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Kenwood Unveils Music Keg 10 Gig Car/Portable MP3 Player

Kenwood USA Corporation unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show, the Kenwood Excelon™ Music Keg™, a high capacity digital music storage and playback mobile audio system, that builds a bridge between desktop and vehicle music environments. The Music Keg comes with 10GB of storage capacity to record, organize, store and play MP3, WMA and WAV digital music files.

The Music Keg (Model KHD-CX910) is made up of three components: the Cradle; a computer desktop docking bay that holds the removable hard drive; the Cartridge or “DMS” Digital Media System removable hard drive; and the in-vehicle or trunk-mounted Music Keg. The Music Keg system employs a 10GB removable hard disk cartridge that, when placed in its USB docking cradle, allows fast downloading of music files from a PC or the Internet. Powered with technology by PhatNoise™, a California developer of digital media technologies that has won high praise from computer-savvy music fans, Kenwood is the only aftermarket audio company to offer PhatNoise technology in its 2002 line.

The Music Keg utilizes a desktop software music management system, making it fast and easy for users to rip MP3 or WMA files from CDs, download tracks to the hard drive cartridge, and set-up, edit, and access personal play lists. The Music Keg installs into a vehicle and is designed to work with all 1999 or later Kenwood in-dash receivers offering CD changer control and CD text capability.

“Kenwood is a leader in bringing mobile and home entertainment technologies to the market,” said Bob Law, vice president of sales and marketing. “The Music Keg is the mobile music system that resolves the technical and convenience issues of using hard drives in vehicles. The product has already been well received, and we expect high consumer demand.”

Ease of Use

The Kenwood Excelon Music Keg is simple to use and intuitive for the consumer. Following these simple steps allows users to access thousands of MP3, WMA or hundreds of WAV music files from the vehicle.

1. Install the Kenwood Excelon PhatNoise Music Manager software on a home computer. Connect the Cradle desktop docking bay via USB cable and download the music files to the removable hard drive cartridge.

2. Take the cartridge to the vehicle and insert it into the trunk-mounted Music Keg.

3. Turn on the in-dash receiver and using the CD changer controls, access the music.
Music Keg System

The Music Keg can be mounted virtually anywhere in a vehicle where a standard CD-changer would be, and connects to the receiver using standard changer protocols. The Music Keg has a 24-bit digital-to-analog converter and will display MP3 file names and ID3 tags on the receiver’s CD text display. An internal shock-absorbing suspension system ensures trouble-free playback.

Music Software Management

The Kenwood Excelon PhatNoise Music Management System, included with the Music Keg on a CD-ROM, offers robust database applications with advanced functionality and scales to support large music and media collections. Powered by proprietary Dynamic Playlist Generation Technology (DPGT™), it automatically organizes and updates user collections, and provides automatic synchronization.
The software management system allows users to rip CDs, and to select multiple MP3/WMA compression rates that go up as high as 320kb. Other features include; dynamic content updates, integrated Internet-based search and commerce capabilities, CD burning capabilities, and encoding for MP3, VBR, M3, WMA, WAV, and OGG Vorbis.

The Kenwood Excelon Music Keg will be available at selected Kenwood Excelon dealers starting in January with an MSRP of $900.

About Fabrizio Pilato

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