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RealTime IT News

Audio-on-the-Go

[Calgary, ALBERTA] Despite the constant hype surrounding digital music, many industry experts recognize that digital music will truly come into its own once portability issues are resolved. At the 2001 International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas this weekend (January 6-9), wireless media developers and wireless services providers will be doing their best to address this issue.

Among these companies is Sensate Inc., a Calgary-based startup that delivers wired and wireless Internet audio solutions to consumer electronics manufacturers on an international level. The company has partnered with RealNetworks and, at CES, will launch its AoIP Wireless Media Server for RealJukebox.

Designed to allow consumers to download their digital music files to their portable MP3 players, personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones, car stereos and automotive PCs across wireless networks, the Sensate AoIP Wireless Media Server for RealJukebox is configured for the Wi-Fi (802.11b), HomeRF and Bluetooth standards. It supports existing wireless networks such as Intel, Proxim and Apple, and promises to support the new generation of high-speed cellular networks that are expected to be deployed in the near future. The AoIP Wireless Media Server is Sensate's first content platform for wireless devices.

Alongside the server, Sensate is exhibiting the AoIP Client for consumer devices, which provides software functionality for client devices, including server communication, protocol stack, digital rights management and audio playback.

"RealJukebox is a familiar content management tool for Internet audio on the PC," Robin Dymond, Sensate's founder and CEO, noted. "Sensate's technology enables RealJukebox to manage content and streaming to network devices. Our goal is to work with industry partners to enable, simplify, and improve the user's Internet audio experience on consumer products. Sensate, together with our partners, is working to deliver the in-demand next generation consumer entertainment application for the wireless network and consumer devices - wireless Internet audio."

South of the border, Delphi Automotive Systems is preparing to launch its wireless data transfer product that will enable consumers to download data to their cars. According to media reports, Delphi is planning to come up with music and additional media solutions for the product soon.

Phatnoise, in conjunction with the Ford Motor Company, will soon offer a portable music player that connects to PCs and car stereos, allowing users to download music from their computers and then play it in their cars.

Canada, too, is not suffering for talent in the wireless media realm. With high-tech companies such as Nortel and Research in Motion complementing the country's numerous content providers, the industry up north has the potential to effectively compete in the cutthroat global market.