Zenith Adds MP3, CD-R/RW

LAS VEGAS —Zenith launched its first MP3 portable and first CD-recorder at CES. The portable will ship in the spring at an expected $249, including removable 32MB MMC card. The dual-well-CD-recorder offers 2x and 4x dubbing speed and is due in February at an expected $499.

Hard-Drive Portables Due

LAS VEGAS —Creative Labs showed behind-glass mock-ups of new hard-drive audio portables during CES but declined to say when they would be available or what they would cost. A booth representative did say they'd be smaller and offer better battery life than the company's current hard-drive portable. The company also plans to offer portables that accept DataPlay write-once discs.

XM Reschedules Launches

WASHINGTON D.C. —XM Satellite Radio rescheduled the launch of its two satellites to Feb. 28 and mid-April, respectively, after delaying the first satellite's Jan. 8 launch. The company cited "out-of-specification condition" detected while the satellite was on the launchpad. Despite the delay, the company continues to target a market-by-market rollout beginning in late Q2 and expanding nationwide over a two-month period. The second satellite was originally scheduled for a late February or early March launch. In another announcement, XM said Sears has decided to market XM Satellite radios through all of its stores carrying car audio.

Sanyo Sells Internet Portable

CHATSWORTH, CALIF. —Sanyo's first Internet audio portable available in the United States is offered only through the company's online store at The SDMI-compliant $289 SSP-PD7 supports the MP3 and AAC codecs, and Liquid Audio's SP3 digital-rights management (DRM) technology. Music companies Warner and EMI offer downloadable songs in Liquid-protected AAC. Because of its programmable processor, the PD7 can be upgraded to support additional codecs and DRMs. A second programmable Internet portable shown at CES adds the Windows Media Audio codec and DRM, the combination of which are supported by EMI, Sony and Warner. The company also showed a Liquid-protected AAC/MP3 model with all electronics built into the headphone. Availability, pricing and distribution of the two devices wasn't announced.


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