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The  Astell&Kern player is the first portable hi-fi audio device from  iriver, capable of Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) playback. MQS  files are sound or music files saved as a lossless format, straight from the  studio mastering source. Because less data is lost during the digital  mastering process and the sound quality is distortion-free, a dramatic  difference from the 24bit source data from MQS files and CD (WAV)/MP3s can be heard and felt. MQS files are often in  24bit WAV or FLAC formats. With the encoding process in the AK100 MQS  Portable System, MQS music and sounds are more refined and pure.

Henry Park, CEO of iriver,  says, “The Astell&Kern audio player is the first portable music  player from iriver that delivers recording studio quality sound. Music lovers will finally get the  quality they have been longing for ever since the MP3 was introduced.  The reason why the Astell&Kern player is so much better is because  the MP3 music file has only accept a small percentage of the data of the original recording. We go all the way.”

Park  describes the player as “a small, light, and portable product that  meets the same exacting standards found in expensive hi-fi audio  systems. Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) is considered as the last phase of sound produced in mastering studios  and uses ultra-high resolution sound quality (24 bit, 192 kHz). MQS  provides the highest digital music without distortion and loss through  sampling (sampling rate) and quantization (bit resolution).

A  four minute song in the MQS source format takes about 200 MB of memory  space and in a typical Compact Disc (CD), gets down sampled to 16 bit,  44.1 kHz that takes up about 40MB. Lossy compression digital music files, such as MP3s, take up about 6 to 7  MB. MQS provides high-resolution music that represents a rich,  spacious, detailed, and dynamic sound that cannot be replicated from a  MP3 or a CD,” explains Park.

Iriver’s President, Chulmin Lee says,  “The MQS encoding process gives the music a refined and pure sound.  Consumers have never heard a deep and rich musical experience in a portable player  like the one that is found on the Astell&Kern. In addition,  consumers will now be able to listen to high-resolution music anywhere  and at any time, previously found only in recording studios that music industry professionals have access to.”

The  Astell&Kern portable Hi-fi Music Player contains 32GB of internal  memory and can be expanded via two (2) microSD card slots, each  supporting an additional 32GB microSD card.  The Astell&Kern is compatible with FLAC, WAV, WMA, MP3, OGG, and APE  audio files.  Its 2,000 mAH battery provides up to 16 hours of playback  on a single charge. The Astell&Kern offers numerous connection  options, including micro-USB, optical in/out and headphone out. 

Iriver  has partnered with HDtracks to provide users with albums encoded with  Mastering Quality Sound. HDtracks is a high-quality music download  service offering an exciting catalog of Mastering Quality music from every major label across all genres.   They have several formats available for fans of all types of music. If  you would like genuine CD-quality sound, HDtracks offers both AIFF and  FLAC lossless files. For those who wish to carry their music in a portable mp3 player, they have 320kbps files that far  exceed the quality of standard MP3 files.  For audiophiles, HDtracks has  a large catalog of ultra-high resolution 96kHz/24bit and 192kHz/24-bit  titles from legendary rock, jazz, and classical artists as well as emerging artists. This is true DVD-audio sound  quality for music lovers that demand the very best! 

The  Astell&Kern also includes the iriver plus4 software for Windows  users, which allows users to convert tracks from a CD to a variety of  formats and manage music on the device. 

The AK100 is $699 and is available at high-end audio stores and online at Amazon.com, Buy.com, ebay.com and www.iriverinc.com

For a complete list of high-end audio retailers in your area carrying the Astell&Kern, please visit www.iriverinc.com.

About iriver
iriver  Ltd. is a global IT device company. Since its founding in 1999, iriver  has become renowned for its product innovation, style-driven technology,  and track record of market dominance. After producing many award-winning Portable Media devices, the company  diversified its categories to include e-reader, Tablet PC, VoIP Phone,  and more. Iriver is making its presence felt in the European e-reader  market, including the U.K, Germany and Russia, as well as China. Iriver’s e-readers compete in both function and  design, featuring iriver’s sleek signature style and rich multimedia  content. For more information on iriver and its product lines, please  visit: www.iriverinc.com
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