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Streaming Audio Planned For CES

12/18/2000 02:00:00 AM Eastern

At least one more CE manufacturer will enter the streaming Internet audio market with a shelf system that streams audio directly from websites.

That manufacturer's product will be preloaded with URLs, but users will also be able to bookmark their own URLs. The device will also stream MP3 files from a connected PC's hard drive. Additional details were unavailable.

Similar products have been an-nounced by AudioRamp, Kerbango and Thomson, which will show their devices at CES.

AudioRamp's shelf system includes a hard drive and CD ripper. Thomson's device, a tabletop AM/FM radio with Web-streaming capability, was co-developed with Kerbango and will be available later than planned in early 2001 at a suggested $299 through rca.com and several online retailers, a spokesman said.

Thomson's product requires the use of an Ethernet-connected broadband modem to stream audio via the Kerbango Tuning Service (KTS) site, which provides a menu and links to about 6,000 streaming audio sites that use Real Network streaming codecs.

Users won't be able to punch in a specific URL to access sites. Site updates are automatically uploaded to a Kerbango device whenever the device logs onto the KTS site.

At the booth of parent company 3Com, Kerbango will display its product, due in limited quantities by Christmas on the Amazon.com and 3Com websites. The company plans sales through brick & mortar retailers whose names will be announced soon. Priced at an everyday $299 on Amazon.com, the device has no internal modem but uses an Ethernet connect to tap into a broadband modem.