Singapore-based firm Shinei Sangyo is bringing MP3s to Palm's m100 handheld, it announced yesterday at the PalmSource2000 developer conference in California.

Called the Porteson, the device is in the form of a tough plastic sleeve that slots around Palm's latest PDA (personal digital assistant), and includes 32MB Flash memory for storing digital tunes. The Porteson has an expansion port for an SD/MMC Flash card, so users can boost the available memory by 64MB.

A USB port allows music to be uploaded to the device from Macs or PCs, and a small set of headphones is included with the $179 product. No UK price has been announced yet. Two standard AAA batteries provide up to five hours of continuous music play, a Shinei spokesman said.

The Porteson will be available from the Palm.net Web site in February, and Shinei hopes to offer the product in Europe and Asia about a month later. The company has no plans to sell a similar device for other Palm models.