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Monday, October 21, 2002
 SONY unveils new portable CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive with standalone CD/MP3 playback
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Message Text: Sony Electronics today debuted a portable, battery-operated CD-RW and DVD-ROM drive that doubles as a standalone CD, MP3 and WAV player. The new versatile device (model MPD-AP20U) incorporates a Memory Stick® media slot and operates on a rechargeable battery to provide users with the ultimate all-in-one burner/player whether at home, in the office, or on the go. The lightweight drive includes a hi-speed USB interface for plug-and-play connectivity and comes with easy-to-use software for Macintosh® and Windows® platforms.

The sleek and silvery device enables computer users to perform common CD-R/RW burning tasks, such as backing up data, recording digital images and creating original music CDs at up to 24X speed. When connected to a computer, the MPD-AP20U also operates as a DVD-ROM drive for viewing DVD movies, and as a Memory Stick media reader for viewing, saving and transferring files.

When detached from a computer, the drive works as a stand-alone CD player that can play back standard audio CDs, as well as MP3 and WAV files from either a CD, DVD, or Memory Stick media.

"Sony has a strength in designing innovative products that integrate AV and IT so users can benefit from maximum connectivity and flexibility," said Robert DeMoulin, marketing manager for branded storage products in Sony Electronics' IT Products Division. "With the benefits of four products wrapped into one portable device, the MPD-AP20U is an ideal all-in-one combination drive for the mobile professional or savvy consumer."

The new drive comes complete with all the necessary accessories and a suite of software to begin recording and enjoying out of the box. The key features include:

* Hi-Speed Universal Serial Bus (USB) Interface: Flexible, fast and easy connectivity and setup on Macintosh® and Windows® operating systems. Based on USB 2.0 specification and backward compatible at lower speeds to USB 1.1.

* High-speed Writing and Reading: 24X maximum CD-R recording, 10X maximum CD-RW recording, 24X maximum CD-ROM reading, and 8X DVD-ROM reading with Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0 compliant).

* Power-Burn Recording Management System: Sony's buffer under-run and shock protection technology.

* "Drop-in" Cradle: Provides USB connection and AC power for easy computer connectivity and battery recharging.

* A Memory Stick Media Slot: Enables consumers to seamlessly transfer digital content onto a CD-R/RW disc from dozens of different electronics devices, or playback MP3/WAV files in standalone mode.

* MP3 and WAV Audio Format Decoding: Decodes and plays MP3 files encoded from 32Kb/sec. and up to 320Kb/sec. Also, decodes WAV files for playback. Plays back files recorded on single or multi-session CD-ROM, or from packet recorded disc.

* A Stamina Rechargeable Battery: Battery life allows for up to approximately nine CD-R discs or eight CD-RW discs to be written at 24X speed, up to four hours of CD audio playback, up to one-and-a-half hours of DVD-ROM playback, and up to 10 hours of MP3 CD playback.

* Wired Remote Control with Backlit LCD Display: Gives quick access to the playback controls and displays playback list and MP3/WAV music titles in ID3 tag format, or CD Text information if encoded onto an audio CD. Supports playlist function and programming.

* Earphones: Bundled with compact earphones.

Software Suite

The MPD-AP20U drive comes bundled with a software suite that offers feature-intensive applications for Macintosh and Windows platforms, along with an integrated product installer that provides an easy path for users to choose the software they prefer to install on their system. The software suite includes:

B's Recorder Gold (Windows & Mac): Lets users create backup copies of CDs, as well as customized video, music and data CDs from various file formats;
B's Clip (Windows only): Allows users to drag and drop files and folders to a CD-RW disc as easily as to a floppy disk or hard drive;
Retrospect ® Express (Windows & Mac): Full-featured backup software that provides users with instant back-up and disaster recovery capabilities;
ArcSoft PhotoBase™ (Windows & Mac): Allows users to create image, video and audio albums for easy management; share files in the form of slide shows, Web presentations or video postcards, in addition to storing multimedia files on CDs;
ArcSoft PhotoStudio® (Windows & Mac): Offers a quick and easy way to edit digital image files;
MUSICMATCH® Jukebox (Windows only): Offers users a complete personal system to play, record, organize and discover new music through MUSICMATCH Radio; and,
Cyberlink Power DVD® (Windows only): Allows playback of DVD-Video discs on your PC.

Availability, Pricing and Warranty

The MPD-AP20U drive will be available nationwide in November through catalogs, retail outlets and online shopping sites, including SonyStyle.com, for an estimated selling price of less than $300.

According to DeMoulin, Sony supports the concept of "worry-free" installation and easy operation with toll-free customer and technical service, Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST, along with a one-year limited warranty from date of purchase.

Key Specifications: Model MPD-AP20U

Interface: Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0 compliant), Stereo mini jack (headphone jack with remote control connector, Memory Stick media slot
24X (max) recording (CD-R) and reading (CD-ROM); 10X (max) recording (CD-RW), 8X (max) reading (DVD-ROM)
Dimensions: 136.4mm x 22mm x 159mm (W x H x D)
Weight (including internal battery): approx. 350 grams
System requirements: Pentium® II 233Mhz or faster PC with 32Mb RAM, HDD with 1.2Mb sustained transfer rate or faster, Direct-X supported sound card, Installed USB 1.1 or 2.0 port, Power Macintosh G3, Power Mac G4, iMac DV or iBook® computer running Mac OS 9.2.2 or higher OR Windows 98/2000/Me/XP operating system
Random access time: 160ms
Battery life: up to 10 hours continuous MP3 CD playback, up to four hours CD-DA playback, up to one-and-a-half hours DVD video playback, up to nine CD-R or seven CD-RW disc recording
Buffer memory: 8 MB
Recording method: Disc-at-Once, Track-at-Once, Session-at-Once, Fixed & Variable Packet Writing
Availability: November 2002
ESP: Less than $300 (Estimated U.S. retail selling prices. Actual prices may vary)
 
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