|By Tom Dunlap
Staff Writer,CNET News.com
Texas Instruments and the Fraunhofer Institute are adding a new twist to transferring MP3 audio files onto portable music players.
The two announced plans to develop the first MP3 and AAC (Advance Audio Coding) encoders for portable audio players based on Fraunhofer's encoder software.
The upshot is that music lovers will be able to download songs to their portable device right from the CD player, rather than downloading the tunes via a PC. The announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
In technical terms, combining Fraunhofer's software with TI's programmable digital signal processors (DSP) will allow device makers to add AAC and MP3 encoding functionality to portable devices for the first time.
As part of the deal, TI will license Fraunhofer's encoders and offer them to portable device manufacturers.
"As the first company to support both AAC and MP3 encoding on our DSP, Texas Instruments is reaffirming its commitment to the digital audio industry," John Van Scoter, TI's Internet Audio vice president, said in a statement.
TI's digital signal processors make up the guts of 19 next-generation portable players due to be released this year.
MP3 players are a hit at CES, with a host of electronics manufacturers unveiling new products and plans that will likely increase the popularity of the format. Casio, for instance, showed off an MP3 player that fits like a wristwatch.
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