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Thursday, December 14, 2000
OSTA approves MultiPlay specification


"...The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) today announced the release of a new CD compatibility specification called MultiPlay for the computer and consumer industries. The new specification is intended to assure that Compact Disc Recordable (CD-R) and Compact Disc ReWritable (CD-RW) discs created on personal computers can be played in consumer CD and DVD players. MultiPlay is targeted at manufacturers of consumer CD/DVD players as well as computer CD recording software providers and media manufacturers.

The MultiPlay logo will enable consumers to recognize CD or DVD players that can utilize CD-R and CD-RW discs as readily as they utilize pressed discs. CD players designed to play audio discs may apply this MultiPlay logo to signify that they are capable of audio playback on CD-R and CD-RW discs as well. Similarly, DVD players which can play pressed DVD movie discs or CD audio discs may apply this MultiPlay logo to signify their capability to play audio on CD-R and CD-RW discs. A large number of CD and DVD players can also play CD-Text audio discs and VideoCD Movie discs. The new specification defines the following requirements for a consumer CD/DVD player to be MultiPlay capable:

- CD Players capable of only CD Audio must play CD Audio on CD-R and CD-RW discs.
- CD Players capable of CD Audio and CD-Text must play CD Audio and CD-Text on CD-R and CD-RW discs.
- DVD Players capable of only CD Audio (besides DVD Movie), must play CD Audio on CD-R and CD-RW disc.
- DVD Players capable of CD Audio and VideoCD must play CD Audio and VideoCD on CD-R and CD-RW discs.

The current MultiPlay specification includes Red Book Audio (standard uncompressed digital audio), CD-Text and VideoCD as the initial formats covered by the compatibility specification. Some CD and DVD players are also capable of playing Compressed Digital Audio file formats such as MP3 or WMA written to CD-R or CD-RW discs. To address these compressed audio formats, OSTA has defined a new logical disc format called CDA (Compressed Digital Audio) to ensure quick playability and navigation of MP3, WMA and other compressed audio files. The CDA disc format will bring consumers the quick access they expect.

OSTA reviewed the first proposed draft of the CDA disc format specification last week. It intends to complete development of this disc specification by working together with industry software and player manufacturers. The first display of the new disc format is planned at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, January 5-10, 2001. Completion of the CDA disc specification is targeted for March 2001, when it will be available for licensing and inclusion in the MultiPlay logo program.

OSTA intends to license the MultiPlay logo to consumer electronic device manufacturers, CD media manufacturers and CD recording software manufacturers on a royalty-free basis. The logo license will grant the right to apply the MultiPlay logo upon successful self-certification of products with MultiPlay test discs provided by OSTA. The licensee will pay a one-time fee for the test discs and logo license and must comply with the licensing rules..."



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