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QDesign Launches Secure, Scalable Digital Music Platform

QDesign Corp. Monday announced its new QDX format, offering better-than-MP3 audio quality and added flexibility for music download and streaming.

The QDX technology is based on audio quality and size scalability. Optimized for Internet streaming, QDX provides audio compression delivering -- in one single file -- both CD-quality audio at 128kbits (12:1 compression) and full-bandwidth stereo at 24kbits (60:1 compression). QDX also supports inherent bitstream scalability that offers users Fit-To-Media and Fit-To-Stream capabilities.

QDX's Fit-To-Media function allows consumers to click-and-drag personal playlists to portable players without needing to transcode or convert music files. Using QDX Fit-to-Media users can store up to 2.5 hours of music on a 32MB portable digital music player, compared to the maximum of approximately 30 minutes of MP3 files.

Encoding music to QDX simplifies the transfer process and users are freed from worry about available memory, transcoding, bit rates, sample rates, file sizes, or storing multiple versions of songs at various bit rates. Consumers need only to know how many songs they wish to fit onto their digital music player.

The Fit-To-Stream feature of QDX offers "master once, deliver everywhere" flexibility, meaning a single source file is all that is required to stream top-quality music over the widest array of modem speeds, bandwidths and connections. This "on-the-fly" scalability results in reduced asset management overhead for the music providers and consistent delivery of the best possible quality audio according to consumers' available connection or storage.

In addition, QDX offers copyright owners an unpublished format with integrated encryption and watermarking which contribute to preventing access to content by unauthorized players. QDX is designed for SDMI compliance and is compatible with the InterTrust's MetaTrust Utility and other industry-approved digital rights management/copyright protection measures.

"Each new generation of audio technology, from vinyl to CD, has offered consumers significant enhancements to the listening experience," said Richard J. Beaton, president and chief technology officer of QDesign Corp. "This product takes digital music to the next level, providing not only fidelity but unparalleled flexibility in streaming audio to both wired and wireless consumers."

QDX will be available in the fall of 2000.