Fast forward past the whole Napster-MP3-Digital Music-RIAA debacle and the inundation of an army of shiny dedicated portable MP3 players, and the stage is set.
USB hard drives (solid state RAM with a USB jack sticking out one end) and portable MP3 players finally merged to form multi use digital appliances like the MSI 5-in-1 MegaStick1. After all, if you can store 128MB of data on the USB hard drive, why shouldn't you be able to use for music playback, or some voice recording?
With built in memory (non-expandable) and full MP3 playback capability, other features thrown in for good measure are a digital FM radio, and voice recorder. All of this hangs from a decidedly un-Sony lanyard. But hey, you can't win them all right?