needs 30,000 GBP (that’s around R450,000) to pay for the first production run.
The iBean and iTagua are not cheap Chinese music players dressed up in a natural, nutty exterior, though. In addition to supporting the most popular audio formats like OGG, MP3 and FLAC, they use lossless audio compression technology called “Monkey’s Audio” to deliver sound quality that’s identical to that of a CD.
While that’s pretty neat, Monkey Audio music files are 3 to 5 times larger than the same song recorded as a 192kbps MP3 file. That’s not a bad thing per se, but the cheapest models only have 2GB of storage available, which rather limits the number of CD-quality songs one could carry with them. For a more practical 4GB player, Kickstarters can opt for a “Limited Edition” iTagua that goes for 60 pounds.
Even with such miniscule storage options on offer, the effort is certainly worth rewarding. Nobody else offers anything like this, both players are made from materials that are ecologically-friendly and their designs are quite creative. They will also be ready to ship before Christmas, so it might even be a good way to secure a truly original present for friends or family.
If you’re interested, head over to his Kickstarter page to see the iBean and iTagua in action for yourself.