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S3 licenses Dolby AAC ‘MP3 killer’

Digital music format promises better sound quality, smaller files sizes

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S3 is to support Dolby's Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) digital music format in future versions of its Rio MP3 player and the upcoming Rio 600.

AAC offers higher music fidelity than MP3 and generates files that are around 30 per cent smaller than the industry standard format. In fact, AAC is part of the MPEG 2 digital media standard due to its superiority over MP3 - aka MPEG 1, Level 3. AAC provides up to 48 channels of audio, sample rates of up to 96kHz, and provides broadcast quality audio 320Kbps for a 5.1-channel audio.

S3 actually licensed AAC back in April, through its RioPort digital music portal division, which suggests the company's finally getting ready to ship the new Rios. In a statement, S3 said it would work with Dolby to optimise AAC for the Rio, something we would imagine has been going on since the April announcement.

And, of course, S3 will get the added kudos of stamping Dolby's famous double-D logo on its next-generation Rios, which arguably carries more brand recognition among the consumer electronics-buying public than the name 'MP3' does. That's a big step forward in bringing the digital music market into the audio mainstream. ®

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