Sanyo to join online music frenzy
(IDG) -- Sanyo Electric became the latest Japanese consumer electronics maker to hop on the Internet music bandwagon with the announcement that the company will begin selling a Net music player early next year.
Sanyo's player, which has yet to be named, will allow users to download songs from the Internet onto a semiconductor-based memory card, according to company spokeswoman Satoko Sone. In order to download music, users will have to plug the portable player into a Net-connected PC or a special terminal Sanyo plans to deploy in convenience stores, music stores and libraries around Japan, she added.
Sone said Sanyo is still deciding whether to use existing chip-based memory cards in the player, like Sony's Memory Stick, or to develop its own memory card.
Small, lightweight and durable chip-based memory cards have a number of advantages over CDs or MDs (Mini Discs) and Sanyo expects around 17 million memory card-based music players to be sold in Japan by 2004, according to Sone.
Sanyo's player will be equipped with a DSP (digital signal processor) built by Texas Instruments and SP3 (Secure Portable Player Platform) security technology from Redwood City, Calif.-based Liquid Audio, according to a Sanyo statement released Monday.
The device will support a wide range of current encoding technologies, including MP3 (Motion Picture Experts Group, Audio Layer 3), Dolby Laboratories' Dolby Digital, and Lucent Technologies' ePAC (enhanced Perceptual Audio Coder), the statement said.
Though the cost of the device has yet to be determined, Sone said that Sanyo expects the player to sell for around the price of an MD player today.
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