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TI, audio firm sing praises of new music technology

Texas Instruments teams up with QDesign to develop new chips that let portable Internet-based music players store up to five times more.

Texas Instruments has teamed up with an audio technology company to develop new chips that let portable Internet-based music players store up to five times more.

Texas Instruments (TI) will bring out a chip design based on its digital signal processor technology combined with software from QDesign.

QDesign's music software will allow users to move their favorite music from audio CDs to both the MP3 standard, which is popular on the Internet, and QDesign music files. MP3 audio files can also be converted to more data-efficient QDesign music files for longer playback time on both desktop PCs and TI-chip-based portable players, the companies said.

Qdesign's software, referred to generally as a "codec," delivers high-quality audio but at low data rates.

The technology will also work with Apple Computer's newest multimedia software.

Qdesign said Apple has adopted the new generation technology as the audio compression solution for QuickTime 4, its program for Web-based audio and video streaming. The companies said QuickTime 4 is "integral" to the new design.

"QuickTime is used as the architecture to download music files from the Internet, store them, and play them back," the companies said in a statement.

TI made it clear that its chips are adaptable to any format. TI claims that QDesign can produce high-quality sound at a fraction the size of typical MP3 files.

The TI-QDesign solution will follow Secure Digital Music Initiative guidelines, which seek to protect content owners' rights by building security measures such as watermarking, encryption, and decryption into compact discs, electronic music distribution, personal computer hosts and portable players, the companies said.