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Creative Labs to offer digital music player

But first it's waiting for the music industry to get the formats sorted out

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Creative Labs is to produce a digital music player to compete with rival Diamond Multimedia's Rio PMP300, according to the company's European brand manager, Eion Leyden. Quoted in the UK media, Leyden gave few details of the forthcoming product, but he did make the interesting comment that "MP3 will not rule the roost" and that Creative's player would support multiple formats from the word go. That suggests Creative is waiting for the outcome of the music industry's Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), which was formed last year to craft a universal standard for downloadable music that offers the flexibility of MP3, the current favourite of the Internet music scene, yet protects copyright material from piracy. The SDMI's recommendation will carry considerable weight, thanks to the support of the major record labels, the source of well over 80 per cent of the music sold across the world. Yesterday's formation of the Genuine Music Coalition (see earlier story), a grouping of 48 MP3 music distributors, independent record labels and led by music software specialist Liquid Audio, to back a modified version of MP3 with anti-piracy features, suggests even the MP3 supporters recognise the strength of SDMI and they must bring themselves closer to it. ®

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