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The Creative PlayCenter
 
Vienna SoundFont Studio
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Creative Technology, Ltd. (Nasdaq: CREAF), an innovator of market-leading multimedia solutions for personal entertainment, today announced the availability of Live!Ware 2.0 - the latest release in its Live!Ware program. Live!Ware 2.0 dramatically enhances the entertainment experience for Sound Blaster Live! and Sound Blaster Live! Value users. Live!Ware 2.0 leverages the programmable design of the EMU10K1 processor - the powerful audio engine at the heart of Sound Blaster Live! solutions - to bring new and existing users a completely new experience through a software upgrade.

With Live!Ware 2.0, Sound Blaster Live! and Live! Value users receive increased capabilities for music creation and improved Environmental Audio and 3D positional audio technologies for gaming. Live!Ware 2.0 also provides other key features: support for MP3 playback, enhancement of MP3 files with Environmental Audio presets, an easier-to-use customer interface and additional options for connectivity to a wide range of consumer electronic devices.

"Never before has a company been able to deliver a completely new, significantly enhanced experience for an audio card with a software upgrade," said Sim Wong Hoo, founder and chief executive officer of Creative Technology, Ltd. "With Live!Ware 2.0 and the EMU10K1 we've completely revamped the end-user experience providing technology that is far more immersive and a user interface that focuses on ease-of-use. Live!Ware 2.0 and the highly flexible, extremely powerful architecture of the EMU10K1 allow us to offer our Sound Blaster Live! customers continuous upgrades, including more and more of the features and technology they've been asking for."

Sound Blaster Live! Solutions

Sound Blaster Live! and Live! Value are designed to bring high-quality, real-time effects and digital audio technologies found in professional studios, plus the interactivity found in PC games to the desktop. Based on the programmable EMU10K1 processor, designed by Creative's subsidiary, E-mu Systems, Inc., and Creative's Environmental Audio technology, the Sound Blaster Live! and Live! Value produce an intense interactive audio experience for gaming, music and entertainment.

Creative's Live!Ware Program

The Live!Ware upgrade program is designed to offer new features, enhancements and software to existing Sound Blaster Live! and Sound Blaster Live! Value owners. This is possible because of the re-programmable nature of the powerful EMU10K1 audio processing chip used in the Sound Blaster Live! family of cards. The Live!Ware program protects the consumer's investment in Sound Blaster Live! cards by offering new features and applications that introduce the latest technology while extending the life of the card.

Features of Live!Ware 2.0

Live!Ware 2.0 is an easy-to-install software upgrade that allows owners of Sound Blaster Live! and Sound Blaster Live! Value products to upgrade to the latest technology and features. Live!Ware 2.0 incorporates all previous releases of Live!Ware. The following are some of the features and enhancements of Live!Ware 2.0:

Immersive Audio for Gaming and Entertainment

  • Enhanced 3D Audio Engine - a new 3D audio engine for superior discrete positioning of individual sounds including elevation cues, occlusion and obstruction and improved 3D positional audio on 2-speaker, 4-speaker and headphone configurations
  • 32 Accelerated 3D Audio Channels - hardware acceleration for 3D positional audio for up to 32 simultaneous sound sources
  • 80 Environmental Audio Presets - new environment presets based on new algorithms offer more compelling settings for legacy games, CD audio and Internet audio applications such as MP3 playback

More Tools For Music and Digital Audio Creation

  • 1,024 PCI Voices - this doubles the current number of MIDI voices available
  • Vienna SoundFont Studio - (Sound Blaster Live! only) - easily create SoundFont instruments by recording or important audio clips and adding effects.
  • Massive Library of MIDI Instruments - (Sound Blaster Live! only) - over 1000 MIDI instruments are included in the Live!Ware 2.0 upgrade.
  • New Creative Recorder - provides an easy, one-step process to do digital recording
  • Front/Rear Speaker Volume Control - provides the ability to balance the volume between front and rear speakers for an improved Environmental Audio experience
  • New MiniDisc Center - Live!Ware 2.0 adds the MiniDisc center for organizing songs into albums and transferring them to and from MiniDiscs (this function requires the Digital I/O daughter board)

Easy-To-Use Interface With Improved Connectivity

  • Creative Surround Mixer - this new application combines three separate controls under one user interface centralizing the ability to customize the Environmental Audio experience.
  • Live!Surround - Live!Surround connects your Sound Blaster Live! to home theater systems for the ability to play Environmental Audio and DirectSound3D games and music.
  • AC-3 Pass-Thru - with the Live!Ware 2.0 upgrade, users can enjoy Dolby Digital (AC-3) sound in supported DVD movies by using Creative's upcoming SoftPC-DVD and a Dolby Digital Speaker System such as Cambridge SoundWorks DeskTop Theater 5.1 or a Dolby Digital receiver.

MP3 support & Enhanced Digital Entertainment

  • Creative PlayCenter - this new version of PlayCenter allows for the playback of popular audio formats and the ability to add Environmental presets - this now includes support for playing MP3 audio files. This user-friendly application also provides automatic SoundFont support during MIDI playback, letting you seamlessly experience Creative's SoundFont technology.
  • More than 30 special effects presets to enhance MP3 music - Special effects and EQ presets for various music genres make Sound Blaster Live! an ideal choice for those who want to enjoy Internet Music and MP3 entertainment. These effects, available on the Creative Launcher, can also be independently applied while using any popular MP3 decoder or player.

Availability

Live!Ware 2.0 can be ordered immediately on a CD for US$9.95 (excluding shipping and handling) from Creative's customer service at 1(800) 998-1000. A limited version (that doesn't include all the software, SoundFonts, and instruments) can be downloaded free of charge.

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