Empeg Ltd was the first company to bring to market an in-dash MP3 player, the empeg car, first shipped to customers in 1999. On November 1st 2000 empeg was acquired by SONICblue Incorporated. The renamed Rio Car was discontinued in January 2002.
In the mean time the empeg development team grew in size and in August 2002 took responsibility for all audio software development at SONICblue. Products developed by the team include Rio Receiver, Rio Central, Rio S Series, Rio Karma and Rio Carbon.
Following the sale by SONICblue of its Rio and ReplayTV divisions to D&M Holdings in April 2003, the Cambridge software team transitioned to Digital Networks North America, a wholly owned subsidiary of D&M Holdings.
In July 2005 the remaining engineering team and associated intellectual property was acquired by Sigmatel. Within the next few years, the few remaining members of the original empeg team moved on. Today the team are spread across many companies but remain in contact with each other and the active owner community.
Software and user guides
Player firmware, release notes and PDF user guides can be found on GitHub.
Some 20 years on there is still an active owner community with many players in daily service. Most technical issues are now well understood, so your first port of call should be the FAQ at RioCar.org, followed by searching the unofficial empeg BBS.
The community survives because of the continued enthusiasm and helpfulness of its members. Several of the original development team remain active on the forums, alongside developers of popular add-on software. Please continue to share your experiences at the BBS, and offer help to others when you are able to do so.
Unofficial empeg BBS
A wealth of information and a great community spirit, with over 2500 registered members. Includes forums for Cambridge-developed Rio products.
A great resource including the ultimate empeg FAQ, custom player logos and animations, empeg history, developer information and a huge empeg photo gallery.
Linux kernel developer Mark Lord has released the most comprehensive set of empeg customisations around.
A great alternative to emplode written in Java.
empeg software repository
A collection of empeg and Rio related software
Add SPDIF digital output to your player. Also button illumination and replacement IDE cables.