Dolby Laboratories and Omnifone Collaborate to Introduce Dolby Pulse Multi-Platform File Format

February 17, 2010 | 17:06

Companies: #dolby

* Global collaboration with Omnifone for Dolby Pulse multi-platform file format for cloud-based mobile, PC, in-home, and in-car digital music services
* Dolby Pulse: up to 4 times more bandwidth and data rate efficiency at a comparable sound quality to other file formats
* Dolby launches Dolby Media Generator for next-generation digital media formats
* Omnifone to encode its roster of 6.5 million tracks into Dolby Pulse in 2010
* Support for Dolby Pulse from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, and Warner Music International and leading independent labels



16 February 2010, GSMA Mobile World Congress, Barcelona - Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB) and digital music service provider Omnifone today announced an international collaboration to introduce the multi-platform digital file format Dolby® Pulse into cloud-based music services for mobile, PC, in-home, and in-car streaming and downloading. To achieve this, Omnifone will be Dolby’s first customer to utilize the pre-processing and encoding tool Dolby Media Generator to encode its entire global catalogue of over 6.5 million tracks into the Dolby Pulse format.



Dolby Pulse combines the efficiency of High Efficiency AAC (HE AAC) audio coding with Dolby’s proven quality and audio expertise, ensuring an optimal combination of quality, efficiency, and integrity of content. Part of the MPEG-4 standard, HE AAC offers rich, premium sound at low bit rates, making it ideal for bandwidth-constrained applications. The Dolby Pulse system adds true Dolby metadata capability to the efficiency of open standard HE AAC.



“As digital content services and networked devices become part of our day-to-day lives, the ability to deliver digital content in the most efficient file format becomes increasingly important,” said Kevin Yeaman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dolby Laboratories. “Dolby’s collaboration with Omnifone to pioneer the first commercial use of both the Dolby Pulse format and Dolby Media Generator will bring a new level of speed, quality, and efficiency to Omnifone’s digital media services.



“With multiple services live in 20 countries today, Omnifone has outstanding reach as a digital music service provider and is an ideal partner for the introduction of the Dolby Pulse codec to consumers across multiple cloud-based services on a wide range of devices globally,” continued Yeaman.



“Omnifone is proud to be Dolby’s first customer to bring the high-performance, high-efficiency Dolby Pulse format to market,” said Rob Lewis, CEO of Omnifone. “Consumers demand great sound quality, fast downloads, and streaming, and want to be able to store more media on their connected devices. Omnifone’s decision to encode tracks using Dolby Media Generator into the Dolby Pulse format in 2010 will deliver highly efficient track sizes, faster delivery speeds, and higher sound quality per megabyte than traditional formats like MP3.”



Dolby Media Generator

Dolby Media Generator is a software solution for the generation and delivery of digital content to multiple devices and platforms across both fixed and mobile networks. It is able to encode audio content in the highly efficient Dolby Pulse format with excellent audio quality at a low bit rate of 48 kilo bits per second (kbps) and can deliver good quality audio at bit rates as low as 24 kbps, delivering one audio bitstream for net connected TVs, set-top boxes, mobiles, PCs, and in-car and internet based services, as well as multiple embedded services.



Label Support

Omnifone’s global catalogue of over 6.5 million licensed tracks from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, and Warner Music International and leading independent labels will be encoded into Dolby Pulse using Dolby Media Generator. The major labels support the introduction of the Dolby Pulse format for mass market cloud-based digital media services:



“Content formats have an important part to play in the introduction of legitimate music access across mainstream connected consumer electronics,” said Rob Wells, Senior Vice President, Digital, Universal Music Group International. “Omnifone’s introduction of the Dolby Pulse format will enable a better user experience for music consumers on an ever expanding range of devices, with faster downloads, and better sound quality from smaller files requiring less memory. Suddenly, you can store four times more music on your device than before and still get great sound quality from the files.”



“Great sound quality is a critical component of providing a compelling premium digital music service for mass-market consumers, and Dolby is an established leader in developing high-fidelity audio entertainment solutions. We are pleased to be partnering with Omnifone and Dolby to offer fans a rich, multi-platform listening experience,” said Michael Paull, Executive Vice President, Global Digital Business, Sony Music Entertainment.



Eric Daugan, Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy, Warner Music Europe commented “The introduction of this impressive file format represents a further step forward in the quality and speed of the digital music experience that can be offered to partners and fans.”



Ian Whitfield, Vice President, Digital Development for EMI Music said: “EMI is always looking to support products and services that give consumers the best music experience on the devices and platforms of their choice. With Dolby Pulse Omnifone are enhancing their service with higher quality file formats and greater flexibility which will be a great benefit to their customers.”



Notes to Editors



Benchmarking

Independent listening tests have shown that Dolby Pulse file format provides up to 4 times more bandwidth and data rate efficiency at a comparable sound quality to other file formats. A 3 minute Dolby Pulse track encoded at 48kbps with a file size of 1.08 megabytes ranked “excellent” using the MUSHRA test conducted by the European Broadcast Union (EBU). In the same test MP3 scored less than half that of Dolby Pulse and MP3 was rated as “poor”. Significantly the test revealed that some listeners confused Dolby Pulse at 48kbps with full quality CD audio material.



About Omnifone

Omnifone is the world’s leading independent provider of cloud based unlimited music services for consumer electronics vendors, ISPs, automotive and mobile companies including the likes of HP, BSkyB, Sony Ericsson, Vodafone, Hutchison Telecom and Telenor who are rolling out Omnifone's multi-award winning unlimited music services globally.



MusicStation®, Omnifone’s multi-award winning cloud based unlimited music service is utilised by partners in 20 countries worldwide, enabling legitimate unlimited music access direct-to-device across a wide range of in-home, in-car, mobile and PC device platforms, tailored specifically to partner requirements.



At CES 2009 Omnifone announced a partnership with Gracenote Inc., winning a ‘Best of CES’ award for an in-car entertainment system with MusicStation unlimited music service. In 2008 Omnifone won Best Mobile Music Service at the GSMA Global Mobile Awards, Best Mobile Internet Service at the Mobile Industry Awards, the Juniper Research Future Mobile Award’s Gold Award for Mobile Music, the Red Herring Global 100 Award and in 2007 the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) Music Service Meffy. The company is based at Island Studios, London with regional HQs in Asia Pacific. www.omnifone.com



Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the performance, capabilities, and impact of Dolby Pulse and Dolby Media Generator technologies; the anticipated or potential benefits that manufacturers, broadcasters and consumers may derive from these technologies; the parties’ intention to introduce Dolby Pulse into cloud based music services for mobile, PC, in-home and in-car streaming and download; and the expected availability of Omnifone’s entire catalogue in Dolby Pulse format, are "forward-looking statements" that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on Dolby’s management’s current expectations. The following important factors, without limitation, could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements: risks that Dolby Pulse and Dolby Media Generator may not perform as anticipated; risks associated with building market acceptance for audio technologies in general and Dolby technologies in particular; competition in the market for audio technologies; rapid changes in technical requirements for audio technologies; and other risks detailed in Dolby's Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including the risks identified under the section captioned "Risk Factors" in its most recent Periodic Report on Form 10-Q or 10-K. Dolby disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.



About Dolby Laboratories

Dolby Laboratories (NYSE:DLB) is the global leader in technologies that are essential elements in the best entertainment experiences. Founded in 1965 and best known for high-quality audio and surround sound, Dolby creates innovations that enrich entertainment at the movies, at home, or on the go. Visit www.dolby.com for more information.



Dolby and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. W10/22483
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