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mp3PRO Wins Software Support for Encoding, Playback and Digital Rights Management

mp3.com, WinAmp, Ahead, and Intertrust Offer Software Elements for Launch of New Music Compression Format

PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 10, 2001-- Thomson multimedia today announced the availability of a full range of tools that will enable music fans to easily enjoy the benefits of mp3PRO, the enhanced version of mp3 that doubles the amount of music in memory and improves the audio quality of compressed music files managed with the new mp3PRO compression format.

All of the mp3PRO software components are now available: content through MP3.com, consumer encoding software through Ahead Software, a new WinAmp playback plug-in available for download from various Thomson websites, and digital rights management (DRM) from Intertrust.

Thomson multimedia is the exclusive licensing representative of mp3 patents and software of Fraunhofer IIS-A, Coding Technologies and Thomson multimedia. Thomson has successfully licensed more than 15 million portable mp3 players and 250 million personal computers with mp3 technology. Over 130 companies have licensed mp3. After more than a million-and-a-half downloads of mp3PRO demonstration software, consumers will now be able to enjoy all the advantages of this improved version of the mp3 audio coding standard.

Listen to mp3PRO songs in MP3.com with WinAmp plug-in

Under a partnership agreement concluded by Thomson multimedia and MP3.com, songs will be made available in the mp3PRO format on a joint website. The top-hits of several genres will be available in (low-complexity-stereo) lcs-32 kbps and in PRO-fi (80kbps) quality. The two companies will jointly promote the mp3PRO format by making available both the demonstration version of the mp3PRO encoder as well as the newly developed plug-in for the popular WinAmp player.

The WinAmp plug-in is also available from the Thomson websites: www.thomson-multimedia.com , www.rca.com and the Thomson media search engine www.singingfish.com. The originators of mp3PRO, Coding Technologies, also offers the plug-in at www.codingtechnologies.com.

Ahead from Germany offers mp3PRO encoder

For consumers wanting to rip their own mp3PRO files, CD/DVD-Recording developer Ahead Software from Germany has just released a new version of their Nero software, which includes a fully functional mp3PRO encoder. This product can be downloaded from www.nero.com .

Digital Rights Management from Intertrust

Finally, InterTrust Technologies Corporation has integrated Thomson multimedia's mp3PRO Codec with InterTrust's Digital Rights Management platform. As a result of the integration of mp3PRO into InterTrust's Extensible Media Audio (XM Audio) Framework, artists benefit from the world's most popular codec while fully protecting the profitability of their songs through a comprehensive range of DRM business models.

"We are extremely proud to work with these top quality companies, which have all shown great enthusiasm and speed of implementation for the new standard in audio coding -- mp3PRO. Reaction to the development of mp3PRO has been exceptionally positive, since it allows consumers to build more extensive playlists of music that sound even better than standard mp3," said Henri Linde, Vice President of New Business Licensing.

The first Thomson multimedia portable device ready to take full advantage of mp3PRO will be the new LYRA Personal Jukebox, a portable mp3 player with a 10GB hard-disc drive that will hold hundreds of albums, thousands of songs, and can even be used as a remote hard drive to backup data files for the computer. The LYRA Personal Jukebox will be mp3PRO-ready and is expected to be available later this year.

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding prospects for the future that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Among the factors that could cause actual income to differ materially from those expected are the following: business conditions and general economic conditions; competitive factors such as pricing and marketing efforts of rival companies; timing of product introductions; ability of contract manufacturers to meet product price objectives and delivery schedules; legislative, regulatory, and industry initiatives that may affect planned or actual product features and marketing methods; and the pace and success of product research and development. For more information on the potential factors that could affect the company's financial income, please review the relevant SEC filings.

About The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft

The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is the leading organization of applied research in Germany. It operates 47 research centers in Germany with about 9,000 employees, about half of them scientists and engineers. The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft expands to a worldwide Organization, especially in USA and Asia. Home of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is Munich, Germany. One of the goals of the Fraunhofer policy is a rapid transfer of innovations into products. The total research expenditure is about US$ 700 million.

The Fraunhofer Institut Integrierte Schaltungen (Fraunhofer IIS-A), based in Erlangen, Germany, is one of the 47 research centers. Fraunhofer IIS-A is the leading international research lab in the field of high quality low bit rate audio coding. Fraunhofer IIS-A has been the main developer of the most advanced audio coding schemes, like MPEG Layer-3 and MPEG-2 AAC (Advanced Audio Coding). Fraunhofer IIS-A plays a major role in the ongoing work for the MPEG-4 Audio standardization process and contributes to many other standards bodies as well, like ITU-R TG10/4, ITU-R WP10C and AES.

About Coding Technologies

Coding Technologies is focusing on developing and implementing unique audio compression technologies for the broadcasting, Internet and telecommunication markets. The company offers its audio solutions to system designers, chip/device manufacturers and content providers. Coding Technologies, a privately held company having offices in Stockholm, Sweden, and Nuremberg, Germany, combines the exceptional skills of a Swedish company specialized in audio compression technologies and a spin-off from the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits. For more information, visit www.codingtechnologies.de.

About Thomson multimedia

With sales of 9.1 billion Euros (U.S. $8.3 billion) in 2000 and 73,000 employees in more than 30 countries, Thomson multimedia, provides a wide range of video (and enabling) technologies, systems, finished products and services to consumers and professionals in the entertainment and media industries. To advance and enable the digital media transition, Thomson multimedia has five principal activities: Digital Media Solutions, Displays and Components, Consumer Products, Patents and Licensing, and New Media Services. The company distributes its products under the popular THOMSON, RCA and TECHNICOLOR brand names. For more information: www.thomson-multimedia.com.




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