Windows Media 9 Series Debuts as a Key Feature of Leading Professional Audio Tools at NAB2003

At NAB2003, Microsoft® is showcasing advanced applications of its Windows Media® 9 technology as a key feature of leading software and hardware tools for the professional broadcast community.

Accom, Adobe, Avid, Digidesign, Discreet, Drastic Technologies, Echo Digital Audio, M-Audio/Midiman, Steinberg Media Technologies, and Sonic Foundry are all demonstrating professional multichannel audio and video production tools at the Microsoft booth.

Windows Media 9 offers 7.1-channel multichannel audio and standard-definition (SD) or high-definition (HD) video quality, in one-third the bit rate of MPEG-2, according to Microsoft. The broad spectrum of video acquisition, video production and high-resolution multichannel audio post-production solutions on show at NAB underscores how Microsoft Windows Media 9 Series is now a viable format for the professional authoring community.

“The two most important goals for us in designing Windows Media 9 Series were to deliver a new level of professional quality and to make it an easy platform that developers could harness for their own solutions,” said Amir Majidimehr, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.

“To have this kind of support in shipping products less than three months following our final release speaks to how easy it is for developers to build on our platform and the value of our innovations for the professional community.”

The following new professional multichannel audio authoring solutions highlighted at NAB2003 have integrated the compression advantages of WMA Pro 7.1 channel capabilities as a key feature:

Digidesign® is unveiling plans at NAB for the new Pro Tools Windows Media Encoder 9 Series, which allows Pro Tools users to import and export Windows Media Audio (WMA) files in the simple and familiar Pro Tools environment. At Digidesign will give Windows-based Pro Tools demos showing a sneak peek of the new functionality, scheduled to be available in late 2003.

Steinberg, the Audio Group of Pinnacle Systems, will show support for WMA Pro in Steinberg’s flagship product, Nuendo 2.0. Designed with input from some of the biggest names in the audio industry, Nuendo 2.0 is built upon the most-advanced technologies available today to meet the needs of professionals in all facets of audio production: composition, film, broadcast, music, postproduction, surround sound, game sound and multimedia.

Echo Digital Audio will demonstrate its complete line of professional audio recording systems, as well as its new family of super-high-fidelity audio record and playback adapters for laptop/notebook computers, which offer complete support for the full-spectrum, full resolution audio capabilities of Windows Media 9 series.

M-Audio/Midiman will demonstrate its Delta 1010 PCI digital recording system, with support for playback of WMA Pro Audio.

Sonic Foundry will demo its new Vegas 4.0, which provides integrated real-time video and audio nonlinear editing of Windows Media Video and multichannel Windows Media Audio Professional (WMA Pro), with comprehensive features that include surround sound production.

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