Thomson multimedia: mp3PRO family grows
Online Content Providers, Hardware Manufacturers And Software
Developers Line Up For The New Codec
San Diego (CA), January 8, 2002 - Thomson multimedia
(Paris Euroclear: 18453) (NYSE: TMS), the exclusive licensing
representative for mp3 patents and software of Fraunhofer and
Coding Technologies, today announced that the mp3PRO music format
continues to gain widespread industry and consumer support as
content providers, hardware manufacturers and software developers
conclude licensing agreements for the advanced mp3 codec for their
According to Henri Linde, Vice President, New Business of the
Patent and Licensing unit for Thomson multimedia, the company
has reached a number of significant mp3PRO licensing agreements
with leading Internet providers, software developers and designers
and hardware manufacturers, underscoring the rapid expansion of
the next generation mp3 format.
Launched in mid-June, mp3PRO is an update to mp3, the ubiquitous
standard for digital audio files and clearly the most popular
digital audio format available. The new mp3PRO codec combines
more efficient compression and a higher-fidelity "CD quality"
music experience to give users better sounding, smaller files
that are backward compatible with the standard mp3 format.
In addition to the products offerings from Thomson multimedia,
such as the RCA LYRA Personal Jukebox (an mp3PRO-ready hard-disc
device that can hold 300 hours of music), the industry's most
prominent hardware manufacturers have reached licensing agreements
with Thomson multimedia for mp3PRO, including:
Philips - Premiering a range of consumer products at the
CES show, Philips devices will decode mp3PRO streams via such
popular services as Radio Free Virgin, mp3.com and MUSICMATCH.
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN) became the first
company to license Thomson's mp3PRO digital audio format, applying
TI's programmable digital signal processors (DSPs) to offer manufacturers
updated Internet audio devices to support the mp3PRO format. The
programmability of the TI DSP gives manufacturers the option to
provide a Web site where customers can go to upgrade their audio
players for mp3PRO.
A leading producer of decoder chips for the existing mp3 standard,
ST Microelectronics is working closely with Coding Technologies,
the inventor of mp3PRO, to implement the new algorithm for the
company's MMDSP+ digital signal processor core. This 24-bit digital
signal processor (DSP) is optimized for high quality audio processing
applications and is used by ST in many products for music decoding,
speech recognition, echo canceling and so on. Using this optimal
DSP core, ST's mp3PRO decoder chips will consume less power, extending
battery life in portable players.
Software designers finalizing mp3PRO licenses to encode media
player software include:
MUSICMATCH, which pioneered personalized music software and services
with its acclaimed jukebox, has integrated mp3PRO for the streaming
and decoding of its MUSICMATCH Radio MX service, reaching nearly
80,000 subscribers, and will feature the mp3PRO encoder in its
upcoming versions of MUSICMATCH Jukebox.
Thomson multimedia and Gracenote have joined forces to launch
a one-stop digital music solution that combines mp3PRO and the
Gracenote CDDB® Music Recognition Service. The partnership
gives software and hardware developers simple, streamlined access
to the newest generations of the world's most popular digital
music codec and music recognition service. The agreement gives
the more than 2,000 commercial CDDB media-player developers streamlined
access to mp3PRO encoding and decoding.
Ahead Software, Magix and Steinberg
Three popular Germany-based music software providers have released
product incorporating mp3PRO codecs into the latest versions of
their music management software programs.
MAYAH® Communications, a recognized developer and distributor
of high quality solutions for the broadcast and telecommunications
industry, has licensed the mp3PRO technology for its CENTAURI-Audio-Web-Server
and software solutions.
Microprocessor solutions providers ARM and Tensilica
have signed with Thomson to adopt mp3PRO for their respective
microprocessor architectures, allowing hardware manufacturers
to rapidly integrate mp3PRO into their products.
Online Content Providers
Three of the Internet's premiere music providers - Mp3.com,
MUSICMATCH and Radio Free Virgin- have each selected to make
content available in the mp3PRO format, taking advantage of the
economic benefits resulting from the codec's reduced bandwidth.
Singingfish, the leader in multimedia search announced
today that it will provide support for finding mp3PRO content
early this year, allowing users to quickly find mp3PRO files anywhere
on the World Wide Web. Singingfish multimedia search services
deliver fast and easy access to the world's largest index of links
to streaming media content. Singingfish has indexed millions of
links to streaming and downloadable media files and anticipates
the volume of mp3PRO files to expand dramatically over the coming
"Wide support for mp3PRO by leading companies involved in
hardware manufacturing, software development and Internet content
is contributing towards the expansion of the format across all
music distribution categories," said Linde. "Together
with our numerous mp3 licensing partners, Thomson is establishing
mp3PRO as the new format standard."
About mp3 and mp3PRO
The 1995 launch of mp3 sparked a new age in the distribution of
music and Internet broadcasting. Today, mp3 continues to rank
as the codec standard, with well over 150 companies having licensed
mp3 across the Internet and dedicated player-recorder industries.
Nearly every song in the world has been encoded into mp3, and
nearly every PC in the world has mp3 encoding capability. Underscoring
the company's commitment to the future growth of mp3 as a global
standard, Thomson multimedia together with Coding Technologies
of Sweden launched mp3PRO, improved version of the mp3 coding-decoding
(codec) format that provides near CD-quality sound while doubling
the compression rate. mp3PRO provides 128kbs performance at a
64kbs encoding rate and is both backward and forward compatible
* * *
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding
prospects for the future that involve a number of risks and uncertainties.
Among the factors that could cause actual income to differ materially
from those expected are the following: business conditions and
general economic conditions, competitive factors such as pricing
and marketing efforts of rival companies; timing of product introductions;
ability of contract manufacturers to meet product price objectives
and delivery schedules; legislative, regulatory and industry initiatives
that may affect planned or actual product features and marketing
methods; and the pace and success of product research and development.
For more information on the potential factors that could affect
the company's financial income, please review the relevant SEC
About Thomson multimedia
With sales of 9.1 billion Euros (U.S. $8.3 billion) in 2000 and
73,000 employees in more than 30 countries, Thomson multimedia
(Paris Euroclear: 18453) (NYSE: TMS) provides a wide range of
video (and enabling) technologies, systems, finished products
and services to consumers and professionals in the entertainment
and media industries. To advance and enable the digital media
transition, Thomson multimedia has five principal activities;
Digital Media Solutions, Displays and Components, Consumer Products,
Patents and Licensing and New Media Services. The company distributes
its products under the THOMSON, RCA and TECHNICOLOR brand names.
Singingfish, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thomson multimedia,
develops multimedia search services that enable Internet users
to quickly and easily locate and access popular streaming media
content including entertainment, news and sports via any Internet
accessible PC or CE device. Based in Seattle, Wash., the company
has firmly positioned itself as the leader in multimedia search
by compiling the world's largest index of streaming media, incorporating
proprietary automation into its search solutions, and offering
a robust suite of search services that are easily adaptable to
each customer. More information about Singingfish is available
online at www.singingfish.com.
About Coding Technologies
Coding Technologies is focusing on developing and implementing
unique audio compression technologies for the broadcasting, Internet
and telecommunication markets. The company offers its audio solutions
to system designers, chip/device manufacturers and content providers.
Coding Technologies, a privately held company having offices in
Stockholm, Sweden, and Nuremberg, Germany, combines the exceptional
skills of a Swedish company specialized in audio compression technologies
and a spin-off from the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated
Circuits. For more information, visit www.codingtechnologies.de.
About The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is the leading organization of applied
research in Germany. It operates 47 research centers in Germany
with about 9,000 employees, about half of them scientists and
engineers. The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft expands to a worldwide
Organization, especially in USA and Asia. Home of the Fraunhofer
Gesellschaft is Munich, Germany. One of the goals of the Fraunhofer
policy is a rapid transfer of innovations into products. The total
research expenditure is about US$ 700 million.
The Fraunhofer Institut Integrierte Schaltungen (Fraunhofer IIS-A),
based in Erlangen, Germany, is one of the 47 research centers.
Fraunhofer IIS-A is the leading international research lab in
the field of high quality low bit rate audio coding. Fraunhofer
IIS-A has been the main developer of the most advanced audio coding
schemes, like MPEG Layer-3 and MPEG-2 AAC (Advanced Audio Coding).
Fraunhofer IIS-A plays a major role in the ongoing work for the
MPEG-4 Audio standardization process and contributes to many other
standards bodies as well, like ITU-R TG10/4, ITU-R WP10C and AES.
Thomson multimedia Press Relations
Marc Meyer Tel : 318.104.22.16803 (France)