Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc. Thursday rolled out a digital download platform
featuring a portal, a player, and a download management solution in an
effort to put its RipPort subsidiary in the center of the digital download phenom which is moving further into the mainstream.
Diamond Multimedia also officially launched wholly-owned RioPort Inc.,
chartering the company with a new integrated digital audio platform which
incorporates all three new plays.
RioPort’s digital audio platform will include the RioPort.com content and
services portal, Rio Audio Manager software to manage content downloaded
from the Internet to the playback device and a new line of portable
players, the first of which is the Rio 500. The platform is expected to be
fully deployed in August.
The company also announced several partnerships which play into the new
platform, including deals for additional digital audio content and security
The RioPort.com portal will deliver digital music and spoken audio
content, as well as access to playback hardware, management software and
audio tools. The site is expected to go live in August and is being
developed in conjunction with Internet solutions provider iXL.
Spoken word content will include digital novels, audio newspapers, radio
shows and television transcripts. Personalized services, news content and
ticket sales will also be available. Online shopping offerings listed
include portable digital audio players, CDs and accessories.
RioPort has allied with content sources and additional tools for creating
content, such as SonicFoundry. RioPort music and spoken audio content is
provided by Audible, MP3.com, EMusic, and more than 100 others. Users will
be able to download software players, MP3 encoders and decoders, and
utility products. The portal also offers personalization options.
The Rioport.com gateway will be linked to the desktop through Rio Audio
Manager software, which allows consumers to search, locate, create and
playback digital audio content.
RioPort’s new 64MB Rio 500 digital audio player will also be available in
August. The player is compatible with both PC and Macintosh platforms and
uses a USB connection.
Rio 500 will support both InterTrust’s DRM solution for secure content
delivery, as well as Microsoft’s secure end-to-end digital distribution
API. RioPort’s new partnership with Reciprocal will cover the system’s
royalty tracking and payments platform.
The new Rio supports playback formats including MP3, MPEG2.5, G.723
(Audible) and ADPMC.
“The Rio player allows people to take content off the desktop and into
their active lifestyles, said J.D. Heilprin, RioPort.com’s publisher and
Rio Audio Manager software will be included in the new Rio 500 player, and will allow users direct access to RioPort.com.
Upcoming Rio designs will support Microsoft’s Windows Media Player and
IBM’s new high-capacity MicroDrives.
RioPort is also targeting the spoken audio programming market with the new initiative, which is worth $2 billion, according to the Audio Book
Publishers Association. Research firm Forrester Research projects the
digital download market alone will add $1.1 billion to the U.S. market by 2003.