First! MPMan


A moment to recognize history.

10 years ago this month, Saehan Information Systems released a product that itself would fade into history but would spark a music revolution. The MPMan was the world’s first MP3 player.

With 32MB of flash, it could hold about 8 songs and sold for $250 here in the US.

Saehan was then run by CEO and Vice-Chairman, Jae Kwan Lee.

Ken, as he is more commonly known, had grown Saehan into a multi-national conglomerate that made everything from lycra to magnetic tape — including most of the tape used in audio cassettes. Irony rocks. Ken’s grandfather may have been the founder of Samsung, but Saehan was Ken’s company and it was a great success.

I worked with Ken a few years later just as political overhaul in South Korea caused huge problems for most of the chaebols and their byzantine corporate structures. But that’s a different chapter. This is about history:

10 years ago this month, Ken and Saehan Media launched the world’s first MP3 player.

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2 Responses to “First! MPMan”

  1. bill collage Says:

    Really really really funny and fascinating. Wow.
    Would love to read your prediction for where this type of device will be in ten years.

  2. David Churbuck Says:

    Ken did that? NFW!

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