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Thomson Multimedia and Gracenote Team to Provide One-Stop Resource for Digital Music

Companies Unite To Launch Combined CDDB and mp3PRO Encoding Solution (January 07, 2002)
Thomson multimedia (NYSE: TMS) and Gracenote have joined forces to launch a one-stop digital music solution that combines mp3PRO and the Gracenote CDDB Music Recognition Service. The exclusive partnership gives software and hardware developers simple, streamlined access to the newest generations of the world's most popular digital music codec and music recognition service. The announcement was made jointly today by Thomson multimedia, the exclusive licensing representative for mp3 patents and software of Fraunhofer and Coding Technologies, and Gracenote.

As part of the agreement, Gracenote will offer a bundled CDDB music recognition/mp3PRO encoding product for the consumer electronics market, streamlining the licensing and integration process for two essential pieces of the digital media infrastructure. The mp3PRO format provides higher quality files at lower bit-rates, which allows more efficient use of hard drive space for digital encoding. The Gracenote CDDB service provides automatic music identification and file naming, which facilitates file management and playlist functionality, and eliminates the need for manual data entry. The combined product also allows seamless integration of Gracenote's content delivery solution and other value-added services.

"We are delighted to partner with Thomson multimedia to bring CDDB and mp3PRO technology to devices. This agreement gives device manufacturers everything they need for a digital music product in one package, and effectively doubles the size of their hard drives at a fraction of the cost," said David Hyman, CEO of Gracenote.

"Our partnership with Gracenote will establish mp3PRO as the format standard and also gives us the opportunity to reach out to device manufacturers with a sound business model," said Henri Linde, Vice President, New Business of the Patent and Licensing unit for Thomson multimedia. "This is an important step to make it easier for developers to access and integrate mp3PRO technology."

Gracenote estimates that that they will have products available for developers by early in the second quarter of 2002.

About Gracenote:

Gracenote is a content delivery platform specializing in music recognition technology that enables relevant information and services to enhance the music listening experience. Gracenote designed its platform for media players and encoders, consumer electronics manufacturers, record companies, and on- and off-line consumer brands. Its network of technology and services opens new direct interactive channels to online music fans worldwide. Over 8,000 partners worldwide, serving more than one million consumers daily, rely on Gracenote's CDDB(R) technology, which is the industry standard in Music recognition Services (MRS). Gracenote was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Berkeley, California. For more information about Gracenote, please see

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 (Euronext: 18453) (NYSE: TMS), provides a wide range of technologies, systems, finished products and services to consumers and professionals of 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, New Media Services, and Patents and Licensing. The company distributes its products under the popular THOMSON, RCA and TECHNICOLOR brand names.

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

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.

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Related Keywords:digital music, Thomson, GraceNote, mp3, mp3PRO, music regognition, multimedia

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