MP3 is starting to become mainstream with the arrival of the first home stereo system that combines the compression format with a CD player.
MP3 is a way of storing music in small files that can be downloaded from the Internet. New York based start up ReQuest is to start shipping its AudioReQuest, a combination of CD and MP3 player with a hard drive and encoder that can mix and match formats. It can store and playback up to 150 hours of MP3 music without the need for a PC.
?The growth of MP3 and other compression formats illustrates that people enjoy the ease and the convenience of downloading music from the Internet to build personal collections,? said Steven Vasquez, chief executive officer of ReQuest. ?With AudioReQuest these collections can now be played on a stereo system without a computer?.
To address copyright issues, music cannot be digitally copied from the AudioReQuest as there are no digital outputs. Music can be transferred from a PC to the combo through a parallel connection, but it cannot be transferred the other way.
Vasquez is confident the #599.95 AudioReQuest, slated to ship in July, will appeal to consumers because it eliminates the bulk of CD collections and means you can listen to different artists without having to manually change Cds.
Analysts believe that the AudioReQuest will help rapidly grow the MP3 market by offering consumers an inexpensive device that can store and play thousands of songs in their homes.
Users can download music from the Internet or from a PC through a parallel connection.
The integrated CD enables consumers to quickly encode and play music from their own CD collection, choosing specific tracks if required. MP3 files stored on PC-created CD-R discs can also be played and saved on AudioReQuest.
The entertainment does not stop there. The home stereo combo can connect to any television to provide an interface that enables users to create playlists and watch animations that move in time with the music. Digital photos can also be imported from a camera to create personalised slide shows.
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