By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
San Diego— The MP3.com Internet download site said it began on Oct. 1 to offer thousands of music files in the mp3PRO format. The site also offers an mp3PRO playback plug-in for the Winamp music player application.
Secaucus, N.J.— Panasonic's SV-SD80 Internet audio portable, unveiled at Japan's CEATEC show, will ship in the Unites States in late October at a suggested $329 and an expected everyday $299 with included 64MB SD memory card. Compared to two current models, the SD80 is smaller at 1.66 inches x 1.64 inches x 0.62 inches and extends battery life to 50 hours from six when a rechargeable NiMH battery is combined with a triple-A alkaline. The new device will also add Microsoft WMA decoding and the WMA DRM when a planned update to included RealJukeBox music-management software is available. The current models offer MP3 and AAC decoding. Panasonic didn't know if the SD80 would support the Metatrust DRM as the current models do.
Chicago — First International Digital is highlighting value in two new 500 series MP3 portables, one offering 64MB of internal memory at an estimated everyday $99.
"The 520 is the only 64MB device we are aware of out there that is under $100," said Randy Cavaiani, sales and marketing VP. At $99, other models offer 32MB, a spokeswoman added. The second unit, the 510, comes with 32MB internal memory at an estimated everyday $79.
The next-generation 500 series, due in Q2, will be codec-upgradeable and will add the WMA and mp3PRO codecs, Cavaiani said.
Maynard, Mass. — Ucentric Systems has teamed up separately with Sears and the Comcast cable network to conduct trials of Ucentric's home-networking software platform.
Ucentric technology connects existing household products— such as TVs, PCs, stereos, and phones — to one another and to the Internet without the installation of new wires.
Sears will install home-network servers in 50 homes in the Dallas area for customer trials. Comcast will conduct a technical trial.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.