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Thursday, May 15, 2003
SRS Labs and Samsung Electronics sign global technology licensing agreement


SRS Labs, a leading provider of innovative audio, voice and ASIC technology solutions, today announced that it has signed a technology licensing agreement with Samsung, the number one electronics manufacturer in Korea. The new collaboration includes the license of SRS Labs' patented WOW(TM) audio technology across multiple Samsung product lines and divisions. The first product line to feature WOW is yepp(TM), Samsung's flagship, flash- based, digital audio players. WOW creates a natural and expansive audio experience with rich, deep bass over smaller speakers or headphones, such as those found in portable digital audio players.

The small cylindrical design of the yepp portable player looks much like a tube of lipstick. In addition to the featured WOW audio technology, the player includes an FM radio, USB socket to connect to a personal computer and real-time encoding function that enables users to record both radio and audio from an external device connected via a mini jack. A single AAA battery provides approximately 15 hours of playback. The YP-55 began shipping in South Korea on April 20 and is available in two versions. The 128MB model (YP-55H) retails for $172 USD and the 256MB version (YP-55V) retails at $205 USD. In a recent article, Samsung said it expects sales of the player will contribute to around 60 percent of the estimated 200,000 players it aims to sell in South Korea in 2003. Shipments to the United States and other overseas markets will begin in the next few months.

Digital audio player is a term used to describe a device that plays back compressed digital audio files in any one of several formats, including MP3, Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), and are available in portable, car and home form factors. Over the past few years, most digital audio players primarily played MP3 files and at a hefty price tag of over $200 for only 30 minutes worth of songs. Today's players take full advantage of recent technology innovations, such as longer battery life, more storage and more audio functionality. These tangible user benefits and dropping prices have resulted in a resurgence of the digital audio player market. According to InStat/MDR, the worldwide market for portable digital music player unit shipments (including solid state and revolving media products) will be robust over the next five years, growing from about 7.2 million in 2002 to almost 30 million in 2006.


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