QDesign Audio Format Aims for Quality, Security

QDesign Corp. has announced the launch of the QDX audio compression format -- a technology designed to deliver quality audio in a scalable and secure package.

According to the company, the new QDX format offers better-than-MP3audio quality and flexibility for music download and streaming. QDX delivers, in a single file, both CD-quality audio at 128Kbps and full-bandwidth stereo at 24Kbps. The format also supports inherent bitstream scalability, with QDesign's Fit-To-Media and Fit-To-Stream capabilities. The Fit-To-Media function allows consumers to click-and-drag personal playlists to portable players without the need to transcode or convert music files. Fit-to-Media lets users store up to 2.5 hours of music on a 32MB portable digital music player (compared to about 30 minutes for MP3 files).

The Fit-To-Stream feature of QDX is designed to offer music providers a "master once, deliver everywhere" flexibility -- a single source file is all that is required to stream music over a wide range of modem speeds and bandwidths.

QDX also offers copyright owners the benefit of an unpublished format with integrated encryption and watermarking. QDX is also designed for Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) compliance and is compatible with InterTrust's MetaTrust Utility and other industry-approved digital rights management/copyright protection measures.

QDX is supported in Version 2.0 of MVP, QDesign's music and video player/encoder application. A software development kit for both MacOS and Windows will be available to third-party application developers with support for QDX encoding and playback, as well as Fit-to-Media and Fit-to-Stream. The QDX decoder is available now to all portable device manufacturers on the Texas Instruments C5410 and C5416 chipsets. An ARM-based implementation will be available in the fall.

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