One of the oldest digital music player brands, Rio, is exiting the market.

The news was revealed on Friday by D&M Holdings, which owns Rio as well as the Denon, Marantz, McIntosh Laboratory, D&M Professional, ReplayTV and Escient brands.

In a statement the company said: "D&M Holdings has decided to exit the portable, digital-audio-player business by September 30, 2005."

The company declared that, "the portable digital-audio-player market was not a strong enough strategic fit with the company's core and profitable premium consumer electronics brands to warrant additional investment in the category."

The company notes that the cost of competing in the music-player market had grown, as "competition has grown intense."

The closure of the Rio range is expected to cost the company several billion Japanese yen, the company said.

In July, D&M Holdings agreed to sell certain intellectual property and other technology assets of the Rio MP3 player business to SigmaTel.

Vic Pacor, president of D&M Holdings then said: "We are transferring the Rio technical and engineering resources to SigmaTel, where they can be better leveraged through SigmaTel's considerably larger scale in the MP3 business."