Motorola MP3 players

Introduced by in 2004, Motorola introduced this collection of MP3 players to complement a host of other consumer electronic devices all using a modular battery in an attempt to standardize. Sold at RadioShack, it had a short lifespan as the one MP3 player engulfed the market. Complex surfacing and innovative case design are highlights of their designs.

Pinion was brought into the Motorola MP3 project to provide a CAD database for the packaging of three MP3 player models. A small “sports” version (m25), a larger “consumer” version (m500) and the largest “pro” version with an on-board hard-drive.


frogdesign provided the aesthetic direction with sketches and Alias models. Hardware layout was an iterative process to minimize the volume, fit with the user-interface and access to a modular battery. Multiple layouts were developed before the final CAD was started.

Pinion developed the complete databases for all three versions. All versions had to replicate the aesthetic design created in Alias by frogdesign. In addition, all parts were designed for manufacturing, including draft and custom assembly features.

Design challenges included:

1) Complete ProEngineer database replicating Alias model.

2) Thin-wall snaps for assembly.

3) Deep-drawn, thin wall,  aluminum housing design and assembly.

4) Working with existing components to achieve smallest form factors.

Two of the models, m25 and m500, saw retail sales at RadioShack and on-line through Motorola website.

A review of the product here from engadget.

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