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Boxed MPMan F20-World’s 1st MP3 player

A very nice boxed example of the MPMan F20. In good working condition.



As this (not so subtly) says on the box, this was the world’s first portable MP3 player. It was produced by a Korean firm called SaeHan Information Systems and exhibited to the public in March 1998. At only 32mb the player was unable to even store a full album’s worth of music, yet its long term impact would change the course of our listening options and the recording industry forever.

The MPMan was distributed during the summer of 98, first in Asia and then shortly after in Europe and the US. Both the F10 and F20 models were issued in parallel with only small differences between them. The F20 (which this example is) ran off a single AA battery and the music was transferred from the computer via a Parallel Port.

Hot on the heels of the MPMan was the Diamond Multimedia Rio PMP300 (released in Autumn 1998) which would ultimately gain much more notoriety and fame. As such by the winter of 1998 the MPMan had all but been forgotten by the media and consumers.

Although I have been unable to get any verified sales results to date, one Chinese source estimated that less than 10,000 units of the MPMan were actually sold. Personally I think this figure is a bit low but either way it is a rare and historic machine.  As it approaches its 20th Anniversary this is a great investment piece.  The MP3 format has revolutionized music and this item will only appreciate.

This example is boxed and complete and in very nice but slightly used condition. We have tested the machine and headphones and they both work well. We have not tested the cable or installation CD. The outside of the player is coated in a  thin rubber-like finish that due to age has now tacky to the touch. I have handled several of these MPMan’s and can confirm this is quite normal and down to the aging chemical composition, rather than later damage.

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