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Sony’s Net MD Technology Breaks Music Speed Limits

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Sony announced today Net MD, a new audio technology to connect PC and MD products via Universal Serial Bus (USB), which makes it possible to transfer music data at high speeds. To celebrate the launch, Sony introduces its new series Net MD in Hong Kong.

With Net MD and a direct USB connection, music lovers can enjoy faster music transfer from PC to MD available. Sony’s new line of Net MD products break the speed limit with a direct USB connection that transfers 80 minutes of music from PC to MD in around five minutes*.

Three recording modes give users the choice of recording in standard mode for the richest sound quality or two different long play modes for the most effective use of space on a single MiniDisc. In addition, the bundled Open MGTM Jukebox music management software enables users to record an entire CD to PC in just a few minutes. Equipped with a high-speed USB terminal, the Net MD series is able to provide up to 32x* normal playback speed when transferring music files from the PC to MD. Users simply launch the application and select the tracks they want to transfer to the player.

“People in Hong Kong love to listen to music on the go,” said Mr. Susumu Kitadai, Division Managing Director of Hong Kong Marketing Company, Sony Corporation of Hong Kong Ltd. “They want a device that’s convenient and fast. Users of Sony Net MD won’t have to wait around while their music transfers. They can record their favourite songs and be out of the door listening to them in minutes.”

Sony’s new Net MD series can record music from various sources to a MiniDisc, accept multiple Internet audio formats such as MP3, WAV and WMA files, and feature flexible editing tools. MiniDisc media is affordable, durable and re-recordable over thousand times without degradation.

Open MGTM Jukebox software also acts as an ATRAC/ATRAC3 encoder so that music recorded on a Net MD can be played on various MD devices. The Net MD products are compatible with Microsoft® Windows® 98/SE/2000/ME/XP operating systems.

MZ-N1

Sony’s first Net MD product, the MZ-N1, will be available in Hong Kong in February. The sleek MZ-N1 is the world’s lightest MD recorder (as of December 2001), weighing at just over 87 grams. The unit’s compact magnesium body packs in an abundance of user-friendly features. The MZ-N1 offers an unprecedented 110 hours of continuous playback using the supplied rechargeable battery and “AA” Alkaline battery. One 80-minute MiniDisc can record five hours of music using the MZ-N1’s MDLP (MiniDisc Long Play) setting.

The MZ-N1 comes with a USB-equipped charging cradle for direct connection to the PC. Placing the unit in the connected cradle automatically recharges the MD Walkman and allows simultaneous music transfer.

With Open MGTM Jukebox, users can organize songs into groups and “albums” and transfer them quickly to the MZ-N1. The unit’s Jog DialTM navigator allows users to scroll tracks and select their favourite songs and albums with a single finger. A three-line dot matrix display enables users to view up to 27 characters at a time for easy song searches and edits.

MZ-N1 gives users a skip-free music listening experience even during vigorous activity. G-protection, a Sony technology, eliminates skipping by rapidly recovering from the effects of the shock itself, and hence reducing the reliance on the memory buffer. Users can therefore enjoy music even during vigorous activity.

While the MZ-N1 will be available in retail stores in February, customers can pre-order MZ-N1 at Sony’s online store at www.sonystyle.com.hk., orders can also be placed at the Sony Style Store in Causeway Bay and Walkman ProShop in Mongkok from January 29 to February 6. Customers who preorder the MZ-N1 will receive a free backpack.

MZ-N505

The MZ-N505 Net MD Walkman creates great-sounding music mixes in record time. Music, along with title and track information created in the Jukebox, can be transferred from a PC at speeds up to 32x* normal playback speed. Multiple playback modes allow users to shuffle, repeat and group tracks. Users of the MZ-N505 can also control the recording level for optimized results while the digital Mega Bass® sound system ensures a rich, full listening experience. Using one “AA” type battery, the MZ-N505 provides up to 56 hours of playback time. The MZ-N505 comes in 3 colours: sliver, blue and yellow.

MZ-N707

The two-tone MZ-N707 Net MD Walkman models combine all the features of the MZ-N505 with the added convenience of a LCD editing remote control and charging stand for use with a rechargeable battery. This sleek unit comes in blue and silver. Both MZ-N505 and the MZ-N707, will be available in May.

MDS-NT1

The compact and stylish MD Deck caters to home audio enthusiasts. MDS-NT1 is equipped with an analog output, OpenMG CD-ROM and USB cable. Users can connect their PCs to the MDS-NT1 to enjoy 32x* music transfer and MD editing functions. Therefore, users can enjoy the fun of Net MD at home freely and exchange their specially edited MD “albums” with friends. MDS-NT1 will be available in March 2002.

* Using LP4 mode. Results vary depending on PC specifications.

Key benefits of Sony’s Net MD Series

1) Convenient PC connectivity:
By employing a standard “USB” interface, music data can be transferred from a PC to a Net MD product at high speed. In addition, the Net MD protocol will enable a PC to control a Net MD product while editing music that has been recorded on a MiniDisc.

2) Compatibility with the existing MD hardware:

To ensure backward compatibility with existing MD products, Net MD will support both ATRAC and ATRAC3 audio compression technologies. Music recorded in ATRAC3 must be played in MDLP compliant devices.

3) Secure data transmission:

Net MD can securely transfer music data from an authenticated PC hard drive to an authenticated Net MD Walkman. The Net MD interface is also designed to support Serial Copy Management System (SCMS) to prevent second-generation music data digital copying.

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