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e.Digital Unit Supports Many Formats

San Diego-based e.Digital went to Comdex to trot out a reference Internet audio portable that it hopes to supply on an OEM basis.

The design simultaneously supports multiple decoders and DRM technologies stored in 1MB of embedded solid-state memory, and it will store music files on removable Compact Flash cards or on IBM’s 340MB microdrive, which could store a two- to five-minute music video, the company said.

Initially, the device will be able to play back Dolby AAC, Q Designs, WMA, MP3 and ePAC files and support the InterTrust, EMMC and Liquid Audio SP3 DRM technologies.

The Texas Instrument DSP in the device, however, is capable of supporting other codecs and DRM technologies, and e.Digital president Fred Falk said other decoders could be loaded into the device’s firmware via a memory card or Internet download.

The current design uses two AA batteries, but the company wants to scale that down to two AAAs that will deliver 10 to 12 hours of operation.

The expected end-user price is about $220 to $240 with 64MB card.