Intel makes more music

Intel has announced the final specification of its new audio technology, in addition to agreeing a distribution deal with Musicmatch software.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  April 19, 2004

Intel has announced the final specification of its new high definition audio technology, in addition to agreeing a distribution deal with Musicmatch software. Intel's new High Definition (HD) Audio v1.0 specification will, it claims, pave the way for the broader adoption of next-generation audio. The company worked with over 80 partner firms, including PC and CE manufacturers, codec vendors and software developers to create the new specification, which will replace the old AC'97 specification, included on many of Intel's motherboards for almost a decade. "The PC will play a vital role in the explosion of home theatre and advanced audio solutions," said Thomas Loza, Intel technology initiatives manager. "The PC platform remains a versatile solution for the media applications consumers are demanding today and high definition audio capabilities will propel the PC to truly top-notch audio performance." By including such technologies on its motherboards, Intel’s offer to consumers and system builders alike is that they do not need to install a separate soundcard to enable a computer's audio. Intel has aligned its new HD audio architecture with Microsoft's Universal Audio Architecture (UAA), with engineers from both companies working together closely on specification development. The aim of Microsoft’s UAA is to create and maintain Windows audio class drivers for HD Audio, USB audio and 1394 audio technologies. "Intel's next generation HD Audio combined with Microsoft's Universal Audio Architecture class driver will allow for a greatly improved user experience," claimed Jason Reindorp, group product manager, Windows Digital Media Division, Microsoft Corporation. In addition to unveiling this specification, Intel has also announced a new deal with software company Musicmatch through which Musicmatch's Jukebox audio player and online music download service will be included with selected Intel desktop motherboards. Intel will incorporate Musicmatch Jukebox, Radio, MX and Downloads on the resource discs it includes with new motherboards, though the firm has yet to specify which motherboard models these will be. At the time of writing Intel was unable to confirm whether or not this deal would apply to Middle East markets. The deal follows Musicmatch's recent claim that its Jukebox program was one of the top ten most used online applications in February of this year, with Musicmatch citing usage numbers released by research company Nielsen//NetRatings.

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