Rival products to Apple's iPod mini are lining up in the battle for market share.

Rio Audio has introduced the Rio Carbon. It is slim, weighs 3.2 ounces, uses Seagate Technology's 1-inch, 5GB hard drive, and boasts a 20-hour battery life. It will cost $249 – the same price as the 4GB iPod mini – when it goes on sale in late August.

Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin told Associated Press: "Right now in digital music we still think it's anybody's game, and Rio has a really good chance of maintaining good market share."

Also challenging the iPod mini is GoVideo who will introduce a 5GB and a 2.5GB Rave-MP player in September, price to be confirmed.

The new players will only play songs encoded in the Windows Media Audio and MP3 formats, locking out songs bought from the iTunes Music Store. The players will also be among the first to support Microsoft's new anti-piracy technology, Janus, that allows rented songs from online music-subscription services to be used on portable devices.

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