Ray Freeman, OSTA Facilitator

Felix Nemirovsky, Chairman,
MultiRead Subcommittee
(415) 643-0944

Jan Johnson
MultiPath Communications


MultiAudio logical disc format provides faster disc initialization and improved user experience

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – July 23, 2001 – The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) announced today that it has developed and approved a new specification for organizing compressed audio files on optical disc. The intent of the new Compact Disc compressed audio specification, designated MultiAudio, is to ensure that discs with compressed files, such as MP3 or WMA, are as easy to play as standard Red Book audio CDs, whether played back on a PC or consumer electronics device. The new specification creates a Table of Contents used for retrieval, management and playback of compressed audio files and playlists by a CD or DVD consumer player.

The MultiAudio specification enables the playback device to quickly read the table of contents, bypassing the lengthy delays for disc initialization that can occur today while the player identifies all of the files on the disc. In addition, it allows playlists to be created so songs can be accessed by genre, album, artist or custom grouping created by the user.

"With today’s MP3 and WMA compressed audio files, hundreds of songs can be stored on a single CD," explained Felix Nemirovsky, Chairman of OSTA’s MultiRead Subcommittee. "Our MultiAudio specification provides faster access to these files while making it easier for the users to retrieve different playlists, based on the album, artist, genre, their own favorites, or the entire contents of the CD."

Revision 1.0 of the MultiAudio CD-CA specification has been unanimously approved by OSTA’s voting members, and it is posted on the industry group’s website at www.osta.org/multiaudio. The first consumer CD and DVD players conforming to the specification are expected to appear in the market beginning in third quarter 2001.

The MultiAudio logical disc format is an extension of current MP3 capability on CE devices, and provides backward compatibility with current MP3 disc players capable of playing compressed audio files stored on optical disc. To facilitate creation and display of playlists, the specification provides a standardized method of storing information regarding the track name, year recorded, performer name, composer name, songwriter name, arranger name, album name, and genre.

Additional information on compressed audio formats, with links to other industry sites can be found on OSTA’s MP3 information page at www.osta.org/mp3info.

Device manufacturers who demonstrate compliance with the MultiAudio specification will be able to obtain a royalty-free license from OSTA to use the MultiAudio logo. The logo will enable consumers to recognize CD and DVD players that provide these enhanced features

The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) was incorporated as an international trade association in 1992 to promote the use of recordable optical technologies and products. The organization’s membership includes optical product manufacturers and resellers from three continents, representing more than 85 percent of worldwide writable optical product shipments. They work to shape the future of the industry through regular meetings of CD/DVD, file interchange, high performance, market development, and planning committees. Interested companies worldwide are invited to join the organization and participate in its programs by contacting an OSTA representative at +1 805/963-3853, by fax +1 805/962-1541 or by addressing its Web site. More information on this technology and other optical technologies used widely today is available at www.osta.org.

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