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S3's scheme to establish its Rio system as the dominant MP3 playback platform moved a step or two forward when the company's spun off RioPort subsidiary announced a series of technology licensing deals with other digital music players.

Samsung and lesser known Korean OEMs Sewon Telecom and Human Information Technology (HIT) have all agreed to use RioPort's Music Device Manager (MDM) and Audio Manager software in their digital music hardware. Samsung will incorporate the code into its already-launched Yepp player. Sewon will use it in upcoming own-brand "SDMI-compliant audio players".

HIT will use the technology with its unfortunately-named C@MP CP-UF64 player, a device that allows regular cassette players to play digital music tracks that is due to launch later this week. It also works as a standalone player.

RioPort today took MDM to version 2.0, adding support for Microsoft's Window Media Player 7.0. MDM provides a framework allowing PC-based music playback software and portable music players to work together, and handle multiple music formats and security systems.

At the same time, online companies Bolt and Nifty said they will licence RioPort's Pulse One digital music download service. Pulse One content will be pumped out through Japan-based Nifty's @nifty Web site and Bolt's teen-oriented chat site. They've also signed up for branded versions of RioPort Audio Manager.

Bolt and Nifty join the likes of MTVi, House of Blues and the Ministry of Sound as what are effectively resellers of RioPort's online content. ®

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