Headspace, Inc.(www.headspace.com), the interactive audio leader and creator of Beatnik technology, today announced the release of Beatnik Player 2.0. The enhanced version of this popular Web audio player adds seamless cross-browser support for both Microsoft Internet Explorer and the AOL browser, joining Netscape Navigator 4.5 which already includes Beatnik as part of its standard install.
The Beatnik Player 2.0 (550 kb) is available for free download today at http://www.headspace.com/to?player. Headspace also announced today the release of the Beatnik Player Pro 2.0, with CD-quality audio (44 khz at 16-bit) and a 6 mb soundbank. The Beatnik Player Pro 2.0 is available for $19 at http://www.headspace.com/to?player-pro.
"Our goal to continually push the envelope of audio on the Web to meet the demands of both consumers and developers has led to the creation of an advanced player," said Thomas Dolby, Founder and Chief Beatnik of Headspace. "The Web community can now use Beatnik Player 2.0's unique interactivity on a variety of platforms and still benefit from the faster downloads made possible by the red-hot MP3 encoding."
Unlike typical linear MP3 players such as WinAmp, Beatnik Player 2.0 is multi-channel, non-linear, highly interactive technology that is easily accessible, user-friendly and is rights-secure. As a result of this cutting-edge development, both musician David Bowie and MTV's Online division have chosen the Beatnik Player 2.0 and the Beatnik Developer Tools to deliver interactive Beatnik content to their site visitors. Web surfers can immediately check out the new features at David Bowie's web site http://www.davidbowie.com/ that features an experimental "interactive MP3"-encoded version of his number one hit song "Fame." Bowie fans can now use the Beatnik Player 2.0 to remix the drum, bass and guitar parts, re-create their own grooves and modify the song structure while controlling Bowie vocals.
"I knew Thomas as a brilliant keyboard player, but we hadn't worked together since I played Live Aid at Wembley in 1985," said David Bowie, world-renowned musician and creator of his own BowieNet Internet Service Provider. "This new stuff he's doing with his Beatnik technology is amazing. He's shown me ways to provide my fans with the most cutting-edge technology and make BowieNet unlike any other music site on the Web. Thomas and his company are really blazing a trail for music in the twenty-first century."
This latest version of the popular Beatnik Web audio player represents a significant technological breakthrough: It is the Internet industry's first creative use of the controversial MP3 compression algorithm in an interactive and copyright-protected context. Beatnik's audio tools put a secure "wrapper" around MP3-encoded music. Record companies and copyright protection societies are delighted with Beatnik Player 2.0 because it is virtually impossible to illegally duplicate and redistribute Beatnik's RMF (Rich Music Format) files. Visitors to MTV Online and BowieNet will therefore be able to enjoy fast-loading musical Web pages which let them directly interact with their favorite music, re-mix tracks in real time and create their own customized soundtracks. The Beatnik Player 2.0 achieves this by encrypting multiple MP3-encoded audio samples within a single, trackable RMF file. Headspace owns multiple patents relating to this technology.
The Beatnik Player 2.0 has recently been bundled with both Netscape 4.5, and Intel's Pentium III, in addition to shipping with Macromedia's Dreamweaver, Director, and NetObjects Fusion. Beatnik technology was selected by Sun as the core audio engine in its latest Java 1.2 Virtual Machine.
The Beatnik Player 2.0 and the Beatnik family of tools provide an important function for e-commerce companies and corporate marketing departments who need to build strong branding identity on the Web. Beatnik-enhanced sites and Beatnik-sonified ad banners can be used to drive traffic to Web sites, keep visitors engaged longer and build strong brand awareness.