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MP3 was everywhere at CES 2001, including at the Cirrus Logic stand; they introduced a new IC called the Maverick it'll form the heart of many new lifestyle products, even a plug-in MP3 player for the Handspring visor.

Another product to feature the Maverick is the $549 Phatnoise Phatbox MP3 autosound device. Phatnoise has four components: a 5Gb harddrive that fits in the trunk, a controller with faceplate for the inside of the carís cabin (it looks like a standard radio faceplate), a remote control and a docking station for synchronizing the system with a portable MP3 device. Phatnoise has been purchased in huge quantities by Ford and the system is scheduled to appear within the new Ford Explorers.

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Also occupying a prominent spot on the Cirrus Logic stand was a combination CD and MP3 player from Creative Labs known as the Nomad Jukebox. It'll replay MP3, WMA, WAV and CD media from either CD-R discs of SmartMedia.

Texas Instruments' new C54x series of chips are competing against Cirrus Logic's Maverick. TI demonstrated a digital class-D amplifier (competing with Apogee's DDX) that sports 30watts per channel ×2. For every two channels of amplification, two C54x chips and one pulse-width modulator chip is used.

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Moving up the MP3 scale, we next encounter the award-winning AudioRequest MP3 servers, Request (in two flavors) and Request Pro. With a 30 gigabyte harddrive, Request can hold appoximately 525 hours of music and retails for $1,199; a 20 gigabyte version is also available for $799. Both versions sport nome network connectivity and are available now. Unfortunately, they only have analog connections at the moment, but the next generation (expected in late summer/fall) will have digital outputs. The Request is available via http://www.bestbuy.com/

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The Request Pro is a professional variant of the Request, and is only available through custom installers. It is basically the same as the Request, but also has an RS-232 port and is Crestron-enabled. [] Click for a Larger Image

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Show report last updated: 23rd April 2001. 276 original images on-line.

 

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