Microsoft, Matsushita (Panasonic), Sandisk and Toshiba have confirmed that the postage stamp size SD Memory card designed for a new generation of secure portable music players will support the Windows Media format.
The SD Memory card will initially offer 64Mb of memory which will enable it to store more than two hours of Windows Media formatted digital music.
The companies claim that the cards will offer double the capacity of the same size MP3 cards and are more secure.
The SD Memory Card's copy protection will also be accessible via the Windows Media Device Manager, which has been developed to provide secure transfer of digital media between PCs, portable devices and portable memory.
Matsushita Electric, Sandisk and Toshiba have formed the SD Association to set standards for the SD Memory Card and promote its acceptance amongst card makers and consumer electronics companies.
"The Windows Media Format allows customers to effectively double the amount of secure CD-quality music they can store in memory," explained Eli Harari, president and CEO of Sandisk. "To ensure a broad base of customer adoption of the SD Memory card it was important to have native support for the Windows Media Format."
Players and SD Memory cards are expected to hit the stores by this summer.
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