Lucent, e.Digital To Create Downloadable Music Device

e.Digital Corp., Lucent Technologies and Texas Instruments said Wednesday they will
jointly develop a new handheld device enabling users to listen to
downloaded music from the Internet.

e.Digital will manufacture the device, which will integrate Lucent’s
Enhanced Perceptual Audio Coder
with e.Digital’s patented MicroOS file management system.

The device employs a new class of Digital Signal Processors (DSP)
manufactured by Texas
Instruments. Different from other handheld devices on the market, the
device plays EPAC files instead of using the MP3 format.

“Our new DSP is a new class of processor for a new market,” said Gary
Johnson, worldwide manager of
DSPs for Texas Instruments.

EPAC is a new version of the Perceptual Audio Coder developed by Lucent’s
Bell Labs. The coder is an audio compression algorithm with high-quality
audio at
the low bit rates. At 128 kilobits per second and a compression rate of 11
to 1, EPAC is said to be similar to
CD-transparent stereo sound.

“The quality of the sound that we’ve heard with EPAC on our hardware
platform is exceptional,” said Fred
Falk, CEO of e.Digital. “We know what people want in an Internet music
download player; great sound in
a compact device that’s robust and well-priced. We are pleased to team with
Lucent and Texas
Instruments to provide a high-quality, secure solution for the exploding
Internet music market.”

“We are taking the current generation of hand-held players to the highest
levels of audio quality and
design,” said Joyce Eastman, director of audio for Lucent’s New Ventures
Group. “We have produced
what we believe will be a solid design for an EPAC player that offers high
levels of security with excellent
sound quality.”

Lucent said it is working in tandem with the recording industry and is a
member of the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), the industry group
responsible for developing
an open, secure access system for digital music.

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